ACU business students integrate iPads into innovative Study Abroad experience

Posted June 11, 2010

As a part of ACU Study Abroad, iPad in Oxford32 students in the College of Business Administration's (COBA) Global Apprentice program are putting Apple's new iPad to work.

Matt Boisvert, instructor of marketing, and Dr. Brad Crisp, assistant professor of Information Systems, are leading the program based at ACU facilities in Oxford, England. They brought along six of the new tablet computer devices to use inside and outside of the classroom.

"The iPad debuted in England a few days before we arrived at Oxford," says Crisp. "My students are excited to experiment with a cutting-edge device that is getting so much attention on both sides of the Atlantic. We were able to be begin experimenting almost immediately."

Three of his Management Information Systems students are documenting their experiences on a Facebook fan page ("iPads in Oxford: Where History Meets Technology") for a course assignment on social media.

"Being able to evaluate new technologies is a critical skill in business," Crisp says. "Using new devices as part of a study abroad experience creates even more opportunities for us to explore, discuss and evaluate what these devices can do."

Students working with Boisvert are doing a project for A.C. Nielsen, a research company that studies trends in marketing and consumer behavior. Student teams will study product development, consumer preferences and branding strategies for several new product concepts. Throughout the process, the teams will evaluate how the iPad impacts market research. Specifically, teams of ACU business students will use the iPad to implement their research plan, present product concepts and collect responses from more than 400 research participants.

"ACU business students are uniquely positioned to explore this intersection of technology and business. It allows them to develop skills, perspectives, and an understanding of technology of changing trends that are impacting organizations, especially in the area of marketing," says Boisvert.

Global Apprentice students will use the iPad for data collection. One of their goals is to investigate the device's functionality as a tool for education and research.

ACU Study Abroad offers semester-long and short-term programs in Oxford, England; Montevideo, Uruguay; and Leipzig, Germany; as well as select programs at locations around the world.


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