Tools of the Trade | May / June 2019

Cases are offered via podcast, “bots” tackle admissions communication, and new service offers unlimited access to digital materials.


Harvard Business Publishing has partnered with media company Wait What Inc. to create Podcases, a series of audio-based course materials that blend Wait What’s Masters of Scale podcast format with Harvard’s case study presentation to share stories told by industry leaders. Supplementary teaching materials are available on the publisher’s website. Current titles feature entrepreneurs such as Peter Thiel from PayPal, Stacy Brown-Philpot of TaskRabbit, and Stewart Butterfield of Slack. Visit


Edtech startup GeckoEngage of Edinburgh, Scotland, has created a “bot-enabled” platform that supports communication between admissions teams and prospective students. The platform’s “Geckobots” use artificial intelligence to answer questions, capture inquiries, and register students for on-campus tours without need for staff input. Bots can be programmed to route student messages to staff when required and learn the best answers to particular inquiries over time. Visit


Cengage is offering a new subscription service, Cengage Unlimited, that gives students access to more than 22,000 digital course materials. Students can pay US$119.99 a semester or $179.99 a year for unlimited access to materials, no matter how many they use. The company estimates that it can save students half or more of the $500 they pay, on average, for a year’s worth of textbooks. Visit