Distance Learning Environment?


BigD

Although the content of distance learning modules is obviously key, an area of discussion that seems to be underrecognised is that of the environment in which the stidents work,

What platform is used to deliver the material? What kind of social networking is used (chat/fora/whiteboarding)?
What supporting facilities are there for collaborative working?
Are assessments made of online activity?

My wife is currently studying a Distance Learning course at Harvard Medical school and the tools used are amazing: level of participation in online real-time lectures. Number of questions asked; quantity and quality of your postings in fora are assessed and many metrics are available to compare your progress...

The universities seem pretty coy about how their platform performs. Can anyone offer any experiences or point to a comparative table of features for example across some well known MBAs?

Thanks
BigD

Although the content of distance learning modules is obviously key, an area of discussion that seems to be underrecognised is that of the environment in which the stidents work,

What platform is used to deliver the material? What kind of social networking is used (chat/fora/whiteboarding)?
What supporting facilities are there for collaborative working?
Are assessments made of online activity?

My wife is currently studying a Distance Learning course at Harvard Medical school and the tools used are amazing: level of participation in online real-time lectures. Number of questions asked; quantity and quality of your postings in fora are assessed and many metrics are available to compare your progress...

The universities seem pretty coy about how their platform performs. Can anyone offer any experiences or point to a comparative table of features for example across some well known MBAs?

Thanks
BigD
quote
realist

True, it is very difficult to extract this info from the schools, unless some alumni share.
This forum is better place than many uni websites. Here is some info.
http://www.find-mba.com/board/22281

True, it is very difficult to extract this info from the schools, unless some alumni share.
This forum is better place than many uni websites. Here is some info.
http://www.find-mba.com/board/22281
quote
ezra

It's often tricky to find this information unless you actually ask the schools questions about the delivery. Most programs have two major aspects: some kind of discussion forum and either synchronous or asynchronous course delivery.

For the class discussions, many schools use Blackboard, a proprietary software that provides course material with some kind of forum and question and answer features. Schools as varied as Hofstra, Temple Fox, Bradford, and UNC use some distribution of the Blackboard system.

For the course delivery, some schools simply have video lectures, which can be posted on Youtube or their own websites, that students can watch at their convenience. Schools like Florida Tech and Portland State offer this kind of delivery.

For synchronous classes (that is, classes in real time,) the technical requirements are higher: students often need a wired internet connection, a headset, and a robust PC. Many programs, like IE, use customized versions of Adobe Connect, a video conferencing software.

Unfortunately, I don't think that there's a comparative table of these features, but if there is one out there I'd love to hear about it.

The universities seem pretty coy about how their platform performs. Can anyone offer any experiences or point to a comparative table of features for example across some well known MBAs?

It's often tricky to find this information unless you actually ask the schools questions about the delivery. Most programs have two major aspects: some kind of discussion forum and either synchronous or asynchronous course delivery.

For the class discussions, many schools use Blackboard, a proprietary software that provides course material with some kind of forum and question and answer features. Schools as varied as Hofstra, Temple Fox, Bradford, and UNC use some distribution of the Blackboard system.

For the course delivery, some schools simply have video lectures, which can be posted on Youtube or their own websites, that students can watch at their convenience. Schools like Florida Tech and Portland State offer this kind of delivery.

For synchronous classes (that is, classes in real time,) the technical requirements are higher: students often need a wired internet connection, a headset, and a robust PC. Many programs, like IE, use customized versions of Adobe Connect, a video conferencing software.

Unfortunately, I don't think that there's a comparative table of these features, but if there is one out there I'd love to hear about it.

<blockquote>The universities seem pretty coy about how their platform performs. Can anyone offer any experiences or point to a comparative table of features for example across some well known MBAs?</blockquote>
quote
mneuber

Although the content of distance learning modules is obviously key, an area of discussion that seems to be underrecognised is that of the environment in which the stidents work,

What platform is used to deliver the material? What kind of social networking is used (chat/fora/whiteboarding)?
What supporting facilities are there for collaborative working?
Are assessments made of online activity?

My wife is currently studying a Distance Learning course at Harvard Medical school and the tools used are amazing: level of participation in online real-time lectures. Number of questions asked; quantity and quality of your postings in fora are assessed and many metrics are available to compare your progress...

The universities seem pretty coy about how their platform performs. Can anyone offer any experiences or point to a comparative table of features for example across some well known MBAs?

Thanks
BigD


Fox School at Temple uses WebEx technologies and uses a format very similar to the one described at Harvard. You will view a live lecture from the professor and also view your fellow students from your desktop. It is basically a virtual classroom. Pretty interesting.

<blockquote>Although the content of distance learning modules is obviously key, an area of discussion that seems to be underrecognised is that of the environment in which the stidents work,

What platform is used to deliver the material? What kind of social networking is used (chat/fora/whiteboarding)?
What supporting facilities are there for collaborative working?
Are assessments made of online activity?

My wife is currently studying a Distance Learning course at Harvard Medical school and the tools used are amazing: level of participation in online real-time lectures. Number of questions asked; quantity and quality of your postings in fora are assessed and many metrics are available to compare your progress...

The universities seem pretty coy about how their platform performs. Can anyone offer any experiences or point to a comparative table of features for example across some well known MBAs?

Thanks
BigD</blockquote>

Fox School at Temple uses WebEx technologies and uses a format very similar to the one described at Harvard. You will view a live lecture from the professor and also view your fellow students from your desktop. It is basically a virtual classroom. Pretty interesting.
quote
BigD

Live is great if you have the timezone, but in our case the Harvard weekly lecture starts at 10pm Central European Time. Exams are held online at 9pm... so it is quite hard work...

BigD



Fox School at Temple uses WebEx technologies and uses a format very similar to the one described at Harvard. You will view a live lecture from the professor and also view your fellow students from your desktop. It is basically a virtual classroom. Pretty interesting.

Live is great if you have the timezone, but in our case the Harvard weekly lecture starts at 10pm Central European Time. Exams are held online at 9pm... so it is quite hard work...

BigD

<blockquote>

Fox School at Temple uses WebEx technologies and uses a format very similar to the one described at Harvard. You will view a live lecture from the professor and also view your fellow students from your desktop. It is basically a virtual classroom. Pretty interesting.</blockquote>
quote
mba hipste...

Live is great if you have the timezone, but in our case the Harvard weekly lecture starts at 10pm Central European Time. Exams are held online at 9pm... so it is quite hard work...

Indeed, this kind of course delivery can be a pain for those in some time zones (imagine being in Singapore for those Harvard classes, ugh!)

But personally, I appreciate the immediate interactivity of these synchronous courses - at least for me, it's a much more robust experience to be able to interact instantaneously with faculty and the rest of the cohort.

I'm curious about the Temple - Fox program: does anybody know what time the classes generally meet?

<blockquote>Live is great if you have the timezone, but in our case the Harvard weekly lecture starts at 10pm Central European Time. Exams are held online at 9pm... so it is quite hard work...</blockquote>
Indeed, this kind of course delivery can be a pain for those in some time zones (imagine being in Singapore for those Harvard classes, ugh!)

But personally, I appreciate the immediate interactivity of these synchronous courses - at least for me, it's a much more robust experience to be able to interact instantaneously with faculty and the rest of the cohort.

I'm curious about the Temple - Fox program: does anybody know what time the classes generally meet?
quote
ralph

I'm curious about the Temple - Fox program: does anybody know what time the classes generally meet?

The Temple Fox program has synchronous classes Thursday evenings (US East Coast time.)

These are optional, so you don't have to log in if you can't or don't want to. Instead of attending, you can submit an additional assignment. However, in my opinion, it's worth it to make the time for these courses, as live sessions are a great time for interaction, getting to know your faculty, etc.

<blockquote>I'm curious about the Temple - Fox program: does anybody know what time the classes generally meet?</blockquote>
The Temple Fox program has synchronous classes Thursday evenings (US East Coast time.)

These are optional, so you don't have to log in if you can't or don't want to. Instead of attending, you can submit an additional assignment. However, in my opinion, it's worth it to make the time for these courses, as live sessions are a great time for interaction, getting to know your faculty, etc.
quote
donho199

Except from Blackboard which is a flawed and very poorly designed system a lot of schools use Moodle. It is a lightweight and open-source system built on open source technology developed by a teacher in Australia. It is now widely used in academia including The London School of Economics.

At Lund University, they use a lot of Web 2.0 or social media tools. Forum where you can exchange ideas among peers. Streaming video/audio of recorded lectures in the form of pretending discussion. One teacher posed as a student asking questions and clarification while another talking. We use facebook, chat tool, google groups. The email is also put to the cloud so you see the domain name appear as Lund but it is actually one of the Gmail account.

Of course you can see the problem with so many systems is that contents are very hard to maintain so Lund had an reorganisation and get rid of redundant and tools that is not really help.

Now we have a Central System which track student progress, registration and login account to the Moodle learning systems. Then the rest of the tools go to Facebook. The email is still Google.

In an organisation where you have an intranet or a private internet for users of that organization only. People increasingly use Sharepoint which unite emails, office, timesheet, documents, video into a central system. The accounts and access rights are managed by Group Policy/Active Directory. This is a pure Windows environment.

Hopes this helps

Except from Blackboard which is a flawed and very poorly designed system a lot of schools use Moodle. It is a lightweight and open-source system built on open source technology developed by a teacher in Australia. It is now widely used in academia including The London School of Economics.

At Lund University, they use a lot of Web 2.0 or social media tools. Forum where you can exchange ideas among peers. Streaming video/audio of recorded lectures in the form of pretending discussion. One teacher posed as a student asking questions and clarification while another talking. We use facebook, chat tool, google groups. The email is also put to the cloud so you see the domain name appear as Lund but it is actually one of the Gmail account.

Of course you can see the problem with so many systems is that contents are very hard to maintain so Lund had an reorganisation and get rid of redundant and tools that is not really help.

Now we have a Central System which track student progress, registration and login account to the Moodle learning systems. Then the rest of the tools go to Facebook. The email is still Google.

In an organisation where you have an intranet or a private internet for users of that organization only. People increasingly use Sharepoint which unite emails, office, timesheet, documents, video into a central system. The accounts and access rights are managed by Group Policy/Active Directory. This is a pure Windows environment.

Hopes this helps
quote
ralph

This is interesting, thanks donho.

Blackboard seems to get a bad rap from many students in this forum - it's strange that so many MBA programs continue to use it with other alternatives available. Moodle does look interesting, though.

I'll add that I've heard that many students use a combination of Skype and Google Docs to manage collaborative projects outside of the class-based work.

This is interesting, thanks donho.

Blackboard seems to get a bad rap from many students in this forum - it's strange that so many MBA programs continue to use it with other alternatives available. Moodle does look interesting, though.

I'll add that I've heard that many students use a combination of Skype and Google Docs to manage collaborative projects outside of the class-based work.
quote

Live is great if you have the timezone, but in our case the Harvard weekly lecture starts at 10pm Central European Time. Exams are held online at 9pm... so it is quite hard work...

BigD



Fox School at Temple uses WebEx technologies and uses a format very similar to the one described at Harvard. You will view a live lecture from the professor and also view your fellow students from your desktop. It is basically a virtual classroom. Pretty interesting.

I think it is a bit similar to the video lecture technology accepted by various distance learning providers and i think the most effective for the distance education students to grab all the subject doubts clear on their desktop.

<blockquote>Live is great if you have the timezone, but in our case the Harvard weekly lecture starts at 10pm Central European Time. Exams are held online at 9pm... so it is quite hard work...

BigD

<blockquote>

Fox School at Temple uses WebEx technologies and uses a format very similar to the one described at Harvard. You will view a live lecture from the professor and also view your fellow students from your desktop. It is basically a virtual classroom. Pretty interesting.</blockquote></blockquote>
I think it is a bit similar to the video lecture technology accepted by various distance learning providers and i think the most effective for the distance education students to grab all the subject doubts clear on their desktop.
quote
ezra

WebEx is a full-featured, browser-based video conferencing platform. It sits in the same space as the Adobe Connect software, and in my admittedly limited interaction with both of these softwares, they're pretty similar - so I wouldn't make the platform a deciding factor in choosing one synchronous online MBA program over another.

I'm just looking forward to the time when business schools embrace Google products for these applications - I'd think having a Hangout for a class section would be a pretty efficient way of doing it.

WebEx is a full-featured, browser-based video conferencing platform. It sits in the same space as the Adobe Connect software, and in my admittedly limited interaction with both of these softwares, they're pretty similar - so I wouldn't make the platform a deciding factor in choosing one synchronous online MBA program over another.

I'm just looking forward to the time when business schools embrace Google products for these applications - I'd think having a Hangout for a class section would be a pretty efficient way of doing it.
quote

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