HBX Launched
“Over the last few years, the landscape for online education has changed dramatically. New and more powerful technologies are creating opportunities not only to reach wider audiences, but also to offer engaging, impactful learning experiences.
HBX is a new digital learning initiative that complements and furthers the School’s mission. It is an innovative endeavor—employing creative pedagogies, offering distinctive courses, and using new platforms. It is a place where we can use technology to bring students and alumni from around the world together with faculty. And like our HBS programs, HBX is modeled on our core principle of participant-centered learning that is highly engaging and interactive.”

Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration
HBX Faculty Chair


In June 2014, HBS enrolled its first cohort of more than 600 students in CORe (or Credential of Readiness), the inaugural offering from HBX. This group represented a new audience of individuals eager to learn the fundamentals of management, including undergraduate and nonbusiness graduate students, and recent graduates beginning jobs where fluency in the language of business is crucial.

CORe is a trio of rigorous online courses—Economics for Managers, taught by Professor Bharat Anand; Business Analytics, taught by Professor Janice Hammond; and Financial Accounting, taught by Professor V.G. Narayanan. As in a physical HBS classroom, the teaching is case-based and participant-centered, enabled by a technology interface that promotes discussion, questioning, interactive exercises, and even cold calling. Students form a community, much as a section in the MBA Program does, and they work hard, putting in 12 to 15 hours a week over the 10-week duration of CORe.

Students are tested and graded, and those who complete the program successfully receive an official CORe credential and transcript, which is held by the HBX registrar and made available to employers or schools at a participant’s request. Tuition for the initial cohort was $1,500 for the program; HBS awarded need-based financial aid to one-quarter of the students. Nearly 500 individuals—85 percent of those enrolled—completed the program.

Looking ahead, as the platform is further developed and refined, the School will offer CORe throughout the year to larger cohorts, including both individual learners and company teams. CORe also will be a requirement for incoming HBS MBA students beginning in summer 2015.


HBX Live

Powering the HBX Classroom

  • 70 cameras
  • 6 million LED pixels on video wall
  • 10 software platforms
  • 10 virtual networks
  • 7 servers
  • 20 miles of cable
  • 8 AV room racks

As its name promises, HBX Live goes beyond the typical realm of online courses, employing technology to replicate the experience of the HBS classroom. The HBX Live classroom is actually a studio, built in partnership with public television station WGBH in its headquarters near campus. In the HBX Live classroom, 60 students—projected via life-size screens—interact with an HBS faculty member just as they would in person, but using a custom computer interface and sophisticated videoconferencing technology.

This initiative creates new opportunities for alumni interactions and also for enhancing the learning experience across the educational programs at the School—by enabling Executive Education participants in modular programs, for example, to continue the learning experience even when they are away from campus. Live testing began in March 2014, and the first alumni offerings are anticipated in 2015.


HBX Courses

HBX Courses are specialized online offerings. The first, launched in June, was Disruptive Strategy with Professor Clayton Christensen; derived from his popular MBA course, it was developed to enable organizations to bring leading-edge ideas to their executives. The HBX platform enables a cohort of executives within a company to engage in immersive and interactive case-based learning. In each of the weeklong modules of Disruptive Strategy, participants devote about three hours of individual time and an hour of cohort time, allowing them to apply their learning to major challenges and opportunities their organization faces.