Digital course materials lighten the load

Issue: 
Digital course materials lighten the load

In the not-too-distant past, students in QSB’s MBA programs delivered across Canada via videoconference received binders containing all their course materials. Photocopies of articles, case studies, class assignments and the like could easily fill a two-inch binder for each course. Multiply this by the number of courses and students enrolled in each one and you get an idea of the sheer volume of materials that were being produced and distributed.

Leigh-Ann (Ottenhof) FinglandLeigh-Ann (Ottenhof) FinglandQSB’s Director of Materials Management, Leigh-Ann (Ottenhof) Fingland, EMBA’11 (BA’93, BEd’94), knew first-hand what it was like being on the receiving end of what seemed like a barrage of binders when she was studying for her MBA in 2009-10. “On the one hand, it was great to have all the materials neatly organized in one place for every course,” she recalls, “but when we had team meetings about a project for a course on a class weekend that included two other courses, we could be lugging three binders around. We also had our laptops with us, so it became a juggling act just to bring everything we needed to class.”

After she took on her current post at the School in September 2010, Leigh-Ann and her Materials Management team came up with a solution: digital course packs that are uploaded to a web-based portal. Students can now access their course materials anytime, anywhere, and keep them secure on their laptops and tablet devices. Once the materials have been downloaded, students don’t need an internet connection to view them. Keyword searches make it easy to find a reference when studying for an exam or researching an assignment.

“We’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback from students since we launched the digital course packs in January 2011,” says Leigh-Ann. “Students rave about the convenience of having the materials at their fingertips. They also appreciate such digital extras as interactive spreadsheets and the ability to share highlighted notes with their teammates.”

Now that MBA students have given the thumbs-up and the administration is firmly on board, Commerce students will be the next beneficiaries when digital course materials for select classes are rolled out during the winter term.

“QSB tends to be an early adopter of new technologies,” says Leigh-Ann. “We expect Commerce students will be thrilled to be able to access their reading material on their digital devices.”

In this issue

Alumni News

Features

Inside Smith

Profiles

Dean's Message

Letters

Parting Shot