The secrets of online management learning
07 April 2017 -
Find out how Hult International Business School is delivering high quality masters in management online
Guest blogger Ilze Zandvoort
Online degrees are an increasingly popular choice for those looking to develop their skillset while juggling the demands of a busy life. The Masters in Management programme, offered by Ashridge Executive Education at Hult International Business School, has supported hundreds of managers preparing for the next stage of leadership.
The secret to successful online learning lies in the ability of the Masters in Management to provide students with management topics that relate directly to their role of leading people, processes and performance, regardless of the industry they find themselves in.
This relevant curriculum is made real through the Masters in Management assessment strategy in which students critically apply theories and frameworks to their own professional and organisational contexts, in a series of work-based assignments.
The final deliverable of the Masters in Management is an applied, work-related, supervised project of 10,000 words, giving students the opportunity to address a strategic challenge within their organisation through the application of theory, in order to bring about real benefits to the organisation and their professional growth.
A practical and prestigious qualification
Many students enrolling on the Masters in Management report their return to academia as daunting, and worry about mastering the academic rigour that is associated with a triple-accredited Masters degree.
For such students, the fact that the Masters in Management offers three qualification milestones along the way—in the form of a Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma, and Masters, each lasting nine months—gives them the confidence to dip their toes into the waters of online learning.
The Certificate stage encourages and supports managers who have been away from formal academic learning for a while to reflect on their motivations and expectations of the course. What do I expect to gain from it? How do I learn best? How can I optimise my learning environment/approach? What support will I need as I go through this course? How should I plan my timetable and what might I reasonably expect to achieve?
As a key start-up component to the Masters in Management, students receive online support material to familiarise themselves with the structure and format of the academic assignment, to reacquaint themselves with academic referencing, the concept of critical reflection and integrating theoretical models into assignment writing, and to become confident in writing good quality assignments.
Self-directed study courses often need to provide a significant amount of ‘scaffolding’ at the beginning when people may be unsure of themselves; providing such material helps students to get a flying start to their studies.
Leverage your online network of academics and classmates
The benefit of flexibility associated with an online degree is well-understood. Students who enrol on the Masters in Management do so because they can conduct their studies anytime, anywhere in the world. This makes it possible to combine and balance study requirements, work commitments, and personal lives by engaging with a self-managed, individually tailored route through an approved programme framework.
However, it need not be a lonely journey.
The online Masters in Management learning environment offers ample opportunity for interaction with faculty and peers through facilitated online tutorials and discussions, and students are encouraged to create and sustain their own learning support groups in order to make the most of the extended network they have access to.
Although virtual studies have become significantly easier with the advances in technology and our greater understanding of how adults learn online, the Masters in Management requires students to be disciplined and methodical in their approach, as well as timely in their submissions.
We believe that these are useful skills for today’s managers and leaders to acquire. The Masters in Management programme aims to develop within individuals the capabilities required to achieve personal and organisational success. The programme balances the need to develop both “hard” business capabilities and “soft” leadership skills by providing a thorough grounding in all the disciplines required to manage and lead a business.
The programme gives individuals a personal, professional and postgraduate development experience that broadens their knowledge and skills and equips them to operate at management level within an organisation and across business functions.
This innovative virtual programme aims to bring the Hult experience to students, wherever they are.
A focus on practice and impact provides the backbone to the programme. It means students will combine the study of traditional business school subjects with an in-depth focus on the issues faced by their organisations. The programme is designed to provide students with a holistic view of management which will help them to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills to tackle today’s challenging business issues.
For more information, click here, or email Program Director Ilze Zandvoort: Ilze.Zandvoort@ashridge.hult.edu
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