Clemson University has long offered an on-campus MBA program, but starting this fall, the South Carolina-based school is placing its bets on something a bit different: an ambitious new version of the program that will allow students to access the same curriculum virtually through online learning. And while taking classes online is certainly no new feat, Clemson is hoping its new online MBA program will stand out.
Lectures will be available to live stream and to watch in a pre-recorded format, features that give students much more flexibility in this day and age. However, the program isn’t just the same old one made available through a different format. “It utilizes many digital components and instructional design learning supplements that give remote students a complete Clemson MBA experience,” explains Dr. Greg Pickett, the school’s director of MBA programs. Among those features: the ability for students to submit questions to their professors and participate in classroom discussions in real time, send follow up questions, and much more.
To make the program better suited for the online format, Pickett explains that Clemson oversaw a two-year effort to create it, integrating technology and then strenuously testing and making adjustments to course content in order to get everything just right.
Making an appeal to busy students
Clemson hopes the program will appeal to students who are looking for a more flexible format, and particularly ones who need a part-time option.
To back up the desire for such a platform, the school cites a Learning House survey showing 67 percent of students saying they use mobile devices to complete coursework. Because courses can be streamed in real time or accessed later on, students are better able to fit them into their busy schedules.
“Learning digitally is a natural choice for many students and it is especially true for working professionals,” Pickett noted when the program was first announced last year. “More and more students are seeking to consume their education conveniently and in a manner with which they are familiar. MBA Online gives them a choice to show up electronically to ask questions when the class is scheduled or to learn class content at 2 a.m. from a location they choose.”