A cunning marketing strategy …

All the time, I had in mind to write a post about our iPads and our hub, and when I discovered a recent article in the Financial Times I knew that this was the sign to go for it!

The article on the digital competencies of Business Schools is in large parts about the Imperial College Business School,ย  being at the forefront when it comes to technology in the classroom!

The full article can be found at: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2815f872-1e1e-11e2-8e1d-00144feabdc0.html but as you need to be a registered user to read this article, most of you guys won’t be able to access it. That’s why I’d like to share the most relevant paragraphs of the article with you here:

‘A project at Imperial College Business School, London, embraces this [technology-enhanced intercation]. By embedding technology in its on-campus masters programmes, the school tries to create what it calls a “seamless learning” environment. An online learning portal, or hub, connects students with faculty, study materials and each other in a matter reflecting social media-style communication.

“Schools like ours have been held back by earlier virtual learning environments that have not encouraged successful student interaction”, says David Lefevre, director of Imperial’s Educational Technology Unit.

“By putting infrastructure in place that reflects how students interact, we can help them learn more and faster.”

To encourage early adoption of flexible learning practices, Imperial provided 700 of its 1,100 students with Apple iPads at the start of the academic year. Though a sgnificant investment, Mr Lefevre stresses that iPads are an important tool to ensure access to a suitable mobile device.

Student involvement and feedback has been encouraging, according to Imperial faculty members.

“There is no question we see enhanced student interaction”, says Marco Mongiello, director of Imperial’s highly ranked masters in management programme,now supported by the technology.

“Discussions are continuing beyond the classroom via the class forum … where we can keep an eye on conversations and redirect them where needed.”

Dr. Mongiello emphasises the capacity of the hub to facilitate feedback to students who, he adds, increasinglyย  expect it.

One objective of flexible student engagement – and of the iPad investment – is to enable collaboration between student groups, as stressed in Imperial curricula.

“We are training them to be responsible managers,” says Dr Mongiello. “Learning what tools are most effective for collaborative work is part of the process.”‘

And that’s what the hub looks like:

In my opinion, the most convenient part of the hub is that we have access to each course with its lecture materials, reading lists (including direct links to the online library system), and the respective newsfeeds, where the lectureres can update us on, for example, changes in the syllabus or our group assignments. This means, we have all the materials and background information we need at ONE place!

And, to be honest, after having used the iPad for a while now, I don’t even know how to live without it!! Confess it Imperial: this is all just about a cunning Apple iPad marketing strategy!! But it works … I think I have chosen the right course for my marketing education!


2 comments for “A cunning marketing strategy …

  1. Like most of us poor MSc Finance students, I sometimes suffer from iPad envy when looking around the lower ground floor. But hey, we got a shiny financial calculator! ๐Ÿ˜‰ To be honest though, I wouldn’t know how to efficiently use the iPad; it wasn’t built for spreadsheets.

    Thanks for the FT link. The Hub looks quite interesting. I previously thought ICBS only used BlackBoard. Do you know what the differences are between the two systems? Has the Hub been developed by Imperial or is it also third-party software?


  2. Hi Dominik,

    Thanks a lot for your comment!

    Firstly, I regret to disappoint you – but we also got those “wonderul” calculators ๐Ÿ˜‰ To be honest, we’ve never had to use them so far but, obviously, a more mathemtical course seems to wait for us in the near future, too! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And, yes, you are completely right: the iPad is definitely no substitute for a proper laptop – not even for us marketers ๐Ÿ˜‰ But it is a great tool for communication and information retrieval! And it renders lecture slide printouts unnecessary – at least most of us don’t print anymore as we have a nice pdf app which allows marking and inserting texts into the slides on the iPads!

    Secondly, concerning the hub: as far as I know, it is David Lefevre himself who implemented the hub! Btw, he was our lecturer in “Technology in Marketing”, too, and seems to be a real pro! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I am really happy that we don’t have to use Blackboard anymore, the hub is vastly superior! The layout alone makes a huge difference, not to speak of the usability!

    If you are into details let me know ๐Ÿ™‚



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *