Self-paced vs. Structured Online MBA Programs

Most online MBA courses are governed by structured study programs. This is the most common method of material delivery and students usually expect this means of studying in an online program. However, there is also a strong segmentation of students who are unable to commit to a fully structured program. The idea of deadlines and rigid dates can be either overwhelming or unrealistic in terms of their current circumstances, which has prompted the need for self-paced study, but is self-paced study a more realistic option for modern online students?

How is Self-paced Study Different to Structured Online MBA Programs?

Self-paced study breaks away from typical mundane routines that are imposed on students and allows them to study at their own speed. This means that there are no rigid deadlines for assignments or exams. In many self-paced courses, professors upload task requirements and simply expect students to return completed tasks as they finish. This is the direct opposite of what professors expect out of students in a structured program, which requires students to complete tasks within a specific time frame or incur penalty points due to late submissions.

Assignments in self-paced study typically serve as prerequisite for exam entry. This means that students must complete all assignments given to them by professors in order to be considered suitable candidates for final exams. This in itself can pose a great advantage in that students will be unable to fall behind on the course material due to an idle approach to learning. However, the requirement of completing all tasks before being considered for final exams can make learning strenuous and overbearing. It is therefore important for students to determine if a self-paced program is appropriate for their personal learning styles.

Is Self-paced Study Better for my Online MBA Program?

Self-paced study can be seen as more appropriate for students who are unable to make a full time commitment to their learning. Personal or professional circumstances may prevent frequent contact with professors and other classmates, so a self-paced online MBA could be a great way to reach a higher academic level without the added strain of meeting constant deadlines.

On the other hand, a self-paced online MBA program may not be appropriate for some students. Students who are rushing towards completion may be better suited for an accelerated MBA program as acceleration may not be an outwardly available option in a self-paced program. It is important for students to check all of the available study options in order to determine what is right for them and their circumstances.

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