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Classroom time for each course in the Professional MBA Program consists of four, four-hour sessions. Classes are held on Friday and/or Saturday one weekend each month. Since two courses are always running, each weekend on campus you will attend "Course A" from 8:00 - 12:00, and "Course B" from 1:00 - 5:00. New courses begin on Saturdays, so each course runs over a 12-week period. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are provided during all campus sessions.
Furthermore, the cohort program facilitates setting up study groups (learning teams) to enhance the student learning experience. These learning teams become an important component in the program for intellectual, networking, and professional development purposes. The cohort itself adds to the quality of the students' learning experience through enhanced identification and commitment to the program.
Faculty members prepare students for intensive on-campus sessions by providing texts, written notes, handouts, and class materials. By carefully considering the goals and objectives of a course and concentrating on its essential components, the productivity of time spent in face-to-face interaction is maximized.
With roughly 40% of the traditional "face-time" preserved by this format, the Internet segment of each course serves to augment, rather than replace, the personal interaction of conventional delivery. And, the Internet segment affords great flexibility on the part of both professor and student. During the Internet segment of each course, students are expected to participate in on-line discussions and other Internet communication several times per week. Since these interactions are asynchronous, students may participate in the class discussions or team collaboration as it fits their workday (including travel) schedule. They are responsible for keeping up with the class discussions on a daily basis. And, they are expected to participate substantially and regularly (3-5 times per week).
Typical student Internet class participation (reading, responding) is expected to average one hour per day for five days each week during the twelve-week Internet segment. This does not include assigned readings, problems, projects, etc. To facilitate student studying during weekends, assignments are typically due on Mondays; these assignments may be sent by email, faxed, by surface, etc. Professors post electronic discussion questions on Tuesdays with the requirement that any assignments will have been "handed in" (postmarked) prior to that date. The use of learning teams permits group assignments; also, individual assignments can easily be given.
With four on-campus sessions, group and/or individual presentations and examinations can be accommodated. Experience has shown that Internet student interaction possesses greater frequency, thoughtfulness, insight, and overall quality than occurs during traditional on-campus classroom discussion. Rather than separating the students and professor, the technology encourages a tutorial-like environment. The result is a very high quality learning experience for all concerned. The experience is likened to a "best of the best" presentation with high quality instructor input matched by high quality student response. The result is intellectually stimulating and challenging for everyone.
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