Because the university focuses on educating working professionals, we strive daily to ensure the knowledge our students gain in the classroom applies directly to practical situations in the workplace. Our curriculum is relevant to the modern business environment thanks in part to our utilization of cutting-edge educational technologies.
Evolution of business and education
Seasoned business managers will attest that embracing technology is one of the keys to future success and prolonged growth in the professional world. And just as today's business environment dictates a need for tech-savvy employees, so, too, does the higher education system call for tech-savvy students.
Here are a few examples of how technology is making an impact on the higher education system.
* Page turning is out, scrolling is in. By using digital programs and database tools, schools can now provide students with advanced learning systems far superior to a standard textbook. University of Phoenix has created its own program, rEsource, which enables students to explore and use a wide array of scholarly and professional sources from a single operating system.
Such programs not only provide vast amounts of applicable data but also enable users to develop a competency in information dissemination. Students become more "intentional learners" as they are required to access, organize and draw upon digital learning resources in the same ways that professional practice now requires.
* Rich media can lead to student prosperity. Although business simulations have been a proven learning tool for years, the multimedia and interactive capabilities of today's integrated systems have brought digital simulations to a new plateau. Slick new programs allow users to put their personal business theory to work in highly advanced adaptations of professional situations.
* "Write" click. Regardless of a student's chosen course of study, developing a proficient writing style is an important part of the learning process. More to the point, it's an essential skill in the business world. The advent of word processing programs and the proliferation of grammar and spell checker have changed the dynamics of proofreading.
Computers can now understand data as it is imputed, analyze how it is used and give feedback based on the resulting content. Some schools even offer services allowing students to upload course-assigned papers for review and have them returned with feedback on format, grammar and style.
* Online education with class. The evolution of online learning is possibly the largest impact of technology on the educational system. Most all higher educational institutions offer some form of distance learning programs.
Some, however, take that concept one step further by offering a combination of in-class and online learning. In these programs, students attend the first and last class at a local learning center, where they meet their instructor and classmates. They then conduct the remainder of their course online. These programs bring structure to online learning while adding a level of flexibility for working adults who are typically "scheduley challenged."
We have heard the lingo of typical student-to-teacher interaction change dramatically over the past 15 years, from course packets to multimedia CDs, overhead projectors to Digital Smart Boards, typewritten memos to e-mail, and notebooks to Personal Digital Assistants. While there tends to be initial resistance among more traditional academics, such advancements bring numerous new opportunities for learning and an increase in educational accessibility.
Undoubtedly, technology helps students become more effective learners and, ultimately, more marketable to their employers.
Simon Lumley is vice president of Indiana operations and Indianapolis campus director for the University of Phoenix. University of Phoenix offers accessible higher education options uniquely tailored for Indianapolis' working business professionals. Reach him at (317) 585-8610 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, log onto www.phoenix.edu.