First iPad University Course
Great idea! Rutgers University and Apple’s higher education team are collaborating on a Mini-MBA in Digital Marketing that will fully integrate the iPad.
Rather than placing all the course content online, the program will take place in the classroom, but will provide students with iPads loaded with all required reading material, videos and custom applications.
Eric Greenburg, director of the progam, is hoping to merge the benefits of instructor-led learning as well as the power and flexibility of the iPad. Eric was kind of enough to provide a brief interview for The eLearning Coach readers. He did not, however, offer me an iPad.
COACH: What inspired you to integrate the iPad into your program?
ERIC: We see the iPad as having the potential to be a game changing device that will create new markets, and new ways for people to create content and communicate with one another. We also believe it has the potential to transform the classroom experience.
COACH: What advantages do you think the iPad has over mobile learning on smart phones and over standard web-based courses?
ERIC: By living in the space between mobile devices, and computers, the iPad can take advantage of many of the benefits offered by both technologies. For example, the iPad is easier to read and use than a smart phone, and yet more mobile than a laptop. However, we see it’s potential not necessarily limited to the end consumer (although we see a huge market for new users), but also in how businesses may choose to employ them to improve productivity of their employees and improved offline experiences for their customers.
In the classroom, these devices provide the perfect balance that can allow students to replace their notebooks, textbooks, laptops, etc for one integrated device. As technology evolves we see a blurring of the traditional lines that separate sellers and buyers, manufacturers and sellers, customers and organizations. Our hope is that the iPad can extend the classroom learning beyond the walls of the classroom and even the hours of the class. We see the future of education as a network of peers and individuals all communicating and sharing information with each other.
COACH: How are your courses structured?
ERIC: The Mini-MBA in Digital Marketing is a 36 hour executive education course designed for working professionals. The class is currently only offered offline in the Piscataway campus at Rutgers and can be completed in either a one week intensive program or once a week over 12 weeks. Participants receive a Rutgers Certificate and are eligible to waive up to 3 elective credits in the full-time MBA program.
COACH: Will the students have opportunities to interact through the course?
ERIC: Yes, we plan to set up social networks for students to communicate both during and after the course.
COACH: What media formats will you use to deliver content, such as video, audio, text, graphics and interactions?
ERIC: We have 6-12 different faculty teaching the course and each are working on their own unique solutions that will employ many of the formats you describe.
COACH: Do you see the lack of Flash media on the iPad as a drawback for education?
ERIC: No, we envision that this will be a temporary drawback that within 6 months will become a non-issue.
COACH: How will you handle assessments on the iPad?
ERIC: One of the projects in our class will be a formal assessment and recommendation by the students on how to use the iPad for higher education.
COACH: What kind of reaction are you getting from students as they hear about the course?
ERIC: The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with many inquiries and requests for additional information.
COACH: What do you hope to gain from this approach?
ERIC: We think the iPad can help Rutgers transform business education.
NOTE: This interview took place early in the development process. Still to be identified are: instructional strategies, use of the gestural interface, and authoring/programming tools.
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