Conditional Release Technologies for Management Education

Award Winner: 
2013 Sloan-C Effective Practice Award
Author Information
Owen P. Hall, Jr.
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
Pepperdine University - Graziadio School of Business and Management
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

Learning management systems (LMS) have come a long way since Sir Isaac Pitman initiated the first correspondence course in the early 1840s. Today, the demands of globalization call for new and innovative learning systems for enhancing management education. One approach for meeting these challenges is through the increased use of conditional release technologies (CRT) via LMS. The primary aim of CRTs is to distribute knowledge in small and more management learning packages based on student performance and characteristics. Intelligent tutors provide the vehicle for helping identify the appropriate material. CRTs have been used by the author in a variety of management education courses with continued success. CRTs have been found to be particularly useful in the growing online learning community.

Description of the Effective Practice
Description of the Effective Practice: 

Conditional release technologies (CRT) represent a key feature of any effective learning assurance effort. CRT can be defined as systems that release content based on student performance and characteristics. As it is generally recognized that students entering a program of management education possess a wide range of experiences and capabilities, CRT allows customization of content based upon such differences. One of the advantages of CRT is that it provides a flexible learning platform that can be customized to meet the needs of a wide portfolio of management education programs. For a CRT to operate independently according to the needs of the learners requires a responsive system that can assess student performance and respond accordingly. This functionality is provided by intelligent tutors. These systems offer the capability to assist students in overcoming specific technical challenges by assessing their performance and providing customized content. The CRT system used in this application is based on Delone's e-learning success model. This paradigm suggests that content must enhance learning and support learning goals and should never distract and/or detract from the learning process. Specific benefits of CRT for management education include:

• Delivers customized content at a time and place convenient to the student
• Affords the student with an integrated perspective on the course/program
• Presents rich instructional content including real-time feedback
• Offers courses designed for specific learning applications
• Increases opportunities for student and team participation and interaction
• Improves quality through learning assurance
• Provides direct linkage with Internet and library resources

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

A review of the relevant literature (see below) suggests the conditional release technologies are at the leading edge of online educational programs. Conditional release technologies offer students a wide variety of learning opportunities based on customized content. The current system can identify and deliver specific content based on student performance and characteristics. Recent data on the use of conditional release technologies found: 1)Students consistently recognized that video lectures provided the highest degree of choice and control since students could choose which portions to watch at any time of their choosing, 2) Students found themselves generally more engaged in the tutorials that gave them the highest level of bandwidth and engagement without technological interference or latency and 3) Students noted that on-line quizzes were the most challenging activity; this is not an unexpected finding given the lack of control, i.e., the students had a relatively fixed amount of time and were constrained to a fixed date and time. The current system now makes it possible to provide educational opportunities to those students that are either without the traditional infrastructure or that are physically dispersed which is the hallmark of an online program.

How does this practice relate to pillars?: 

The use of conditional release technologies supports both student learning effectiveness and satisfaction. Student performance and survey response data indicates widespread acceptance of CRTs as an important new learning vehicle.

Equipment necessary to implement Effective Practice: 

Learning Management System like Sakai.

Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 


References, supporting documents: 

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Contact(s) for this Effective Practice
Effective Practice Contact: 
Owen P. Hall, Jr.
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