In the traditional “brick and mortar” classroom environment, I typically do the show! I walk around the classroom trying to always catch and maintain my students’ attention. I share anecdotes or funny stories, draw on the board, ask students to talk, etc… In a dematerialized online environment, I have to find new ways to stimulate and make sure that my students (typically executives who face demanding schedules) get the best from my course. This is why the weekly one-hour live chat session is central to my teaching strategy. As usual, I prepare the class agenda and material in advance. However, I manage my class session differently: I invite students to participate more frequently as a means to make sure that the course material is understood.
In addition, because the time of executive students is highly valuable, participants want me to somehow clearly indicate the fundamentals, the material they should focus on, how to best prepare assignments, etc… Lastly, because we cannot have face-to-face communication we need to exchange extensively via other channels, especially via e-mails. Additionally, students are highly motivated and display maturity in discussions. This stimulates critical thinking and students learn a lot from each other.
Overall, teaching the IUM’s Executive MBA through the online platform requires a strategy which differs from traditional face-to-face teaching. However, the experience is rewarding for students and instructor alike because of the depth of discussion and the flexibility that gives this online course (for instance because students are not present at once in the same classroom, they have the time think about a question and produce a carefully-thought answer).
Reported by IUM Prof. Moise Louisy-Louis, teaching Financial Accounting and Corporate Finance in the IUM EMBA Online program