There’s a saying in Silicon Valley: “Don’t put lipstick on a bulldog.” By this, they mean don’t assume that a product that works in one context will be successful in another. In our world, this means you can’t take an offline experience and try to replicate it in the digital world.
This thought was front of mind when we designed Vlerick Business School’s Online MBA. Our existing Executive MBA programme is hugely successful – and has provided a springboard into senior leadership roles and entrepreneurial ventures for professionals around the globe. But it wasn’t designed to be delivered online.
So when we decided to create an Online MBA, we didn’t think of it as translating an existing experience. We took it as an opportunity to create something truly unique and digitally native.
Designing The Very Best Online Journey
To give our participants a highly relevant, actionable and impactful experience, we follow a robust digital learning strategy that focuses on five essential elements…
I. It’s Learner-Centric
Participants and their organisations are at the heart of the Online MBA journey – and learning is personalised to their needs.
One example of this is FAST – our award-winning Finance & Accounting Simulation Tool. It’s designed to help participants get to grips with key financial statements before they start their courses.
For Executive MBA participants, FAST is a face-to-face board game. But for the Online MBA, we designed a brand new, 3D virtual game. The learning objectives are the same – to help you understand profit and loss, cash flow statements and balance sheets. But the approach is completely different.
FAST is personalised to participants and their proficiency levels. We start by testing finance knowledge. The objective is not to provide a grade, but to personalise the game at the right level for the participant. Then, rather than teaching theory, the game gives participants the opportunity to experience the subject matter. They can practise via an online simulation and cases, watch our faculty explain key concepts, and experiment and learn, all while getting immediate feedback. And unlike face-to-face classes, they can go back again and again to make sure they’re fully up to speed.
II. It’s Digital First
You could even say – digital only. The programme is 100% online, using the latest technology and approaches. Which means it can be accessed anywhere and at any time, and makes it a safe place to learn.
Our virtual learning space is immersive and interactive – with videos, online cases, explainers from faculty and downloadable resources. We stimulate social learning among participants, and our live online sessions offer the opportunity to further engage with peers and coaches, and with faculty and tutors.
We also invite high-level experts from across the globe to share their insights. This is a real benefit of the online format – because it opens up the pool of expertise we’re able to pull in.
III. It’s Market Driven
We developed the program to address the need of a growing segment of professionals that seek flexible and personalized learning journeys, and designed a brand-new experience, which is unlike the on-premise experience of our other MBA programs.
IV. It’s Part Of An Ecosystem
To stay at the cutting edge, we work with top partners from around the world. We’re a member of the Future of Management Education Alliance (FOME) – a global network of business schools who are shaping online education. Through FOME, we partner with platform and digital service provider insendi and global EdTech leaders, SuperCharger Ventures.
These partnerships enrich our offer and make sure we continue to provide the ultimate in digital learning.
V. It’s Future Oriented
And of course, we’re constantly looking for opportunities to enhance our online learning journey with the latest technology.
Vlerick’s Online MBA is designed to give professionals the actionable skills and approaches they need to succeed in the future.
And our participants value this. We ask them to evaluate each learning experience on a scale that ranges from one to five – depending on how confident they are that they can put what they’ve learned into action. On average, our Online MBA courses score 4.42, which is close to excellence.
When learners join the Online MBA at Vlerick, they begin an online journey that changes the way they think about digital – and that prepares them for an increasingly digital world.
Discover More: If you’d like to learn more about Vlerick’s Online MBA and our approach to digital learning, take a look at the website, or get in touch for more information. We can’t wait to welcome you.
About The Author: Steve Muylle teaches digital strategy and business marketing at Vlerick Business School. He is also Associate Dean of Digital Learning.
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