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EdTech: Big Data, Virtual Reality & Five Online Learning Trends To Look Out For

B-schools are driving innovation in online learning

Tue Aug 22 2017

BusinessBecause
The days of whiteboards and ink cartridges are over. Developments in educational technology – or edtech – are revolutionizing the business school experience.

Virtual Reality (VR) headsets are in classrooms. Big data-crunching devices give students live feedback on their progress.

And, with flexibility in high demand, more and more learning is being delivered online.

In July 2016, the Online MBA offered by Birmingham Business School became the first 100%-online MBA to be accredited by AMBA. Its Online MSc International Business is set to follow suit.

Today, online learning is increasingly seen as a direct alternative to taking a traditional classroom-based course.

In a survey of over 2,000 professionals, UK research firm Maturity found that 80% of professionals think online learning can help them further their careers.

Here’s 5 online learning trends to look out for:

1. Personalization

data

The more data business schools can capture about their students, the more they can tailor programs to match their students’ needs. So, big data analytics is key.

In March this year, Daniel Chicksand, director of Birmingham’s Online MBA, revealed that the business school is working on a new research project, exploring how big data can be used to drive more personalized learning online.

Daniel told BusinessBecause: “Online, we’ve got the analytics. We can see exactly where students are in the program, how much time they’ve spent on a particular page, and how they navigate through the learning experience.

“We can make that learning pathway more rewarding for students. And we can give them that constant and immediate feedback that you can’t always get in a face-to-face environment.”

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

ai img

We’re already talking to robots. We shout down the phone at mystery cold callers. We test our patience with automated customer services.

Soon, business schools could be using Artificial Intelligence chatbots for admissions purposes; addressing prospective students’ questions. We could even see virtual tutors dealing with students’ queries, and elaborate algorithms used to mark students’ work.

3. Immersive Learning

vr img

Today’s online learning environments are every bit as interactive and immersive as the classroom. On Birmingham’s online programs, groups of up to 25 students connect with tutors and lecturers in fortnightly ‘live sessions,’ two and a quarter hours long.

Virtual Reality promises to take things to the next level. In five years’ time, we could see students interacting via holograms in online study locations of their choice. Imagine putting on a headset at home and entering a class full of students in London, New York, or at Google in Silicon Valley.

4. Mobile

mobil

91% of 18-to-44 year olds in the UK own a smartphone – according to Deloitte’s latest Mobile Consumer Survey. A third of UK smartphone users reach for their phones within five minutes of waking up in the morning.

Mobile is massive. And b-schools are making sure their online learning courses are fully compatible on desktop, tablet, or mobile. The use of mobile is likely to change the way people learn, with more emphasis on gamification – learning through games, competitions, and point scoring.

5. The rise of the MOOCs

omooo

On the surface, the MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) represent a threat to the established business schools model. They’re free – available on platforms like edX and Coursera – and widely-accessible. Why study a paid-for MBA online when you can do one for free?

Well, an accredited MBA degree from an established institution is much more valued by employers. And MOOCs have a famously high drop-out rate – it’s hard to study online alone and without the supportive infrastructure of a business school.

Business schools have been quite clever with MOOCs. The University of Birmingham is part of FutureLearn, the first UK-led MOOC learning platform. By releasing its own MOOCs, Birmingham can build its brand globally, reach new markets, and share its expertize.

“We see the MOOCs as a way to support and strengthen our existing offering,” says Roshan Boojihawon, director of Birmingham’s Online MSc International Business.

“There are lots of online providers out there. The market is crowded and noisy. To emerge out of that noise, we have the stamp of quality from AMBA, and as a Russell Group institution.”

Student Reviews

Birmingham Business School - University of Birmingham

Student

Verified

7/10/2023

On Campus

An amazing experience

Great, knowledgeable faculty with a beautiful campus. Lots of societies and clubs to choose from in accordance with your interest. One can also discover scholarship opportunities here. The course is perfectly designed and the career services at the uni are very helpful

Melanie

Verified

6/10/2023

On Campus

The beautiful campus and teaching expertise.

Overall the University of birmingham is just an incredible institution. From the array of expertise teachings and how phenomenal the campus is definitely enhances its beauty and is enriched with the amazing resources and incredible people that are always willing to help and make you feel welcomed everywhere you go. I would 100% recommend the University of Birmingham to be one of the best universities out there and through not only the various courses that they offer but all the social societies definitely adds to the fun and great opportunities that it provides

chikondi

Verified

4/10/2023

On Campus

Exceptional Support for international Students

Exceptional Support for International Students As an international student, my experience at the University of Birmingham has been nothing short of extraordinary, thanks to the outstanding support provided for international students. I would like to share my thoughts and experiences regarding the exceptional support I've received during my time here. From the moment I arrived on campus, it was evident that UoB prioritizes the well-being and success of its international students. Here are some key aspects of the support I've received: 1. Orientation Programs: The university's comprehensive orientation programs helped me acclimate to campus life, navigate administrative processes, and understand the academic system. I never felt lost or overwhelmed, thanks to the informative sessions and friendly staff. 2. Academic Advising: The academic advisors for international students are incredibly knowledgeable and approachable. They assisted me in creating a personalized academic plan, selecting courses, and understanding degree requirements. Their guidance ensured that I stayed on the right track academically. 3. Language Support: UoB offers exceptional language support services, including English language courses and conversation partners. These resources were invaluable in improving my language skills and building confidence in my communication abilities. 4. Cultural Integration: The university fosters a diverse and inclusive environment, making it easy for international students to feel like part of the community. There are numerous cultural clubs, events, and workshops that allow us to connect with fellow students and celebrate our diverse backgrounds. 5. Mental Health and Counseling Services: Recognizing the challenges that international students may face, the university provides excellent mental health and counseling services. It's comforting to know that support is available when needed, and these services are respectful of cultural differences. 6. Career Services: UoB offers exceptional career services tailored to international students. From resume workshops to job fairs, they've been instrumental in helping me prepare for my career post-graduation. The university's strong network of alumni has also been a valuable resource. 7. Visa and Immigration Assistance: Navigating the complexities of visa and immigration regulations can be daunting, but the university's dedicated staff provided guidance and assistance throughout the process. Their expertise made the experience seamless. 8. Housing Support: Securing suitable housing can be a challenge for international students, but the university offers assistance in finding on-campus housing options with flexible payments. This support ensured that I had a safe and comfortable place to live. 9. Financial Aid and Scholarships: UoB offers various scholarships and financial aid options for international students. Their commitment to making education accessible is commendable, they also provide financial support for graduation through the guild of students.

Student

Verified

16/02/2023

On Campus

student experience

I highly recommend the University of Birmingham. I think the school environment is very friendly to international students. I was able to get guidance and help from students in the school. I was also able to get support and guidance from the professional team on my career path. I would recommend the University of Birmingham to first-time international students and Masters students.

Student

Verified

29/01/2023

On Campus

There is always somebody to help!

The university respects the culture and background of their highly diverse student. It carters to everybody's need and puts its student first. It tries to the make the student feel at home and helps them deal with the university life.

Student

Verified

27/01/2023

On Campus

Variety

I love studying Pharmacy at Birmingham and would absolutely recommend it, especially because of the variety in every aspect of the course. Firstly, the variety of people you meet from all areas around the country, and even countless others from outside the country. Each person has a different background and experiences creating a melting pot of personalities to interact with. Next, the lessons - there are numerous types of lessons we encounter on a weekly basis from lectures to dissections to a computer workshops. Additionally, specific to medical degrees, I have 7 placements annually in hospital, community, and GP pharmacies. The only lack of variety in the pharmacy course is the classrooms since there are limited number we can use and the medical school is separate from the main campus. The only part I don't enjoy about pharmacy is the distances and unreliability of public transport in Birmingham. Living in the vale, the university is a long 25-minute walk away and my closest shop is over 10-20 minutes to walk. Although there are closer accommodations, I really love my flat with its modern decor, large room, and social aspect of the shared kitchen.

Student

Verified

4/01/2023

On Campus

Experience at University of Birmingham

University of Birmingham has been an outstanding university. They have provided complete support during COVID-19. The university is incredible when accessing support with mental health. I currently study criminology at the university of Birmingham. The course has been brilliant, with constant support from lectures and tutors to ensure that you achieve the best grade possible. I could not recommend University of Birmingham more!

John

Verified

2/12/2022

On Campus

Cool

Great campus for studying with kind and professional staff and the campus is very well connected to the city center. There were so many people who wanted to enroll in the course that they had to queue for a new course for six months in advance. The classes were always crowded, but the professors never let anyone through. I love this uni

Joshua

Verified

30/11/2022

On Campus

A very welcoming uni

This university is regarded as one of the best in the world. They provide a welcoming environment that enhances the lives of the students because each one of them has a sense of community and a desire to study.

Beining

Verified

21/12/2023

On Campus

The professor's instructive pedagogical approach.

Professors in the College of Arts and Law at the University of Birmingham tend to employ a facilitative pedagogical approach in their teaching. They guide students in language analysis through the application of discourse analysis and methods of linguistic research, fostering the students' ability to analyze various texts. The overarching goal is to maximize the impact of language. The entire process is characterized by a systematic and gradual progression, infused with a sense of humor and engaging elements.

Student

Verified

7/10/2023

On Campus

An amazing experience

Great, knowledgeable faculty with a beautiful campus. Lots of societies and clubs to choose from in accordance with your interest. One can also discover scholarship opportunities here. The course is perfectly designed and the career services at the uni are very helpful

Melanie

Verified

6/10/2023

On Campus

The beautiful campus and teaching expertise.

Overall the University of birmingham is just an incredible institution. From the array of expertise teachings and how phenomenal the campus is definitely enhances its beauty and is enriched with the amazing resources and incredible people that are always willing to help and make you feel welcomed everywhere you go. I would 100% recommend the University of Birmingham to be one of the best universities out there and through not only the various courses that they offer but all the social societies definitely adds to the fun and great opportunities that it provides

chikondi

Verified

4/10/2023

On Campus

Exceptional Support for international Students

Exceptional Support for International Students As an international student, my experience at the University of Birmingham has been nothing short of extraordinary, thanks to the outstanding support provided for international students. I would like to share my thoughts and experiences regarding the exceptional support I've received during my time here. From the moment I arrived on campus, it was evident that UoB prioritizes the well-being and success of its international students. Here are some key aspects of the support I've received: 1. Orientation Programs: The university's comprehensive orientation programs helped me acclimate to campus life, navigate administrative processes, and understand the academic system. I never felt lost or overwhelmed, thanks to the informative sessions and friendly staff. 2. Academic Advising: The academic advisors for international students are incredibly knowledgeable and approachable. They assisted me in creating a personalized academic plan, selecting courses, and understanding degree requirements. Their guidance ensured that I stayed on the right track academically. 3. Language Support: UoB offers exceptional language support services, including English language courses and conversation partners. These resources were invaluable in improving my language skills and building confidence in my communication abilities. 4. Cultural Integration: The university fosters a diverse and inclusive environment, making it easy for international students to feel like part of the community. There are numerous cultural clubs, events, and workshops that allow us to connect with fellow students and celebrate our diverse backgrounds. 5. Mental Health and Counseling Services: Recognizing the challenges that international students may face, the university provides excellent mental health and counseling services. It's comforting to know that support is available when needed, and these services are respectful of cultural differences. 6. Career Services: UoB offers exceptional career services tailored to international students. From resume workshops to job fairs, they've been instrumental in helping me prepare for my career post-graduation. The university's strong network of alumni has also been a valuable resource. 7. Visa and Immigration Assistance: Navigating the complexities of visa and immigration regulations can be daunting, but the university's dedicated staff provided guidance and assistance throughout the process. Their expertise made the experience seamless. 8. Housing Support: Securing suitable housing can be a challenge for international students, but the university offers assistance in finding on-campus housing options with flexible payments. This support ensured that I had a safe and comfortable place to live. 9. Financial Aid and Scholarships: UoB offers various scholarships and financial aid options for international students. Their commitment to making education accessible is commendable, they also provide financial support for graduation through the guild of students.

Student

Verified

16/02/2023

On Campus

student experience

I highly recommend the University of Birmingham. I think the school environment is very friendly to international students. I was able to get guidance and help from students in the school. I was also able to get support and guidance from the professional team on my career path. I would recommend the University of Birmingham to first-time international students and Masters students.

Student

Verified

29/01/2023

On Campus

There is always somebody to help!

The university respects the culture and background of their highly diverse student. It carters to everybody's need and puts its student first. It tries to the make the student feel at home and helps them deal with the university life.

Student

Verified

27/01/2023

On Campus

Variety

I love studying Pharmacy at Birmingham and would absolutely recommend it, especially because of the variety in every aspect of the course. Firstly, the variety of people you meet from all areas around the country, and even countless others from outside the country. Each person has a different background and experiences creating a melting pot of personalities to interact with. Next, the lessons - there are numerous types of lessons we encounter on a weekly basis from lectures to dissections to a computer workshops. Additionally, specific to medical degrees, I have 7 placements annually in hospital, community, and GP pharmacies. The only lack of variety in the pharmacy course is the classrooms since there are limited number we can use and the medical school is separate from the main campus. The only part I don't enjoy about pharmacy is the distances and unreliability of public transport in Birmingham. Living in the vale, the university is a long 25-minute walk away and my closest shop is over 10-20 minutes to walk. Although there are closer accommodations, I really love my flat with its modern decor, large room, and social aspect of the shared kitchen.

Student

Verified

4/01/2023

On Campus

Experience at University of Birmingham

University of Birmingham has been an outstanding university. They have provided complete support during COVID-19. The university is incredible when accessing support with mental health. I currently study criminology at the university of Birmingham. The course has been brilliant, with constant support from lectures and tutors to ensure that you achieve the best grade possible. I could not recommend University of Birmingham more!

John

Verified

2/12/2022

On Campus

Cool

Great campus for studying with kind and professional staff and the campus is very well connected to the city center. There were so many people who wanted to enroll in the course that they had to queue for a new course for six months in advance. The classes were always crowded, but the professors never let anyone through. I love this uni

Mahoro

Verified

22/01/2024

On Campus

Excellent reputation

The University of Birmingham has a strong reputation for academic excellence and research output that is why I chose to study here. The university boasts a faculty of renowned experts and scholars in various fields who are supportive to students in their academic endeavors. Birmingham offers many opportunities for students to engage in cutting-edge research across multiple disciplines. The university additionally, has modern facilities and resources to support student learning and research. However, certain classes have large student-to-faculty ratios, making it more challenging to receive individualized attention. The cost of living in Birmingham, especially for international students, may be higher compared to other areas in the UK.

Student

Verified

15/03/2024

Online

Immersion into Legal Studies

As a law student, a common stereotype of a typical law degree would be long, boring classes fully based off theory and essays. while essays and theories are a necessary part of the law experience, the University of Birmingham Law School modules also cater to the more creative sides of the law. modules of creative writing, blogs, videography, podcasts, etc., are available. modules on makeshift court sessions to practice advocacy. deeper research on the law and its ethics, and using legal skills to tackle modern-day concerns such as artificial intelligence. not only do you gain the necessary tools that prepare you for the legal world. you also gain additional knowledge that puts you one step ahead and allows for flexibility after your studies.

Student

Verified

22/04/2024

On Campus

International Relations and Development

My experience at the University of Birmingham has been exceptional. The University has given me a wide range of opportunities to participate in a wide range of activities, which benefit me in my well-being and in my studies. The University is fantastic in ensuring that you get the education you want, as long as its not too farfetched. By example, I requested to switch courses in the summer between first and second year, and my request was dealt with smoothly in a matter of weeks. The campus is a very easy one to navigate, and in itself is a very nice one, quite modern.

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