Optimising an online MBA - A 30-year-old man in a business suit lounging on a beach chair, engrossed in a virtual MBA lecture on his tablet, accompanied by a woman in business attire, also engaged with her digital device.

Six things to optimise the online MBA Experience

This post reflects on how to optimise the online MBA Experience from the academic and practical perspective, the next one focuses on business example of Microsoft under CEO Satya Nadella.

University education been significantly influenced by the advent of online learning platforms, a transformation further accelerated by the global pandemic. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is not an exception to this, with many institutions offering online MBA courses that are designed to provide a flexible yet rigorous business education. While the convenience of online learning is undeniable, the onus of educational success largely falls on the shoulders of the learner. Here, we offer you what an online MBA student can do to excel in their course by discussing foundational principles, evidence-based strategies, and real-world applications.


Online MBA – Engagement and Interaction

A student immersed in an 'Online MBA' lesson on a laptop, surrounded by resources like books, research papers, and digital tablets, emphasizing the intense and comprehensive nature of online studies. Academic Perspective

The pedagogical principle of active learning stands at the forefront of educational effectiveness. Research has demonstrated that the more students engage with the material and interact with their instructors and peers, the better they understand and retain the information (Bonwell & Eison, 1991).

Practical Application

For an online MBA student, active participation in forum discussions, virtual group projects, and live Q&A sessions can create an interactive learning environment. Additionally, students should not hesitate to reach out to faculty for clarification and guidance, an interaction analogous to office hours in a traditional setting.


Online MBA – Time Management

Academic Perspective

The theory of “Time-on-Task” posits that the time students spend actively engaged in learning is directly correlated with their academic achievement (Chickering & Gamson, 1987).

Practical Application

Given the flexible nature of online courses, students are at risk of procrastination. Utilizing time-management tools like Gantt charts or the Pomodoro Technique can be beneficial. Also, setting aside specific times for studying can emulate a classroom structure.


Online MBA – Adaptability and Openness to Feedback

A woman seated at a desk, interacting with a computer displaying an 'Online MBA' program. The scene encapsulates the multitasking nature of online learning, as she manages various academic tasks.Academic Perspective

The concept of the “Growth Mindset,” proposed by Carol S. Dweck, elucidates the importance of adaptability and openness to feedback in educational settings (Dweck, 2006).


Practical Application

Online MBA students should actively seek and graciously accept constructive criticism. The ability to pivot strategies and approaches based on feedback is crucial for continuous improvement.


Online MBA – Technological Proficiency

Academic Perspective

The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) suggests that perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness significantly affect users’ decisions to accept and use technology (Davis, 1989).


Practical Application

Students should familiarize themselves with all the online platforms and tools that will be used throughout the course, from video conferencing software to specialized business analytics tools.


Online MBA – Networking

A central figure amidst a vast digital network, emphasizing the essence of online networking, with connections radiating from her.Academic Perspective

Social capital theory highlights the value of networks in personal and professional development (Bourdieu, 1986).

Practical Application

Even in an online setting, networking remains crucial. Students should engage with peers and professionals through social media platforms like LinkedIn and participate in virtual industry events.


Online MBA – Lifelong Learning

Academic Perspective

The adult learning theory of Andragogy emphasizes the importance of self-directed learning and intrinsic motivation in adult learners (Knowles, 1984).

Practical Application

Beyond the MBA course, the practice of continual learning by attending webinars, reading peer-reviewed articles, and following industry trends can add considerable value to one’s professional life.


Online MBA – Key Takeaways

  • Engagement: Proactively participate in all interactive elements of the course.
  • Time Management: Adopt rigorous scheduling and time-management techniques.
  • Adaptability: Be receptive to feedback and willing to adapt.
  • Tech-Savvy: Acquaint yourself with all required technology beforehand.
  • Networking: Utilize online platforms to build a professional network.
  • Lifelong Learning: Remain committed to self-directed, continuous learning.