iPads Incorporated in Accelerated Online Courses at Becker College
Colleen L. Bielitz, M.S., dean of the Center for Accelerated & Professional Studies at Becker College recently presented, “iTunes Course Manager, the Power of an iPad in Online Learning,” at the Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning. Bielitz teamed up with Russ Dively, education consultant for the software company Ellucian.
This spring the Center for Accelerated and Professional Studies will begin offering some courses from the Bachelor of Business Administration program online through iTunes U. Students with an iPad will be able to conduct all of their course work by using their Apple device. An iPad has tremendously rich media capability, says Bielitz, and to take full advantage of this powerful tool for online students, Becker College partnered with Ellucian to develop online courses using Apple’s iTunes U Course Manager.
“We want to provide our students with the flexibility to use a number of learning options,” Bielitz affirmed. “As tablets become more mainstream, it is vital that we teach our students on the products they are using.”
The presentation showcased an iTunes U-developed course to demonstrate how to begin using iTunes U Course Manager and how the course integrates with conversation cloud app Voicethread, which provides for audio and video asynchronous verbal class discussion.
iTunes U Course Manager enables instructors to bring together multimedia lectures, iBooks, podcasts, documents, and even Apple discipline-specific apps into one integrated tool . From the iTunes U app, students view video or audio lectures and take notes that are synchronized with the lecture. Students can see a list of all the assignments for the course and check them off as they are completed, and when a new assignment is added, students receive instant notification via the iPad.