How Oxford Brookes Business School uses Kortext to support its global MBA
For Oxford Brookes Business School – part of Oxford Brookes University – providing a learning experience that meets the expectations of their diverse student body is paramount, and this is especially true of their world-class Global MBA programme.
This part-time, flexible MBA attracts experienced professionals from around the world, with students from circa 65 countries registered on the programme at any one time. Taught via blended delivery – students create their personal blend of online or on campus learning depending on their preference and locality – the programme has two annual intakes of up to 70 students with an average age of 37.
Tackling blended-learning challenges
In 2017, Kortext partnered with Oxford Brookes Business School to support their Global MBA in its mission to ensure parity of experience of online and on-campus teaching and learning.
For the school, giving students access to core reading materials was essential for ensuring their students had everything they needed to succeed in the programme. However, with a worldwide student base, the cost and complexity of purchasing and delivering print books to multiple countries was impractical. Furthermore, it could not be expected that students would purchase their own essential reading as it couldn’t be guaranteed that the prescribed titles would be readily available locally.
The school required a long-term solution that would be easy to implement, provide value for money and meet the resource needs of their students – and that solution was the provision of eTextbooks over print books through Kortext’s student learning content and engagement platform.
Cost-effective and easy to deploy
Using Kortext, the business school now provides its global MBA students with up to two eTextbooks per module included in their course fees. Students can access these resources anytime in perpetuity and on any device, no matter where they are in the world.
Provisioning materials digitally through the Kortext platform offers the school a cost-effective solution that is easy to deploy, ensuring their students are prepared for their programme from day one.
In addition to the prescribed reading, academics can use Kortext to upload supplementary learning materials for their students through the platform to enhance their learning experience.
When implementing Kortext, the school selected the access route that offers the best opportunity for student engagement by integrating the platform into their existing Moodle VLE. This gives students one point of access for all their programme needs including their core reading materials, so their study resources are always visible.
Education without borders
Kortext’s successful partnership with Oxford Brookes Business School can be, to some extent, attributed to our close alignment with the Global MBA’s values – connect, collaborate and create.
The very nature of a global MBA means that many students will mostly be working remotely, fitting their MBA into their busy lives. The Kortext platform helps to connect students to each other and their academics through interactive study tools like the group study option and note sharing feature. These tools can be used to facilitate collaborative research and co-operative learning across countries, allowing students to learn from each other and share different cultural perspectives.
A supportive partnership
Since implementation, Kortext has worked closely with the school to provide support and guidance, ensuring staff and students get the best out of the platform.
The school has praised Kortext for its:
- Responsive account management and support teams
- Training sessions for administrators and tutors, both on-site and online
- Support collateral, including how-to videos helping students to access Kortext, navigate its features and realise the benefits
- Easy eTextbook provisioning process
Dr Diana Limburg, MBA Director at Oxford Brookes Business School, Oxford Brookes University, commented:
As an MBA purposefully designed for experienced, global managers and professionals, we heavily depend on the wider digital ecosystem to provide our students with a consistently good experience. Partnering with Kortext for eTextbook provision has not only allowed us to create seamless access to core reading, but the analytics also help us to better understand – and thus enhance – the way students learn.
Understanding student engagement is important for any institution, and a key benefit of Kortext for Oxford Brookes Business School is access to Kortext’s analytics dashboards.
These dashboards are used regularly by the school’s Admin team to check student engagement and participation alongside VLE reports; to give tutors insight into which parts of the core reading materials are accessed and when, helping to inform course activities and textbook selection; and to provide programme management with valuable insight into study patterns.
Since partnering with Kortext in 2019, Oxford Brookes’ Global MBA students accessed over 1.8 million pages through the Kortext platform and made more than 100,000 digital annotations. Despite student numbers remaining consistent year on year, in the last academic year (20/21), the business school has seen a marked increase in student engagement with core reading content compared with the previous year, recording:
- A 20% increase in study hours
- A 29% increase in digital annotations
- A 37% increase in pages accessed
Going forward, the school is looking to delve deeper into the analytics available in Kortext to better understand the student experience with learning content and how they can use this to drive outcomes.
The school is also excited about the opportunity to embed Kortext’s interactive study features – like collaboration tools, annotation, note sharing and highlighting – into its teaching and learning strategy. We look forward to continuing our work with Oxford Brookes Business School and supporting them as they take their use of Kortext to the next level.