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Strathmore MBA classes go virtual with tablets

By // General | Strathmore MBA classes go virtual with tablets
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A South Korean model holds a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 during its launch last year. Strathmore is partnering with Samsung to offer MBA classes on its tablets. Photo/AFP 

The student who diligently cleans the chalkboard at Nairobi’s Strathmore Business School’s lecture theatre is looking forward to a future without this daily task.

Once more technology has come to the rescue.

Kenya’s top ranked business school has signed a deal with Samsung Electronics that enables the university’s executive MBA students to attend lectures through their Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablets.

Under the partnership agreement signed mid last month, the Korean electronics giant is to supply every executive MBA student with a tablet that is loaded with e-books and lecture time schedules.

The tablets also give students access to an online portal where they can access live videos of lecture sessions they may have missed.

The videos are transmitted from an electronic board to the tablets through a Wi-Fi connection – creating virtual lecture halls that can be accessed from any corner of the world.

Paul Ouma, the director of MBA programmes at Strathmore Business School says use of technology to deliver quality education is one of the many actions that the university is taking as it deepens its leadership position in Kenya.

Strathmore is convinced that use of electronic platforms to deliver knowledge will free its students from the burden of dealing with huge amounts of paperwork during the lectures, increase interactivity among them as well as revisit lecture sessions they may have missed.

Ability to retrieve and attend live sessions of missed lectures is particularly critical for many of Strathmore Business School’s part time students who juggle between classes and strenuous work demands that often make it difficult for them to attend all classes.

“The tablets enable one to enjoy flexibility in terms of when and where you have access to class material,” says Ms Vivian Ogutu, the president of the first year MBA students who started their classes in January.

“Students in these courses usually do not have so much time in their hands so on-demand access to lectures is very critical,” she says.

Besides, the e-learning platform enables the students to have their semester notes in advance meaning they attend classes with some good understanding of the subject matter.

To deepen use of technology in its teaching, Strathmore is training its lecturers on use of Classroom Management (CRM) functionality that enables them to send what’s on the e-board to students’ tablets and its use.

The e-learning platform designed by Samsung also comes with a Mobile Learning Management System (m-LMS) that is backed by multiple learning features such as facilitation of resource sharing among students and an application that facilitates remote submission of assignments.

“Our aim is to raise coursework delivery efficiencies for better use of learning time,” said Robert Ngeru, the Samsung Electronics East Africa Business Leader.

Samsung’s plan is to offer Strathmore Business School students the tablets and digital learning materials at a discounted price.

All these costs are included in the MBA fees structure – meaning everyone who gets admission to the MBA programme will own a Samsung tablet.

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