Benefits of blended learning in an MBA

A US Polytechnic Institute built a blended learning, cohort‐based MBA, focused on leadership and innovation. Knowledge transfer can no longer be the primary focus of faculty engagement in the teaching process. Students also need to develop deep insight into how and when to use the skills and ideas they are learning. A blended learning approach helps develop higher order human and leadership skills.

WPI LogoAt the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), we are building a new and improved blended learning, cohort‐based MBA, focused on leadership and innovation. Based on learnings from another institution where a 30% decline in applications to their part-time MBA program was seen, the faculty and administration were engaged in a very rapid, discontinuous innovation process in order to quickly and innovatively redesign the content and delivery of the program.

The MBA at WPI involves part web‐based learning and part classroom learning. Knowledge transfer has traditionally been the primary focus of faculty engagement in the teaching process, but we believe it is a necessary but insufficient condition for success. Our students also need to develop deep insight into how and when to use the skills and ideas they are learning; they need to develop higher order human and leadership skills, and they need to establish an extensive, life‐long network. Through our blended learning approach, we help them to achieve this.

When recruiting faculty, many of whom will be involved in teaching this course, we recognize the value of having a portfolio of both superior academically and professionally qualified members. The same goes for the recruitment of our students: we take a highly consultative, facilitative approach to ensure that the right students are taught by the right people, thereby creating the best leaders possible for the future.

Filed in: Accompanying leaders in their transformation, Open access between academia and practice
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