Rhodes Business School ventures into virtual learning

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 10 Aug 2023
Professor Owen Skae, director of Rhodes Business School.
Professor Owen Skae, director of Rhodes Business School.

Rhodes Business School has entered into a partnership with edtech firm eLearnAfrica, to develop a virtual learning environment (VLE), to fulfil its goal of offering its accredited MBA to Africa and beyond.

According to a statement, the relationship with eLearnAfrica will allow a hybrid learning environment for MBA students, centred on immersion and flexibility.

The digital learning platform will provide a suite of synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning applications.

Professor Owen Skae, director of Rhodes Business School, says the eLearnAfrica-supported VLE will be operational from 2024.

“We are very excited about this, as it means our MBA is now more accessible than ever. We learnt two things from teaching through the pandemic: returning to the old ‘business as usual model’ of ‘chalk and talk’ is not going to happen like it used to.

“At the same time, running Zoom or Teams sessions and just displaying your PowerPoint slides does not suffice. Students and lecturers want the best of both the digital and the physical teaching world. ‘Phygital’ is key,” explains Skae.

eLearnAfrica has over 1 800 online courses from universities through partnerships with edX and FutureLearn, including Harvard, MIT and Cambridge.

It also has professional development courses in high-demand vocational and career paths like networking, software development and business administration.

Founded in 2000, Rhodes Business School is a division of Rhodes University. Its vision is to “transform business for a sustainable world”, while its mission is to “educate and influence responsible business practice”.

The collaborative virtual space for teaching and learning will allow students to access work online, and receive virtual teaching, while lecturers will be able to deliver their teaching online, it says.

The Rhodes MBA is a degree comprising coursework and a research assignment. The programme is accredited by the Association of MBAs and is offered on a part-time, modular basis over two years.

“Management education is crucial to unlocking Africa’s vast potential. Our MBA strives to educate Africa’s future business leaders and managers that it ‘isn’t about how much money organisations make, but how they make their money’,” says Skae.

“Getting that right is critical to achieving the African Union’s Agenda 2063, while simultaneously meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and gearing up to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.”