How AI shapes the structure of our MSc course

21 March 2024

We caught up with Dr Isabel Fischer, along with current students Tia and Bolo from MSc Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation to discuss the course, Isabel’s Creating Digital Community module, and how it’s driven by AI.

How did the Creating Digital Communities module come about?

Isabel: I had the idea of creating this module as I saw digital communities as a very effective digital marketing tool. In addition to commercial reasons, digital communities can help members to develop a sense of belonging, and even stimulate happiness and wellbeing.

I think this module is particularly important as it provides students with specific, tangible aspects of digital marketing that can make them stand out from competitors in the job market.

How are this year’s cohort finding it?

Tia: The Creating Digital Communities module covers topics such as how to design, build, manage, and market digital communities – and how to leverage them for social good, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

My favourite thing about this module is that it gives us the opportunity to apply our learning to real-world problems and scenarios, and to collaborate with our colleagues. It also exposes us to the latest trends and best practices in digital community development and digital marketing.

Bolu: The module is all is about building online platforms or spaces where people with shared interests, goals and attractions can connect and collaborate in driving innovation through customer engagement.

There’s no one way of approaching it – there are no standard principles, I get to think without constraint, and see ways to implement communities for new businesses or existing organisations.

Tia: Other elements that appealed to me were the fact the module is project-based, and involves hands-on learning and collaboration. It’s interdisciplinary, and integrates perspectives from different fields such as business, engineering, design, and social sciences. The module is flexible, and allows students to choose their own topics and methods of enquiry.

What role does Artificial Intelligence (AI) play?

Isabel: AI plays a vital part in creating digital communities and is therefore a key component of the module’s assignments. Students are encouraged to use AI and then reflect on their critical use, covering opportunities as well as risks and ethics.

Tia: AI features both in this module, and the course as a whole. We are provided with the tools and skills to create intelligent and interactive digital communities, and to optimise their performance and impact.

For example, we learned how to use AI to analyse user behaviour and preferences, to personalise content and recommendations, to enhance user engagement and retention, and to measure and improve community outcomes.

Bolu: AI comes into play at various points, such as during the use of generative AI chatbots in the community to improve community interactions. A personal favourite of mine is using advanced analytics to interpret user behaviour and predict upcoming trends.

How important is AI in business?

Bolu: AI is crucial in business as it improves efficiency by eliminating repetitive tasks, drives innovation and enables data-driven decision-making in assisting businesses achieve competitive advantage.

Tia: It also provides insights through data analysis, enhances customer experience, and drives innovation. AI can also help businesses adapt to changing customer needs, market trends, and competitive pressures.

What advice would you have for anyone studying the course?

Bolu: Don’t let the title of the course scare you, it’s a really interesting, fun class! Even if you come from a non-technical background, you’ll be taught everything you need to know.

Tia: Conduct thorough research on the course’s content, modules, structure and learning outcomes. Then think about how they align with your own interests, goals and expectations.

I highly recommend developing a strong foundation in both information systems and digital innovation, staying updated on the latest technological trends, and actively seeking hands-on experiences to apply theoretical knowledge in practical settings.

Bolu: Be creative, be interactive, and be excited!

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