Now, you don’t need a classroom to teach. Digital education is fast replacing conventional classrooms. The whole world has become a platform for learning, thanks to digital education technology.This digitization of education has appealed to the Australian B-schools the most.
Because massive open online course (MOOC) offered by Harvard or an MBA from Durham University has opened the doors of education with just mere clicks. This has forced the Australian MBA providers to rework their strategies. For instance, Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) has decided to reshape its digital offerings rather than go for a retreat.
But what is there to be threatened?
Julie Cogin, the director of AGSM,summarizes the big issue by saying that MOOC caters one-way educational experience that is usually flooded with PowerPoint presentations and one-way conversation involving the students. Cogin adds that only engaging and two-way learning can replace MOOCs and other offerings from the top business schools all around the world.
Few of the Australian universities have therefore already started warming up for the upcoming fight. Griffin University has published a white paper as a warning for digitization for future MBAs. Chief among the number of risks outlined by this veteran public research university is that MBA providers without distinctive set of values and perspectives would be commoditized, unable to compete with the market and would soon vanish from the MBA market.
High expenses of MBA courses would be challenged, papers would be predicted, students would claim for course timings according to their feasibility and last but not the least many would fail to validate the value of MBA course. These are the concerns that University of Griffin has shown in their publications.
They have dragged the issue further by stating that if an employee is interested in pursuing a course in social marketing, he would choose to go for Twitter undertaken course rather than traditional course offered by a university.
And that puts the conventional business courses in danger!
Griffin University has therefore been forced to re-design their MBA courses into fully online MBA courses. Director of Griffin University Nick Barter is himself surprised by seeing the growth of 38 percent in enrollments in 2013 and 52 percent in 2014 after digitization of their course modules.
Why digital education is becoming popular?
Barter claims that they have never witnessed such growth in the past few years. They have taken most students in 2015 for the online-only course.
The reason is the advanced usage of technology.
This university uses video-conferencing technology WebEx to connect to students outside the classroom. Instead of blackboard platform, they have come up with MBA app to conduct generic readings and discussions. They also allow students to use Twitter and emails to pose their questions they want to ask in response to any event that is publicized through recorded interviews with speakers. They also have created a hashtag in their own name in Twitter.
So you get the answer, it is technology.
Why is it appealing to the students?
It definitely gives them greater flexibility.
Deakin University Australia targets middle-management and mid-career professional groups who have to keep changing locations or have lack of time to attend classes.They can instead participate through any online mode and choose their own courses according to their feasibility.
Despite the fact this Australian institute has invested in new classrooms on Burwood campus to conduct video conference with the help of microphones on each table, MBA director Colin Higgins of Deakin University is still concerned about how employers still not adapted to MOOC want a credential course through which they can judge the potential of employees.
Keeping aside the concerns, however, every Australian university wants to jump into the pool of digital education.
Curtin University is no exception. This Australian public university aims to build two capstone units in Perth. Mile Teriziovski, dean of Graduate School of Business, is hoping that these two units at Perth will provide richer educational experience to international students who find it expensive to move to Perth.He is also expecting a more diverse classroom with 20 to 30 percent international students.
The competition will be more intense, there will be no retreat. Wait for 10 years and you will see yourself sitting in a virtual classroom conversing with your tutors and classmates.In reality, you would be sitting in your bedroom with your headphones on.Incredible, isn’t it!
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