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How Babson College dramatically reduced course development and delivery time

The world's best entrepreneurship college reengineered the relationship between phones and higher ed

Babson College has been regarded the foremost higher education institution in entrepreneurship education for 23 years and counting.


Higher education
Remote, distributed
Role of learner
Entrepreneurship students

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"To be able to use a phone, which is usually a problem, in a way that enhances the educational experience and enhances the job that we do is very, very cool."


▶️ Reengineered the relationship between mobile phones and higher education
▶️ Dramatically reduced course development and delivery time that utilized valuable professor time

The challenge

Babson needed a way to meet learners where they were while dramatically lowering the time costs of learning design and delivery.

Babson College has made a name for itself as the global leader in entrepreneurship education, ranked #1 in the world for 23 years and counting.

One initiative that contributed to this success included recruiting students as early as their junior year of high school and providing them with an in-depth introduction to entrepreneurship.

Historically, this program was provided in partnership with over 20 faculty members. But when Covid-19 pushed all programming to remote, this led to already overwhelmed instructors who needed to stay on video calls from 8PM to Midnight most nights. Students were also tuning in at unsustainable hours as they were based in 21 countries and 14 time zones.

How could Babson lower friction for learning design and students?

How Babson rethought the relationship between higher ed and cell phones

With virtual sessions underway, Jonathan Sims, faculty coordinator for Babson’s introduction to entrepreneurship program, began by using Arist to reinforce curriculum that had already been covered live. This freed up faculty members from needing to be on-call through the night, and enabled entrepreneurship learning to continue around the clock in a data-driven way.

Courses were delivered according to each student’s preferences, which avoided Zoom fatigue and bolstered meaningful engagement.

Learning snapshot

An entrepreneurial mindset can be valuable at any stage of your career and in many different contexts.
You could be a student wondering about which school or major to select.
Or you could be working for a social enterprise, family business, or multinational corporation.
The principles you learn in this course will equip you with a basic understanding of how to think and act entrepreneurially.
Each day, you’ll receive a message with the lesson, key takeaways, and a call-to-action.
Like with any learning opportunity, you’ll need to dedicate some time to complete the lesson and commit to following through with the short assignments.
Expect to spend no more than 5 to 10 minutes on this each day.

Sounds good!

Impact of Arist for Babson College recruiting

Through Arist, Sims and his colleagues were able to teach entrepreneurship to 148 students, spanning 21 countries and 14 timezones. All while preserving the bandwidth of valuable university lecturer time.

With the successful rollout of their SMS course, Babson crossed into brand new territory: higher education powered by text messaging. Rather than allowing technology to be a distraction, professors were able to experience a new level of daily connection to their students.

Now, Babson is laying the groundwork for a more extensive Arist integration in the coming year. For professors like Sims, this will mean more than just a few text messages. “It’s rethinking how we use the phone to teach.”


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