The Driehaus College of Business opened a new resource center in January that is infusing emerging technologies into student classwork and faculty research.
BETA Hub — short for Business Education in Technology and Analytics Hub — offers a collection of teaching and research resources that includes virtual reality headsets, a blog creators’ studio, a Neurobusiness Lab for conducting research based on eye-tracking and other neuroscience indicators, and a Big Data Analytics Computer Lab with tools for data and text analyses.
Housed on the 7th floor of the DePaul Center, the initiative is the brainchild of Associate Professor James Mourey, Associate Dean for Faculty Success Sue Fogel and the Driehaus Tomorrow Committee, a group of faculty and staff tasked with developing ideas that prepare DePaul’s business college for the future. This spring BETA Hub received nearly $100,000 in funding from DePaul’s Academic Growth and Innovation Fund to support its innovative teaching and learning activities.
“The BETA Hub is where technology meets business — a place for hands-on learning and the testing of transformational business solutions,” explains Mourey, who serves as the faculty director of BETA Hub. “Tech-savvy business graduates are in high demand. It is essential that we give our students the hands-on experiences necessary to make them the most attractive job candidates in the market.”
The initiative supports creativity in teaching and learning across the college, Mourey adds. “For example, instead of having students write a paper, faculty can ask students to create an original podcast to record over the 10-week quarter at the BETA Hub.”
BETA Hub also provides technology resources for faculty to advance their research. “To continue attracting the very best faculty, we need to provide innovative resources for faculty to pursue their research and obtain the publications necessary to be successful in their field. BETA Hub does that,” Mourey says, adding that the hub’s new monthly faculty research presentations also encourage interdisciplinary inquiry.
Mourey recently hosted a marketing strategy course in BETA Hub, where his students embraced using technology to study and develop strategies. “They were super eager to return to BETA Hub the next class session so they could work on their final group project in a fun, cool space full of technology resources,” he says.
“That’s what we want the BETA Hub to be: a space where students enjoy spending time, collaborating and learning, and it just so happens we can conduct research there, too.”