Online Learning

Dean's Reflections

Rethinking the delivery of courses to parallel changes in the business and educational landscapes is crucial to the future of business education. When it comes to online learning and incorporating more technology into the classroom, business schools such as the Sellinger School need to make wise decisions that will be of use today while also positioning us well for the future. As a result, we must regularly undertake an extensive review of the business school model and how we can work to lead change. Although many business school classes were not being taught digitally as recently as five years ago, you’d have a difficult time today foreseeing a future in which many of those same courses would not in some way be offered online in years to come. Deciding when and how to incorporate technology in learning can remain a challenging question, though.

At Loyola we are taking some of our traditional classes and converting them to technology-driven classes using the Competency Assessment in Distributed Education (CADE) methodology put together by the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). After giving much consideration to the outcomes we want for our students, we work backwards to determine what needs to be covered in each module during the semester to lead to the desired outcome. Sometimes these outcomes support a technological solution; sometimes an in-person solution.

Using this methodology, I had intended to convert the introductory finance course I will teach to a hybrid course, but after reviewing the learning objectives and desired outcomes with CADE it became very clear that I can teach this class as a fully online course. Although the startup costs for using technology to record my lectures, select videos to include, etc., may be high initially, the benefit of the amount of time that I can spend on practical applications to improve student retention and learning makes the investment worthwhile. I hope a possible next step is incorporating a service project into an introductory online business course. Knowing the important role technology can play in our students’ academic and professional careers, I look forward to discovering more opportunities to incorporate technology into all aspects of the Loyola education experience—intellectually, socially, and spiritually.

As always, if you have any thoughts on this topic, please contact me at Enjoy the last weeks of summer.