Distance learning is
an important component of the Executive Formats
to the Darden MBA, comprising roughly a
1/3 of the classroom experience for both our
EMBA and GEMBA formats. But we get questions
all the time from prospective students about
just what distance learning is like. Exactly how does it work? What’s it like as a student? How do professors prepare
and teach these classes? In this video, we’d like to
explore a little bit more of the Executive Format
student experience with distance learning
here at Darden. Professors teach
distance classes from the Darden Media Studios. Using state-of-the-art
technology, they can interact with
students, call on students, and students can even interact
with their classmates, having sidebar conversations
just as they would in a normal classroom discussion In terms of the model,
how does this idea– In our distance
classes, we often try to push a lot of
the more detailed, technology-related stuff–
the tools that we’re using. We often push those to
the distance classes because that format
makes it easier to present them and preserve
our face-to-face classroom time for the bigger
business issues that we’re dealing
with in our cases. At the same time,
however, we still strive to get that highly
interactive environment in distance learning, and
there are some advantages in distance learning. For example, the
chat box, where we’re able to monitor what
you’re saying, even when you’re not the person
that’s actually carrying the conversation in class. As a professor, I can
monitor the chat box, I can call on people that raise
interesting points, and can help guide the discussion. So in some ways, distance
learning actually facilitates the interaction. Distance learning
is great because I have a way of staying connected
with all of my classmates when we’re not
together in residency. It also gives me the
flexibility of doing it at home or in the office. It complemented the program. It was an extension of
the Darden classroom. Beyond keeping connected
with my classmates when we weren’t together,
the flexibility is amazing. You can continue your life. And it was really supportive
for me– having a family, having a full-time
job, and being able to complete all of
that and get a lot out of an amazing program. It’s awesome when you can chat
with your classmates, answer questions. You see them on the screen,
you see your professors on the screen,
and it’s, overall, a really fun environment.