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Cleveland State University: Taking Mobile Learning to the Nth Degree

Submitted by on July 1, 2013 – 2:46 pmNo Comment

CSU logoClassical education requires a local, physically-stationed classroom; distance education allows for asynchronous correspondence across different locales; early eLearning makes virtual communication increasingly instantaneous.

Now, new innovations in mobile learning (mLeaning) put eLearning to flight, making the educational experience as flexible, connected, and transient as mobile technologies themselves. With the proliferation of mobile technologies, students can learn anywhere they’re able to set up a portable device.

Cleveland State University’s (CSU) innovative Mobile Accelerated MBA program delivers on the promises of mLearning, providing a fully mobile-enabled program. Students entering into the program are equipped with an Apple iPad 4G that’s factored into their tuition costs, enabling students to fulfill their course requirements ‘on the go’.

MBA Online in 1 Year - Mobile Accelerated MBA  Cleveland State University - Moz_2013-06-28_14-41-56

While some institutions offer mobile learning on a course-by-course basis, CSU offers mobile learning across an entire program, Mobile Accelerated MBA: a one-year MBA that’s AACSB accredited.

To better understand the rewards and challenges involved with implementing mLearning, we spoke with Dr. Elad Granot, Director of Mobile Accelerated MBA. Here he shares the ins and outs of the program:

“We chose to create a mobile-accelerated program to accommodate our students’ lifestyles. We shouldn’t force an 18th century educational model on 21st century students. The program enables us to provide learners a student-centric learning experience that’s relevant to their lifestyle.”

How the Program Began

“The program began when our faculty were satisfied that the publishers ‘content on the iPad platform is equal to (and actually exceeds) textbook format. We knew moving to a fully mobile platform was the right move. And we were right! Once university administration was satisfied that academic rigor and integrity were being maintained (and actually pushed higher due to Quality Matters requirements), we received complete support from the university administration and were greeted with great enthusiasm from participating faculty.”

Program Challenges

“Students use primarily the Blackboard app and the publishers’ various apps. One of the biggest challenges we face is ensuring all students receive their iPad and load all their apps before classes start. To ensure all courses and materials are easily accessible through mobile technology, we work very closely with the university’s center for eLearning, who in turn act as liaisons with the publishers.”

Students’ Experience (And Faculty Considerations)

“Students love the mobile program. The feedback is overwhelmingly positive, and focuses on how pleased students are, specifically with the seamlessness of the program. For faculty who are considering implementing mobile learning in their own programs, I advise they make sure course content is just as rigorous and demanding as it is in their on-class section.”

To learn more about the logistics and details of mLearning program planning, see the Mobile Accelerated MBA Q&Q page.

If you’re considering making the transition to mLearning for your program, check out the guide developed by The Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Institution: ADL’s 6 D’s for Mobile Learning–Planning questions for a successful mLearning program.

Your Turn!

Dr. Granot explained that “we shouldn’t force an 18th century educational model on 21st century students.” How does your course (or program) relate to this statement? What strides have you and your college or university taken to offer students learning platforms that are relevant to their lifestyle? Share with us in the comments section.


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