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Laurier Business School Testing Desire2Learn 2GO

The Laurier School of Business & Economics in Waterloo, Ontario will be using Desire2Learn's mobile application, 2GO. Beginning this fall a hundred incoming students enrolled in the full-time MBA program on the Waterloo campus began using Research in Motion (RIM) BlackBerry 8900 smart phones as part of their program. Desire2Learn 2GO allows those users to view course details, communicate with classmates, sign up for study groups, and check grades.

The aim of the project is to prepare Laurier's MBA students for the business world by providing them with the latest mobile learning applications, to extend their access to a multimedia-rich education beyond the walls of the classroom, and to provide tools for collaboration between MBA teammates, the school said in a statement.

"By working with RIM and Rogers Communications, our partners of choice for this pilot, we are challenging the boundaries of the traditional learning environment," said Ginny Dybenko, Laurier's dean of business and economics.

Students involved in the Laurier pilot program will use their smart phones for more than the standard voice, text, and e-mail applications. Participants will communicate using enriched content such as video, voice notes, and pictures, as well as collaboration tools. Faculty will "push" content to the smart phones and will be able to get reports that help them gauge what content is being accessed.

The school said a number of research studies will be conducted throughout the year-long pilot. In addition, students will be challenged to find new uses for the applications and handsets provided.

"As students are increasingly attuned to mobile technology, Desire2Learn 2GO is improving our students' productivity and organization," said Hugh Munro, MBA director. "We believe the platform not only contributes positively to students' autonomy and motivation, but also provides for increased interaction and communication channels between students as well as between the students and their instructors."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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