Friday, June 25, 2010

MBA Students Demand Podcasts and Video

The lines between online education and traditional brick and mortar programs are beginning to blur as increasingly tech savvy and mobile MBA candidates demand more web-based resources. On-demand seminars and lectures, once the domain of online graduate programs are being used to augment more traditional classroom experience.

Students Expect 24/7 Access

Building on their successful Open CourseWare Program, MIT’s Sloan School of Management provides extensive audio and video recordings for free to students and the public at large. And last month the London Business School made plans to implement a comprehensive class capture program. Their MBA students will soon be able to access recorded lectures from anywhere in the world.

MIT and the London Business School are by no means alone. Service provider Mediasite now helps students from more than 600 colleges and universities bridge the gaps of time and distance. They coordinate and automate webcasting and content management systems for the capture, management, delivery and search of rich media presentations (audio, video and graphics) for live or on-demand viewing.

Russell Altendorff, Director of Information Systems for London Business School described the need for the online component of business education.

“All major business schools are coping with an insatiable demand, primarily student-driven, for video and podcasting. The demographics of our students are changing. We see an increasing volume of Executive MBA students who are highly mobile, and with our new centers in Dubai and Hong Kong, over the last two years we increasingly have a whole cohort of students taught abroad and as a result we need to deploy more distributed learning.”

The London Business School had already been making filmed lectures and events available to students, but the new system will automate the process so that they can provide even more. This leader among business schools sees the online content as an addition to their already rich MBA program content.

“…we can not only provide online content as a service to our customers, but also as an adjunct way to support the learning process, so learning can occur not only through reading, reflection and face-to-face teaching, but also can be reinforced through access to instruction online.” said Altendorff.

Educational Benefits of Captured Classes

When students have access to recorded lectures it enables them to access class anytime. Complex concepts can be reviewed on demand until the message is clear. In that respect it’s almost like having the instructor on call. Also, knowing that lecture material is available later means students don’t necessarily have to take notes. While many students learn well by taking notes in class, others learn better when they can focus their full attention on listening.

Class capture provides the confidence that nothing will be missed. Everything the professor says and presents is stored for later reviewed. And some proponents believe that having a backup of the live presentation frees students to engage with each other and the instructor in a more meaningful way.


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