By Adam Frank, Business Management and MIS Junior
As a junior planning to pursue a consulting career, Suzanne Cummin’s “Integrating Business Fundamentals with Ethics and Law” was of particular interest to me. I received an email over the summer explaining that the course would be offered in multiple learning environments, including podcasts with discussion boards and in class lectures.
I’ll admit I was a bit hesitant about how effective the podcasts would be in exchange for her in-class lectures. To my surprise, the broadcasting of lectures gave students an opportunity to learn in ways that were most convenient for them. I have chosen to participate in both in class lectures as well as podcasted lectures. Professor Cummins does an excellent job of facilitating student’s interactions regardless of their whereabouts.
During the designated class lecture time, she uses the broadcast to answer student’s questions that “chat in” and post questions via the WebEx system; a system designed similar to video conference calling. In my opinion, Professor Cummins has utilized technology much like the business sector does today, in order to capture a larger academic audience. She has done an outstanding job of preparing us for these technological transitions that the business world will challenge us with. While technology is unpredictable at times, Professor Cummins is more than willing to fill gaps that result from technology troubleshooting, answer questions from previous lectures on her discussion boards and responds very quickly to email. Her teaching emphasizes the importance of understanding the material and grasping key concepts outlined in her textbook.
Many may comment that the class restricts interaction and communication, but I would argue that this class is defined by its conversational style and interactive nature. The use of technology in the classroom has opened a lot of door for students who struggle with attending lectures or retaining all of the information mentioned in a typical in-class session. I have enjoyed using the different mediums of lectures, and believe this is one of the most beneficial courses I have ever enrolled in.