Executive MBA: Transitioning to online study
09 June 2020
Executive MBA participant, Kennedy Ameh, discusses how he has embraced online learning.
The transition to online teaching
Initially I was sceptical about online learning as I have enjoyed the face-to-face contact with my cohort and faculty on campus. I was apprehensive of the prospects of online learning and a potential change in dynamics. I couldn’t have been farther from the truth, the programme team and lecturing staff have really made the transition seamless. I have taken one module so far and all I have to say is complimentary of the engagement and interaction with the online tools. The thoughtful breaks in-between sessions, to give us breaks from the screen, and the syndicate group sessions have gone really well. Recording the lectures has also come in handy to refresh and reflect on the content at a later stage.
Working in online groups
Initially, working in groups for the first time remotely was challenging as it is easier to read body language and communicate face-to-face. What I have found helpful is listening more and encouraging everyone in the group to contribute.
The beauty about the remote programme is the diversity of the cohort. Varying location and time zones have to be accounted for when scheduling meetings. Working across different time zones has been fine for us in our group. The key here is being flexible to adapt to a suitable time for overseas members of the group. This diversity of views actively stimulates the learning process, and I relish learning from a different view point to mine.
In my syndicate group, we have used WhatsApp for instant communication on research and our findings, as well as for reminders about meeting times. My.wbs and SharePoint have been sufficient for file sharing. During our team meetings, wbsLive came in handy for live interactions at the set time of meetings.
Advice for MBA candidates starting online study
A good tip I found useful was to find a dedicated location to take the course online, a comfortable space around the house or a location free from distraction. It helps with the mindset to have notes, a writing pad or the same material you would use in a face-to-face contact session.
Another tip is to engage in the lecture and immerse yourself in the subject; it is easy for the mind to wander in a remote setting. However, I encourage you to engage with the lecturer and cohort on the subject and do not be afraid to ask questions if you are not sure.
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