A Look Inside An Online MBA Classroom

It was two years ago when 18 people signed up to became the first students to start a new two-year online MBA program at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. Called MBA@UNC, it was the first time Kenan-Flager had offered an MBA degree online, joining pioneer Indiana University’s Kelley Direct program as the two most prominent business schools in the U.S. to take the degree to the Internet.

To launch online, Kenan-Flagler partnered with an online educational startup called 2U Inc., which had raised nearly $70 million in venture funding. 2U said it was investing more than $10 million into the online MBA effort alone. It also has online degree programs in nursing at Georgetown University as well as social work and education at the University of Southern California. Kenan-Flagler has had 20 of its full-time professors, many of them considered the school’s best faculty, deeply involved in the online initiative, developing and recording special lectures and teaching live classes via the Internet.

Now for the first time, 2U is sharing some snippets of video that give a better glimpse of what it’s like to be an online MBA student. The clips range from an elementary lecture on financing (see above), filmed in a bank with a Kenan-Flagler professor offering advice to a consumer who is considering refinancing her mortgage, to Professor Bill Putsis’ lecture on segmentation in his course on marketing strategy (see below). The clips vary from highly produced videos, such as the clip of the consumer in a bank, to profs who sit at their desks with a simple video camera aimed at them.

All of the clips reflect the part of the MBA@UNC program that is “asynchronous,” lecures and cases that have been videotaped and archived on the Internet. This self-paced content takes up about two and one-half hours of work per week. Students also typically take a pair of live, or synchronous, classes a week that each run an hour-and-one-half.

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