Tag Archives: Distance education

Creativity in online courses: perceptions of MBA students

Creativity is a key competency skill sought after by many employers. And yet, one of the major criticism of business schools relates to the lack of programs that promote creative and/or innovative thinking. This could be compounded by the fact that a large number of business programms are currently offered online. Consequently, the issue of whether online education stifles or enhances students` creativity is brought to the forefront. Using this question, the authors engaged in an inquiry process dealing with MBA students` perceptions of how online courses impact their creativity. Based on students` feedback, it appears that taking online courses generally enhances their creativity. They are not only more inclined to be creative thinkers, but also more likely to be organized and exercise critical thinking. The students noted, however, that online instructors are largely instrumental in enhancing creativity. They also suggest that creativity cannot be integrated equally in all types of business courses.

Article originally published in “MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching“, V.3 (2007), n. 4. http://jolt.merlot.org/ This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/).

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Remote Access to Instrumental Analysis for Distance Education in Science

Remote access to experiments offers distance educators another tool to integrate a strong laboratory component within a science course. Since virtually all modern chemical instrumental analysis in industry now use devices operated by a computer interface, remote control of instrumentation is not only relatively facile, it enhances students’ opportunity to learn the subject matter and be exposed to ‘real world’ contents. Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and Athabasca University are developing teaching laboratories based on the control of analytical instruments in real-time via an Internet connection. Students perform real-time analysis using equipment, methods, and skills that are common to modern analytical laboratories (or sophisticated teaching laboratories). Students obtain real results using real substances to arrive at real conclusions, just as they would if they were in a physical laboratory with the equipment; this approach allows students to access to conduct instrumental science experiments, thus providing them with an advantageous route to upgrade their laboratory skills while learning at a distance.

Article originally appeared in: The International Review on Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL), V. 6, n.3, 2005. Copyright Athabasca University. Reprinted with permission.

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