During your undergraduate studies, you likely took many, most, or all of your classes
in a physical classroom located in a brick-and-mortar building, with your instructor
and classmates physically present with you during each class session. If that’s the
case, the iMBA degree learning experience might seem very foreign to you. Or perhaps
you already have taken several courses through which the curriculum was delivered
in a fully online or “blended”/hybrid (some classroom, some online) format. In either
case, the iMBA program isn’t like any other online degree you’ve seen before, and
could be exactly the kind of learning experience you desire for your graduate business
The iMBA option courses are very distinct from other online courses. They use advanced
technologies comparable to virtual world and gaming applications. You become a new
employee in a virtual reality company designed around an actual manufacturing company.
“Is the iMBA and the online degree experience right for me?”
When choosing whether to pursue an accredited online MBA or an MBA in a more-traditional
campus format, you should consider that the differences aren’t just about how the
information is being delivered to you. It’s also very much about you, and your personal
education preferences. People have different reasons for and different ways of acquiring
knowledge and skills. The LFGSM iMBA program option’s virtual learning format is purposefully
empowering and engaging. This is a great choice for those who have a personal motivation
to learn and do well when they have more control. Prospective MBA students who have
a preference or need for other-controlled processes or whose primary motivation comes
from societal or family norms may be more comfortable in traditional learning modalities.
What you want to know about the iMBA degree experience:
- Learning is mostly self-paced in the iMBA option: You can participate in “class” at
2:00 a.m. and take breaks as you please. You can complete several modules in a short
period of time, or you can “cram” a lot of your MBA coursework into a shorter period
of time. Your log-ins are also monitored by your instructor to ensure you are keeping
pace and are active in the online discussion communities to ensure you are benefiting
from interactions with your faculty and classmates.
- Immersive online MBA learning changes the roles of teachers and students. Traditionally,
students expect the teacher to state precisely and unequivocally what is to be learned
and precisely when/how that learning will be evaluated. In contrast, the iMBA degree
option calls for students themselves to make considered judgments about what is and
is not important. Immersive learning calls for the teacher to become a coach for students
on the job, in the corporate and market context. The teacher leads students to new
levels of thinking and application. Most of you will find it empowering and a refreshing
change from how you’ve learned in the past.
- Immersive learning is remembered learning. Most retained learning is acquired through
personal or vicarious experience. Retained (sticky) learning comes more from hearing,
seeing, feeling and doing than it does from preaching, lectures or structured chapter
summaries. The virtual reality immerses the student in a real-virtual company with
real people facing real competition in a real market.
- In the iMBA program option,you won’t just get new learning – you’ll get new skills.
Business is one of those fields where knowing about something is necessary but far
from sufficient. In the traditional educational context, a student might master everything
there is to know about the history, rules, records and other facts about American
baseball and yet never acquire the skills and insight necessary to play the game.
The Lake Forest iMBA option requires the student to master the subject both as a scholar
and a player. You’ll walk away not just with an MBA credential, but with the “been
there, done that” experience that many people don’t get until far later in their careers.
- Managing the workload requires good self-discipline. In general, each Module will
require 6-8 hours (plus reading and assignments outside class) to complete successfully.
As an example, if the course is 8 weeks long, you’ll need to allocate 10-12 hours
per week to stay on pace. As part of a corporate executive development program, you
may receive assignments at any time. Assignments in the virtual world may be delivered
face-to-face, by e-mail, voice mail, or text message. You will rarely be told when
to work on assignments. You must make considered judgments concerning what is important
and how much time and effort to invest.
- Assessment in the iMBA degree option goes way beyond scheduled “tests” and scheduled
evaluations. In the iMBA option, the learning takes place on the job and so does the
assessment. You may unexpectedly run into a supervisor at the water cooler or at a
restaurant and be asked, “What did you think of that article I sent you the other
day?” As a student, you’ll need to be ready to respond. Just as in a real corporate
situation, the opportunities to share your insights and demonstrate your strengths
can come at surprising times. In the iMBA curriculum, there will never be that obnoxious
classmate who always “shows off” at the right times by knowing when and how to cram
for an exam, while slacking off the rest of the time. Refreshing, isn’t it?
Are you ready to learn in a virtual world? Get started by completing the inquiry form.