Distance MBA

With the advent of the Internet, distance business education has soared. If you don’t have a couple of years to invest, or do not wish to travel, take a look at the growing number of programs and resources

World’s first smartphone-based MBA launched...

The London School of Marketing has launched the world’s first ever MBA that students can study on their smart phones. The UK based educator has invested in a unique interactive online learning platform. It allows its learners direct access to course tutors, all the essential books and learning materials they’ll need, via their mobile phone. There’s also a community forum where students can chat directly with other students studying on their course and thereby learn from each other. This innovative approach to education means its learners can study when and where they want without being tied to a time or location. Since its launch, hundreds of students have already signed up to use the technology with more expected to follow. The courses it offers via smart phone include an MBA in business studies, a Masters and two undergraduate courses in the same subject. Its professional marketing course can also be accessed via smart phones. These courses are proving popular with international business executives who prefer to study from their home country rather than live and study in the UK. CFO of London School of Marketing, Anton Dominique explains: “They can study at a time and place to suit them and we’ve adapted the technology we use to make that happen. Everyone has a smartphone now, so it makes sense to run courses which our students can access while they’re on the move… Read full story: Khaleej...

How Jack Welch Is Reinventing the MBA

The former GE CEO’s online MBA program has a laser-like focus on customer service. When legendary General Electric CEO Jack Welch hired a headhunter to search for new deans of curriculum and faculty for his online management institute, he had an unusual requirement. “Jack didn’t like pie-in-the-sky academic types,” says Michael Kirkman, a search consultant with Lochlin Partners. Despite that limitation, Kirkman had little trouble rounding up an impressive portfolio of higher ed candidates. “Everybody was very interested, particularly with Jack’s name attached to it,” Kirkman says. “A lot of them are just tired of the bureaucracy and garbage that goes on in traditional academic environments.” Welch ultimately hired Craig Clawson, former managing director of Duke Corporate Education, as dean of curriculum, and Mike Zeliff, a faculty member at George Washington University and a former marketing director for the U.S. Marine Corps, as the dean of faculty. Both hires go a long way in telegraphing the fact that the four-year-old Jack Welch Management Institute is one of the very few business schools that is run like a business, with a laser-like focus on customer service. The school is closely managed on student surveys that measure the impact of the education as well as the likelihood that a student would recommend the institute to a friend or colleague. At JWMI, every administrator and faculty member understands that students are customers. In fact, the incentive pay of the core leadership team—up to 25% of their annual base salaries—is based on satisfying those customers. Net Promoter Scores (NPS), the metric Welch is using to monitor student satisfaction, are widely discussed among the leadership team, even down to the scores on the 12 courses that make up the MBA curriculum. “We’re running this...

What to Look for in Online MBA Faculty

When Audrey McLaughlin was looking into online MBA programs, the Cleveland, Ohio, native cared a lot about overall prestige and program rankings. But she also paid attention to something more granular: the instructors. “I wanted the same faculty as the residential program,” says McLaughlin, who ended up enrolling in Indiana University’s online MBA program in 2013. “I wanted access to the same classes that I could have in person.” Vetting online MBA faculty is key, experts say, since instructors not only shape a student’s academic experience, but can also serve as helpful connections down the road. As a result, they suggest students follow in McLaughlin’s footsteps and research instructors, as well as the overall structure of a program’s faculty. “There are all kinds of models out there, and these are things that students should be aware of,” says David Sylvia, director of academic affairs for graduate programs at Pennsylvania State University—World Campus. One marker of a reputable online MBA program is shared faculty with the residential division, says Phil Powell, faculty chair of the online business programs at Indiana University. If an online MBA program outsources instruction, it’s a sign that school officials aren’t prioritizing the educational experience as they should, he says. “It’s a very quick and dirty way to differentiate whether the online program is seen as a strategic asset for the school or whether it’s just a quick way to make a buck,” says Powell, whose program, ranked No. 1 among online graduate business programs, uses the same faculty as the on-campus program. “All schools see their residential MBA programs as a strategic asset.” McLaughlin, who now works in North Carolina as a business support consultant, says online students benefit from instructors who teach the same...