Online M.B.A.: A Blended Approach

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by alczar, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. alczar

    alczar New Member

    The Online M.B.A.:
    A Blended Approach

    By Ronald Alsop

    Business degrees come in more shapes and sizes all the time, and one of the newest concoctions is the "blended M.B.A."

    That's the term increasingly being used to describe programs that include a heavy dose of "distance learning" over the Internet. More schools, including online-education pioneer University of Phoenix, are promoting such programs, which mix Internet instruction with traditional teaching in a bricks-and-mortar classroom setting.

    "The blended approach provides the best of all possible worlds and is our fastest-growing program," says Laura Palmer Noone, president of Apollo Group Inc.'s University of Phoenix, which began offering its FlexNet option about four years ago. FlexNet students take the first and last sessions of a course in classrooms and the rest online.

    Dr. Palmer Noone expects both blended and completely online programs to become even more popular as computer-literate teenagers reach their mid-20s and think about pursuing an M.B.A. degree. "They've been playing games with Sesame Street's Elmo on computers since they were babies," she says. "This type of learning will be second nature to them."

    That may be true, but is an online format the best way to earn an M.B.A.? Although more online-M.B.A. degrees are being awarded every year to working adults, they are still considered an incomplete education by many people, including corporate recruiters. While students certainly gain useful knowledge, there is a vigorous debate over the value of learning in front of a computer screen compared to the classroom. That explains why the blended approach is gaining momentum.

    Most online-M.B.A. students receive their degrees from for-profit schools, such as the University of Phoenix, that aren't accredited by AACSB International the major business-school accreditation organization. Without such accreditation, considered a hallmark of academic quality, schools don't qualify to participate in The Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive recruiter survey.

    However, a small but growing number of accredited schools in the Journal rankings, such as Duke University, Indiana University, Thunderbird, Pennsylvania State University, Arizona State University and the University of Florida, offer M.B.A. programs with a strong online component.

    the rest of the article:

    A good website: The Wall Street Journal Executive Career Site

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