Can smartphone be a tool for learning? You bet.
And not just learning, for saving a whole lot of money, too.
Smartphone-savvy Dubai students can now use the device for gaining an MBA from one of the more reputed global education institutions.
Even as most UAE schools and universities now welcome the use of smartphones in classrooms, the London School of Marketing (LSM) has taken it to a whole new level.
The UK-based educator has launched what it calls the world’s first-ever MBA that students in Dubai can study on their smartphones.
“Everyone has a smartphone now, so it makes sense to run courses which our students can access while they’re on the move,” says Anton Dominique, CFO of LSM.
Hundreds of students have already signed up to use the technology with more expected to follow, the educator said.
“We adopt a ‘click and brick’ approach to learning. All our courses are delivered online but in lots of countries, we have Local Access Points. These are places where students can go to meet, study together and have access to our experts,” he explains.
The courses it offers via the smartphone include an MBA in business studies, a Masters and two undergraduate courses in the same subject. Its professional marketing course can also be accessed via smartphones, it noted.
Such an e-learning concept works well for executives who can’t or don’t want to take a break from their careers, yet want to add to their qualifications.
“We aim this blended learning approach at overseas students who don’t want to give up good jobs to come over to the UK to study,” Dominique says.
“Our students, mainly from developing countries, tend to be professional people, in good jobs who don’t want to give up what they’re doing to take time out to study,” he notes.
Fees for courses studies in a UK classroom can be as much as Dhh150,000, and a similar amount may be needed to be spent in living and accommodation expenses over the duration of the course.
Some of the smartphone-based courses, on the other hand, start from under Dh25,000, resulting in huge savings for students.
“[Students] also don’t want the expense associated with moving to and attending a UK university to achieve the qualification they want. That cost can be in excess of £30,000 [Dh150,000],” he says.
“With our courses they can study while they work, can study when they want and the added bonus is that they come away from it all with a degree from a UK university,” he says..
In the last 18 months, LSM has set up 48 Local Access Points (LAPs), locations in towns and cities where students can meet to study and prepare their coursework.
LSM says that, since setting up the LAPs, it has seen keen learners from as far afield as the UAE, Ghana, India and South Africa enroll on its courses.
It also has 61 Recognised International Business Development Partners (RIBDs) across the globe.
The school invested in an interactive online learning platform that allows its learners direct access to course tutors, essential books and learning material they’ll need, all via their mobile phone.
There’s also a community forum where students can chat directly with other students studying on their course and thereby learn from each other, it says.
This approach to education means its learners can study when and where they want without being tied to a time or location.
“[Students] can study at a time and place to suit them and we’ve adapted the technology we use to make that happen,” says Dominique.