|Case Studies and Real-World Scenarios|
|Exams and Quizzes|
|Formal Research Papers|
|Virtual Presentations and Collaborations|
If you’ve just enrolled in an Online MBA program, but you haven’t had much experience with the distance learning format, you might be wondering if the assignments are any different from those of the on-campus program. While many assignments for distance learning programs are designed to fit the online format, of course, experts say these assignments can be just as (or even more) rigorous than those that take place on-campus. Students in online programs can expect to complete assignments that require them to respond in-depth to video lectures, participate in discussion boards, and work with groups on a range of business projects.
In addition to responding to video lectures, discussion boards, and group projects, U.S. News & World Report lists the following types of assignments in online programs:
- Case Studies and Real-World Scenarios
- Exams and Quizzes
- Formal Research Papers
- Virtual Presentations and Collaborations
Students can reflect on experiential learning, internships, study abroad, personal experiences, and more. Students often update their blog throughout any given course, and in some cases, peers can respond. This is a great way to build relationships with other students in the program, even if you never meet face-to-face.
Case Studies and Real-World Scenarios
Students analyze presented issues and develop solutions. Sample case studies from Organizational Behavior and Economics and Finance courses at St. Bonaventure University Online include The Economic State of Samoa, Liberia’s Challenges to Economic Development, Will Sears Survive?, and A Video Recap of Liberia’s Challenged to Economic Development.
Supplement weekly coursework, and are a major part of most online classes. The professor poses a question and students respond to the instructor and each other. Responses must be thought provoking and help to expand the conversation.
Exams and Quizzes
Exams and quizzes are just as important in online programs as they are in on-campus programs. The difference is students taking an online exam may be monitored by a proctor via webcam (“companies such as ProctorU make this possible”) or by a computer. According to U.S. News, “automated services including ProctorTrack can keep track of what’s happening on an online student’s screen in case there are behaviors that may indicate cheating.”
Formal Research Papers
The types of research and writing required to complete a formal research paper is important at the graduate level, and especially in MBA programs. While you won’t find many differences between FRPs in online and on-campus courses, online students should ensure that the program offers “remote access” to the “university’s library and its resources, which may include live chats with staff.”
Students around the world can work on projects virtually as a group by utilizing Google Docs, Skype, Zoom for videoconferencing, chat features in the online classroom, and any number of video chat apps. Group projects, which simulate real-life business situations or business plan development, require students to work as a team, with specific roles and responsibilities assigned to each member. Students must contribute equally to the project.
Journal assignments allow Online MBA students to communicate with their professors directly. Though topics are typically assigned, “journals often enable students to express ideas,” opinions, questions, and concerns about course material.
In a recent U.S. News blog post, Associate Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness at SUNY Buffalo State, Bradley Fuster, explained that with video lectures, the professor provides a recorded lecture, article, or book chapter and requires students to answer questions. “Students generally complete the assignment at their own pace,” as long as “they meet the ultimate deadline.”
Virtual Presentations and Collaborations
Students give live or recorded presentations to the professor and cohort. Students can present business plans, solutions to business problems, and interact with one another on projects and assignments. According to U.S. News, experts say, “virtual collaboration is a skill that's critical for conducting business in the 21st century.”
Wiki, a shortened form of the Hawaiian word for “quick,” is a website that can be edited by anyone with a computer, web browser, and an internet connection. Wikis use a quick and easy syntax to allow users to apply formatting to text and create links between pages. In online programs, students use wikis to answer research questions, edit shared documents, write task lists, and launch discussions. Wikis are particularly useful for group projects.
While these are not the only types of assignments students may encounter in an Online MBA program, they are among the most common. For more information about the types of assignments in any given Online MBA program, review the programs overview, curriculum, and catalog.
Considering an Online MBA? Use our interactive map to find information on schools and colleges offering Online MBA programs in your state and across the U.S.
Friedman, Jordan. “10 Types of Assignments in Online Degree Programs.” U.S. News & World Report Education, U.S. News & World Report L.P., 31 Aug. 2017. Web. 23 Aug. 2018.
Friedman, Jordan. “What to Expect in a Top Online MBA Program.” U.S. News & World Report Education, U.S. News & World Report L.P., 27 Jun. 2016. Web. 23 Aug. 2018.
Online MBA Assignment Showcase. School of Business - St. Bonaventure University Online. St. Bonaventure University, 2018. Web. 23 Aug. 2018.
What is a Wiki? WikiEducator.org, 2018.