Business schools have recognised the value of technology in teaching and learning and have quickly blended the two in order to enhance the student experience. Whilst some teachers may be reluctant to abandon conventional teaching methods, it is important that both student and tutor have the willingness to participate and therefore ensure a better outcome for the student. Some institutions are using technology in learning because it seems like the natural progression when society itself is becoming technologically reliant. However, technology itself needs to be perceived as a tool to help students instead of something that is just a natural transition for the school.
When a student makes the decision to attend a business school, it is often for the sole purpose of securing a job or progressing in their career. Therefore, institutions need to be willing to consider the needs of students and prioritise these in order to maximise the potential of students.
Some UK business school universities have already shifted their focus to the needs of the students by providing them with more support. For example through utilising tools such as Skype where students are able to interact with a tutor and therefore ask questions and receive both the support and encouragement that would take place in a classroom. When an institution is willing to go out of their way to ensure that the student’s needs are met, they are not only helping to improve the educational experience of the student but are ensuring that they will also go on to excel. The use of technology has been revolutionary in meeting the demands of students, for example by providing them with an almost online classroom to emulate the feeling of being surrounded by peers, making up for the lack of physical presence that comes with online education. Business schools are using these platforms to ensure that fewer students feel isolated which is something that can be common in online learning and can even go on to hinder progress.
Technology also provides students with access to the best UK business school universities without them having to commit to moving outside of their geographical location. It not only brings education to the student but ensures that this student is still able to learn from a top institution. Technology is making it possible for them to have a better learning experience, therefore allowing them to go on to excel. It is whilst studying that a student develops their understanding and foundations of the industry and this time is therefore crucial and should be used in order to broaden their knowledge. It is this foundation that the student will go on to build on and use as the basis of their future work, therefore institutions must ensure that they are meeting the demands of students.
Business schools that are already utilising technology have made it possible for their students to interact with global professionals. Students can even enrol on a course at an international business school because the use of technology means that they can study abroad without having to commit to moving. This will not only to make them globally employable but can enhance their future career prospects. Technology creates more opportunities for students and therefore business schools will continue to utilise this in order to improve the overall educational experience.
With students becoming more aware of the different routes of learning, they are now able to pick and choose between the different elements to ensure that their chosen route complements their career goals. Technology itself is becoming a fundamental part of everyday life and schools internationally are beginning to incorporate it into their teaching processes. However, technology itself can help to benefit institutions by bringing them together with another international business school, therefore creating more opportunities whilst allowing them to be able to comprehend a more global perspective of their chosen industry.
The future of business education lies in technology and with the continued development of devices and the internet, teaching and the business curriculum will evolve accordingly. This is a necessary transition in order to ensure that students are always gaining the most out of their education and business schools must continue to cater to this need.
Traditional education promises a classroom full of students which is an element that is not present in online learning. However, technology has made it possible to simulate this environment and therefore bridge the gap between school and college. By allowing a connection to a wider community in order to share resources and support one another, virtual-learning offers an interactive approach irrespective of geographical location. Through providing access to global instructors and exposure to countless invaluable resources in order to facilitate learning, students are able to learn through their peers whilst developing a more in-depth and critical understanding.
Collaboration and facilitated-learning
Although students have the presence of their peers inside a classroom, it can still be difficult to collaborate and share ideas. Classes do not always allow for group work or have enough time to participate in discussion which can sometimes hinder learning, due a lack of dialogue to further explore ideas. Whilst students are able to converse with each other outside of class, this dialogue often needs to take place in real-time in order to allow time for questions and clarification of their thought process. It is through this discussion of concepts and questions that students can work together to explore the things that they are learning whilst sparking new ideas. It is often during this back-and-forth process that students are able to fully grasp topics and it is therefore crucial for discussions to take place in a classroom setting.
A lack of this can sometimes cause traditional education to become a more solitary experience, therefore virtual-learning makes it possible to bridge this gap by creating a space for this conversation to take place. Students are able to converse in real-time as they learn through an online chat platform or social media. This makes it possible for them to share ideas and thoughts which will not only facilitate their learning but will support a deeper understanding of topics. Technology offers many opportunities for students to collaborate without having to interrupt a teacher in a classroom or become concerned about a time constraint. This is something that can also allow students to connect with their peers and mentor one another, which is integral to acquiring success. Classroom settings can often prevent this and virtual-learning is therefore crucial.
Shifting the focus from teacher to student
Virtual-learning shifts the emphasis of learning onto the student rather than instructor, therefore allowing students to carry out their own research and use their learning as a tool to be more independent. By allowing students to have the capacity to facilitate and be accountable for their own learning, a virtual education cultivates a well-balanced student and provides them with the right skills to go on to succeed within the workplace. Students are able to develop technical skills and navigate software to utilise learning through quickly becoming familiar with programs and content in order to understand and consume information. This will not only ensure efficiency and productivity, but will also allow for them to be engaged and go on to implement this within the workplace.
Students learn to seek out help or resources when experiencing difficulties, which will not only help to make them more well-informed but shifts the responsibility from the teacher to the student. By allowing the student to ask questions and clarify their own understanding, it provides them with the ability to broaden their own comprehension of subjects.
Education is individual to every student and therefore should cater to their needs. With the evolution of technology, it is now possible for students to distinguish their learning style and inevitably go on to pursue these, whether in the form of blended learning or through a course that is solely based online. By offering students a choice, it not only allows them to alter courses in order to suit their own needs but ensures that they are gaining the most out of their education whilst still being a cost-effective approach.
The internet presents countless opportunities for students to collaborate and gain access to a wealth of information, therefore it is crucial for institutions to recognise and use this to arm them with limitless possibilities.
With the evolution of technology leading to information being accessible from multiple devices, regardless of location or time, it has fostered the expectation for everything to be instantly available. The internet has become an integral part of everyday life, from influencing our television viewing habits to the way that we order takeaways. The increased speed of accessing information has altered the attention span of future generations, creating a need for instant gratification. This societal expectancy is also something that has influenced the landscape of education. Higher education institutions are having to alter the way that courses are taught in order to ensure that they are always providing content that is catering to this need, whilst remaining both engaging and of high-quality. Whilst attending a physical class will most likely remain permanent, students are now requiring education itself to be more flexible and accessible.
Massive Open Online Courses
The educational landscape is something that must change with the evolution of society in order to continue to positively impact students and their learning. There has been an increase in shorter online courses that although are not full university degrees, still provide enough content to educate students on certain areas or skills. For example, there has been an increase in MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) which not only require less of a commitment than an online degree but can also be taken by anyone at any stage of their career. These courses have become more mainstream because whilst they are still educational and globally recognised, they also provide individuals with the required knowledge. As society becomes more reliant on the internet for information, MOOCs are a way to provide an education whilst catering to this new way of consuming information, making it possible for employees to broaden their understanding of niche areas without taking time off from their jobs.
These shorter courses allow for career progression and provide candidates with a competitive edge by demonstrating that an individual is committed to self-growth. Whilst a majority of candidates may possesses similar qualifications and experience, enrolling in a short online course is an advantage due to the candidate continually seeking knowledge and skills which will inevitably impact the workplace.
These courses can also be beneficial for ever-changing industries such as tax or cyber-security where it would make sense for employees to enrol in a short online course than a university degree due to the continual shift. Education is now considering working professionals as a part of their target audience, therefore ensuring that the learning experience will have a positive socio-economic impact.
Shorter courses are also more likely to be completed due to the concision of the content feeling more attainable. As users become more digital, it is integral for education to evolve and ensure that content is being engaged with. Education is no longer just a means of gaining qualification but a learning experience which can act as a catalyst for career progression and improving the workplace. Therefore, as more employers continue to invest in enrolling their workforce on these courses, education will continue to change accordingly in order to cater to this audience.
Whilst the provided product or service is integral to any organisation’s success, it is the employees that make up the company and therefore contribute to accomplishing this success. The overall work culture and role of individual employees is often overlooked in larger organisations due to the high volume of staff, however it still remains crucial for a more effective and higher quality service. It is important for both employees and organisations to recognise and understand how they are able to mutually work together to cultivate a more positive work culture in order to ensure continual progression.
Why is a BA in business required?
Employees with a Business BA often find that they have an advantage over their colleagues due to a more in-depth understanding of their role in the overall organisation and better awareness of the different areas within business. Through learning about the hierarchical system and the way in which departments work together to drive the organisation forward, employees will be more familiar with the intricacies of business and therefore find their own work more purposeful.
A BA in Business is designed to emphasise and focus on professional development, therefore ensuring that graduates are gaining the real-life skills to implement in the workplace. Having these practical skills and knowledge helps to shape graduates into more valuable employees because their deeper understanding will allow them to perform activities that may fall outside of their role. They will also be able to use the goals of the business as a motivating factor and be aware of how to make improvements within the organisation.
A background in business will also help graduates to quickly make the transition between education and entering the workplace due to already possessing the practical skills required in the role, whilst also being aware of what is expected of them.
What is business culture?
Business culture is often defined as the inner-style of the way that a company operates, almost an identity encompassing their overall values and beliefs as an organisation.
The work culture in an organisation is directly correlated with the work ethic of employees and should therefore be prioritised. For example, if employees are unhappy or being treated poorly by management in the workplace, they are more likely to only put in minimal effort without any concern about its outcome on the organisation. However, with a more positive work culture, employees are more likely to go the extra mile to ensure that everything is running efficiently, even performing duties outside of their own role. They will prioritise the needs of the organisation and have the desire to go above and beyond to ensure success.
Employees possess the skills and expertise to drive an organisation forward and it is therefore crucial for organisations to recognise that the business culture within the workplace should constantly be re-evaluated. Employees with a Business BA will be more likely to contribute to assisting the organisation in improving their overall work environment and attempt to embed practices of a healthier work culture. With a greater understanding of what is required for the organisation to succeed, their expertise can be invaluable.
What are the recommendations for businesses to improve?
Organisations must commit to evaluating their work culture and make improvements accordingly. This practice should be an ongoing process because it can significantly impact the quality of service provided. By making the following changes, businesses will be able to cultivate a more positive work culture:
Embed values – The value and goals of an organisation should be reiterated in order for employees to understand the objectives of the business, ultimately allowing it to inform their behaviour. If an employee is not familiar with the values of the organisation that they are working for, it not only leads to confusion but will also make their own work purposeless and hinder their work ethic. Company values need to be embedded within employees and should always be given precedence.
Accountability – Roles and responsibilities should be clearly assigned within an organisation to ensure that employees understand their own duties. This will ensure that the work is evenly distributed amongst employees to eliminate antipathy.
Bridge the gap between management and employee – There is often a lack of communication between senior management and employees which can contribute to a number of issues. Managers must work together with employees to be more open, whilst improving communication between both parties. Many organisations often have an ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality which not only breeds resentment but prevents employees from working together with management. Therefore, better communication and more lucidity can help to reduce this and improve the overall work culture.
More incentives – It is human nature to desire recognition and praise for working hard and businesses must therefore implement a reward system to ensure that employees are being commended for their efforts. There should be clear incentives to motivate employees because it can otherwise result in a weaker performance and therefore influence the overall business.
Creating a healthier work environment will not only drive organisations to a more successful future but will also increase their overall economic value and it should therefore be prioritised by every business.
Five trends that students might see in online education in 2017
Flexibility is often the most appealing factor of online learning, however it also makes education available to a wider audience. With more students of all ages enrolling on an online degree, technology has changed the face of education. Traditional classes have always been presented and targeted at a particular age group, whereas online classes are more inclusive and therefore available to the public, regardless of their age or other commitments.
Learning itself is continually evolving due to the ever-changing way in which technology develops and alters the way we access and consume information. Therefore, 2017 will see many trends in online education to cater to its audience.
More credentials – There has been an increase in the number of working professionals that are now pursuing an online degree from university, due to wanting to develop and broaden their knowledge or skillset. Therefore, institutions are recognising this and are using it to change and adapt their content and method of teaching. Instead of an online university degree, more institutions will offer online certifications and credentials which employers will use to train staff. Employees will be able to enrol in order to increase their qualifications and improve their skillset. These provided courses will be different to degrees and therefore require less of a commitment, making it easier to balance with full-time employment whilst also being a cost-effective route for employers.
Measuring performance – Institutions will begin to use data to measure and monitor student’s performance and progress throughout term. In the same way that data is used to tailor marketing campaigns, faculties will utilise data in order to tailor content and the way that is presented to students. Online learning allows institutions to measure things such as whether or not a student has logged in, which can help in deciphering whether or not an individual is on target. This access to data will also allow them to measure data in real-time whilst monitoring how a student performs in assignments and therefore assist their learning accordingly. This not only ensures that students are being offered the right support but also that their learning is altered to ensure that they are fully understanding information.
Specialist subjects – Online education improves accessibility and therefore allows students to gain exposure of countless courses. However, there will be an increase in the amount of specialised courses that are offered in order to cater to areas that are lacking a specific skillset. For example, a demand for nursing skills could lead to an increase in niche courses to teach these skills and therefore fulfil this gap in the job market. Courses will be more focused and tailored to the job market and therefore have a positive socio-economic impact.
Utilising artificial intelligence – In the same way that products such as Apple’s Siri operate using artificial intelligence, this technology will also be incorporated into teaching. For example, if a student has a generic question about a topic, they are able to converse and receive answers without the presence of an instructor. This not only helps to reduce cost but also ensures that students receive answers in real-time. By embedding these into courses, it will reduce the faculty’s responsibility and allow content to be presented in various ways. With users already becoming dependent and accustomed to this means of gaining information, it will be an easy transition for students.
The experience of gaining an online degree from university will be a more inclusive experience with the responsibility shifting from faculty to student. This not only creates a more engaging and overall beneficial experience for the student but ensures that they are still learning and retaining the information in a way that they are already accustomed to. As technology becomes more integrated into society, teaching will utilise this and therefore be more experimental in presenting information to students. With almost everyone owning some sort of electronic device, institutions will utilise this by ensuring that they continue explore innovations in teaching.