How to Prepare for Your First Online MBA Class

Online learning can be a difficult concept to grasp; especially when students find themselves so adjusted to what they experienced in a classroom. Online learning doesn’t have the benefit of teachers reminding students of due dates and hassling them for homework! Instead, online study is completely self-guided and students must be prepared to accept responsibility for their own academic futures. This can be a bleak prospect for some students. However, for those who are able to rise to a challenge, then online study can be a very rewarding experience. What should students keep in mind before the first school day rolls around?

Tip #1: Remember Online MBA Classes Aren’t Usually Guided

Many students enter online education in general expecting the classes to be guided by a professor. While there is some scope for professor and student interaction, it is not to say that the entire program will feature a professor conducting live web seminars or lectures by proxy.

Many online classes instead make use of “blackboard” technology where professors will post assignments and required reading for students to read and undertake. When assignments are due, then students will use “blackboard drop boxes” where they may upload files to their professors in an intuitive HTML script that is similar to attaching files on many popular e-mail services. This means that students must be prepared to prioritize what’s important in their academic calendars. Teachers may post system wide “announcements” that alert students as to upcoming deadlines, but students should not assume that these are provided for their convenience!

Tip #2: Familiarize Yourself with Online MBA Blackboard

Blackboard is more than just a website that students access for their course material. It is a fully immersible environment where students can interact and explore the content with one another. There are many classes that make wide use of discussion based learning, which is accomplished by use of the blackboard’s “discussion forums”.

When using the discussion forums, students have the option of posting a new thread or replying to an existing post. In the case of posting a new thread, this is done by clicking the “add thread” icon that is represented by a large plus symbol. This will load a new window where students may enter the subject and body of their discussion post. When replying, then students may click on the small “reply” button below specific posts in order to add comments relating to a specific author or point within the conversation.

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