The Student Experience: What to Expect from an Online MBA

Ellen McMahon, EdD

Monday, March 31, 2014

The way we presently use technology and its proliferation into every aspect of our lives seamlessly has changed the face of education.  Obstacles such as transportation, geographic accessibility of educational facilities and even resources for coursework have been eliminated thanks to the ability to deliver distance education programs.

Taking an online course is something that graduated into the educational system, but completing entire degrees or certificates through distance education was a little slower to be adopted.  Thankfully the misconceptions about online learning have made way to a true environment of ‘education without borders’ where we are able to provide our qualitative recognized MBA program to students around the Globe.

If you are considering enrolling in an online MBA program you may have some questions regarding your student experience as a member of a program that is delivered entirely online.  Will you still have the same advantages and quality experience as students who are completing their MBA program with us onsite?  Will you build relationships with fellow students and faculty? Are you concerned about the logistics of group projects and coursework?   Let’s discuss what it is really like for a student of our Leadership MBA (LMBA) program.

MBA Program Length

Students of the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management MBA program can opt to fast track their studies and move through the program within twenty (20) to twenty-four (24) months. Students who are not as concerned about the time to finish their degree can engage in a tailored program up to four years in length.

How much time you have to devote to your Leadership MBA will determine the appropriate length and flexible course load for your needs.  It is that flexibility which makes our Leadership MBA program popular with returning business professionals.

Coursework and Assignments

Whether you are in an online or face to face course much of what was previously called “lecture” material is now presented in a digital format accessible to students prior to the face to face session and early in the week for the online student. Students review material at their convenience and begin the week prepared and ready to engage in the interactive discussions that give them the opportunity to apply what they are learning. Short videos created by LFGSM faculty, industry materials, and cases and articles from publishers like Harvard Business Review are part of this preparation for the week.

Even though online courses require the same level of work and commitment, and time management is key to success, online courses work well for a busy professional.   Life happens, and you can create your own weekly schedule to keep current.   This works particularly well for parenting professionals.

You can expect significant interaction, and you will be required to engage in web conferencing for group projects or discussions.   Meetings are scheduled to accommodate live real-time learning with your Faculty and fellow students.

Using web conferencing software, instant messages and emails, students can engage in shared learning and productive group work which also hones teleconferencing and distance leadership skills.   A great way to develop key management skills using business technology.

Course Materials and Textbooks

Depending on your course, you may be required to utilize traditional textbooks and/or supplemental digital materials which can be purchased and downloaded.  The resources are easy to access for Leadership LMBA and our iMBA students.

Lake Forest Graduate School of Management has made the achievement of your online MBA program convenient and accessible for students across the country and around the Globe.  Learn more about our LMBA (Leadership MBA) and our innovative avatar based iMBA programs.


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