The increasing international demand for an MBA coupled with the rise of all things digital has led to a proliferation of distance learning based MBA programs. However, this growth reflects only half of the trend. On the other hand, traditional universities are moving to include distance learning courses. These merging aspects give rise to a new trend of “Integrated distance learning“-the integration of live group classes or interaction with a distance learning curriculum.
Both the traditional face-to-face and distance learning approaches to the MBA have some distinct advantages for the learner. For face-to-face classes, the benefits include:
Hands-on / interactive lessons – As it is real-time, students can ask questions to their professor. The challenge of bringing academic information into real-world application is eased.
Team-oriented approach – In many face-to-face programs, students can carry out projects in working groups. This method simulates the work environment and brings additional learning in soft skills or how to work with colleagues. Exchanging viewpoints and learning to learn from peers can be a valuable element of the MBA education process.
networking opportunities – By regularly attending classes with other students and doing work group assignments, students can build relationships with other people who have similar goals, experiences and abilities. These relationships can provide future work opportunities, sales leads, introductions, insights, etc.
Likewise, the distance learning approach has some distinct advantages, including:
portability – the possibility of studying on the go or even in another city or country has a positive impact on the cost of the program; feasibility of further studies; and/or the quality of education in which one has the freedom in terms of time or logistics to continue one’s education.
flexibility – Whether synchronous or asynchronous in approach, there is a significantly increased degree of flexibility when a student does not have to be in a classroom at set times each day or week. Asynchronous approaches enable maximum flexibility.
Increased learning potential – Although some online programs have earned the label “degree mills”, some quality programs have been started. Program participants, both students and faculty, find that learning not limited by a common denominator of other students offers potential benefits in terms of deepening the material and/or increasing the time a student spends on additional study in Invested in areas of interest.
For a number of reasons, including increasing demand, more experienced students looking to continue their careers, the cost of building sufficient capacity in an in-patient system, and the effectiveness of the methodology, MBA offerings are taking on a distance-learning methodology in the US and internationally. As programs seek to maximize the benefits of their current approach, there is a growing trend toward distance learning MBA programs with on-site sessions. This integrated distance learning approach combines the advantages of both methods. As a result, the student benefits from portability, flexibility, increased learning potential, as well as hands-on instruction, a potentially team-oriented approach, and significant networking opportunities.
Universities that are making this transition towards Integrated distance learning come from both distance learning and traditional face-to-face programs. Universities adopting this model include Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University; Indiana Wesleyan University through partnership with VLC Corporation; University of Athabasca in Canada; and the Robert Kennedy College in Zurich, a partner of the University of Wales. Many other universities are moving towards integrated distance learning through a variety of learning platforms and combinations.
Thanks to Brit Boone | #MBA #Trends #Integrated #Distance #Learning