How leading business schools are keeping up with student expectations
If the technological tools students use in their daily lives offer them an engaging, personalised, and accessible experience, it only makes sense that their learning tools should provide a similar level of quality
Student expectations are evolving as rapidly as technology. If the tech learners use in their everyday lives provides an engaging, personalised and accessibility-friendly experience, shouldn’t their learning tools deliver the same?
Hult International Business School’s partnership with Perlego highlighted areas where innovative higher education institutions are keeping up with demands of students, while providing a quality learning experience. Perlego is an online library which provides unlimited access to over one million books and textbooks from thousands of leading higher education publishers.
Access to content from the first day of class
Access to course materials is key to student success, and yet cost and availability of materials remain an obstacle to many. Hult International Business School identified a problem with their students completing the reading, and decided to adopt Perlego to remove these barriers to student engagement. Perlego offers a convenient way for students to read course materials, with unlimited access to the entire library from the first day of class.
“It's a great value add for Hult students to know that they can access all their readings from one source, without having to spend time tracking down assigned texts online, in stores, or trying to find them at the library. It’s better for the professors and it's better for the students.” Ronan Gruenbaum, global director of undergraduate learning and development at Hult International Business School.
Hult’s partnership with Perlego meant that the institution took on the cost, reducing barriers to entry for students and unlocking more opportunities for faculty to teach from a wider range of materials,and overcoming the barrier of escalating textbook prices.
A diverse range of content
Students benefit from understanding the wider world we live in. Ronan Gruenbaum, Global Director of Undergraduate Learning & Development at Hult International Business School, said: “In business schools, for example, there’s a danger of being blinkered and focused only on traditional business topics, such as strategy and leadership”. Perlego enables broader reading with unlimited access to a wide catalogue of disciplines without having to leave the platform. This empowers faculty to select chapters across many books to enrich student perspectives, instead of being restricted to one source.
Accessibility cannot be an afterthought
On a recent Times Higher Education and Perlego webinar with library leaders from universities across the UK, the panel remarked that accessibility features cannot be a ‘nice to have’ or an add-on. They must be baked deeply into each education technology solution in order to provide an equitable experience for students.
That might look like read-aloud functionality or screen reader capabilities for those with additional learning requirements, or the ability to personalise font and colours to enable more effective reading. Perlego focuses on enhancing the learning experience for all with Open Dyslexic font and our integration with Beeline Reader, a colour gradient proved to improve reading ability and focus.
Faculty are taking on a more pastoral role than ever before, with wellbeing of students a top concern in the years following the Covid pandemic. Insights into individual student engagement from learning platforms, particularly when paired with other data sources from the university, can help spot those who need extra support.
For Hult, being able to identify students who were not engaging with assigned material in Perlego meant that they could reach out and give help to students who needed additional support. “Perlego enables us to understand levels of engagement across our student body and identify those who might be struggling, which we wouldn’t have been able to do previously.” Ronan Gruenbaum, Global Director of Undergraduate Learning & Development at Hult International Business School
Modern students' expectations are continually transforming, but so are the many ways institutions can harness technology to deliver a high-quality experience to learners.
To learn more about how Perlego solved challenges around course resources at Hult International Business School, download the Hult International Business School x Perlego case study.