Learning management systems have come a long way since Sir Isaac Pitman initiated the first correspondence course in the early 1840’s. Today, graduate management education is facing a number of serious challenges including changing student demographics and more demanding requirements from the business community. As a result, the one-size-fits-all educational approach of the past is being transformed by Internet-based learning management systems. The faculty is the key to unlocking the full potential of the Internet. The primary goal of this ongoing effective practices project is to provide the management education community with a cloud-based, dynamic vehicle to drive innovation regarding student learning through the sharing and exchanging of ideas.
The Faculty Collaboration Network (FCN), is a cloud-based, nodal system, in which the graduate management education community, particularly the faculty, can converge, share, and exchange ideas to drive innovation regarding student learning. A primary function of the FCNET is to provide the educational community with access to curriculum innovation, databases, cloud computing resources, m-learning technologies, and implementation strategies. Specific goals of the platform include: • To provide an outlet for interchange among faculty on emerging topics • To identify faculty expertise in these topics • To provide university leadership a sounding board for critical issues policies • To strengthen communication between individual schools • To support faculty discussion boards with relevant article links • To expand learning management system usage (e.g., Sakai)
The experience gathered to date shows that students tend to participate more in learning systems that are content rich and that feature extensive variety which is a hallmark of conditional release technologies. Furthermore, it has been found that students that are technologically ready are more likely to be interested in engaging in web-based learning programs. Additional evidence on the use of web based collaboration found: • 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. • Students found themselves generally more engaged in the tutorials that gave them the highest level of bandwidth and engagement without technological interference or latency. • 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.
Student learning and satisfaction are at the foundation of any effective program in graduate management education. Enhancing faculty collaboration, especially as it relates to online graduate management education, further affords opportunities for improving student learning and satisfaction especially in an online learning environment. Applying these faculty network systems to graduate management education provides the ideal vehicle for improving learning outcomes and enhancing learning assurance. Faculty buy-in to mobile learning technologies, as facilitated by FCNs, offer students a wide variety of learning opportunities based on flexible
Mobile technology access to the Internet
Nominal ongoing IT staff support
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This effective practices project has recently received additional funding from the Graduate Management Admissions Council to expand the scope and dimension of this effort. The presenter at the Sloan conference will provide a web-based demonstration of the current FCN. The above link highlights a mobile student learning system that was the direct result of the FCN.