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Carroll Connection

Carroll School Takes a Leap into Online Learning

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Taking a major step into the arena of online learning, the Carroll School of Management’s graduate programs will offer eight online classes in the fall, on topics ranging from real estate and analytics to financial management and derivatives.

The move comes in response to growing requests by students for “added convenience and flexibility” with their course schedules, said an April 3 letter to M.B.A. students from John and Linda Powers Family Dean Andy Boynton and Marilyn Eckelman, associate dean for graduate programs and career development. The deans added that the courses will be “interactive and engaging—offering the same academic experience you’re used to getting on campus.”

Piloting the initiative, the Carroll School offered three online classes during each semester of the past academic year and “received overwhelmingly positive feedback from students on the quality of the courses and the learning outcomes,” the letter said. The courses are considered “asynchronous” in that students can log on, view the lessons, and complete required modules at their convenience on a weekly basis.

“An online class, when done right, can provide students with as good a learning experience as an on-campus course,” said Assistant Professor of the Practice Leonard Evenchik (Information Systems), who is coordinating the Carroll School’s online offerings, and who previously served as assistant dean for distance education at Harvard University’s Division of Continuing Education. “It complements the on-campus courses.”

Evenchik noted that in addition to the slate of eight courses, faculty members have also been experimenting on their own with versions of online education. He pointed to Digital Commerce, offered this past spring and taught by Professor Mary J. Cronin (Information Systems). The class followed a so-called “hybrid” format that combines in-class meetings with online learning. In Cronin’s experiment, the asynchronous thrust was further blended with synchronous sessions that involved all of the students at the same time.

The eight courses coming in the fall include three offered as part of the pilot: Accounting, a core course taught by Edward Taylor; Financial Management, another core course, taught by Andrew Hession-Kunz; and Investments, an elective with Robert James. The other five classes will include another core offering, Information Technology and Management (Evenchik), along with four electives. Those will be Analytics and Business Intelligence (Marios Kokkodis), Managing for Business and Society (Katherine Smith), Real Estate Finance (Edward Chazen), and Derivatives and Risk Management (Dec Mullarkey).