Finished my first lesson

Last week I wrote about my experience following the first week of studying for the distance learning MBA. One week later and I am pleased to say that I’ve completed the first lesson for each of the three modules that I am studying this semester (which is in line with the guidance provided by Warwick Business School, much to my relief).

This week I have focused on completing lesson one for the remaining two modules, ‘Economics of the Business Environment’ and ‘Organisational Behaviour’. As previously explained, this involves reading textbooks, reviewing online lessons, answering questions individually, and discussing questions with peers. In addition, we were also introduced to a fifth approach to learning this week, live seminars, using the same wbsLive platform as the introductory sessions. The lecturer presented a number of topics, some of which had been discussed in the textbooks/lessons, and others which were completely new. One difference to the introductory session was that the chat window was much quieter for most of the lecture, except at points where questions were asked for, or during some specific discussion points. This was helpful as it allowed me to focus on the main topic being presented, rather than trying to follow side conversations at the same time.

The discussion forums have become more active as the lessons progressed, probably due to an increasing number of students reviewing the lessons and becoming familiar with the forums. They have become more conversational, with responses acknowledging and following on from previous comments or answers, which has been more engaging than everyone just providing answers. The lecturers have also been more involved, either to clarify questions on topics, encourage us to look at scenarios from a different perspective, or widen the scope of the discussion. Another useful addition to the forum posts has been an increasing number of references to relevant articles from the news, both past and present, which has been really helpful in considering the topic from a practical viewpoint, rather than just an academic one.

The engagement of my study group has gained momentum since we had our first proper meeting just over a week ago, with lots more discussion in our smaller study group forums as we all approach the questions from each of the lessons. I have found this really valuable, as it allowed me to share a variety of thoughts about some of the lesson questions, and then discuss and debate these with a small audience where we can have a much more interactive discussion. I also think that some of the other group members have benefited from this forum, as we have related some of the questions posed to challenges and opportunities that they are currently facing in their own organisations.

Finally, at the end of each of the modules, there are a number of questions to be answered, to validate our understanding of the content and consider some of the concepts in a practical scenario. We can then review answers that both the lecturer and other students have shared, and share our own answers in our study groups. Initially I found this quite challenging as (probably like most other students on this course) it has been a long time since I have had to answer an essay question. However, after reading a few sample responses it became much clearer how to effectively answer the question and compose a response; the difficulty now is trying to find an appropriate point to stop the discussion around the question topic, as they all present scenarios that can be analysed in many different ways, with an increasing amount of detail.

So that’s the end of the first lesson for each of the three modules; I will now start lesson two which will probably go into more detail on specific concepts. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog so far – if there are any particular aspects of the course or study approach that you would like to know more about, please let me know in the comments area below and I will do my best to include these in a future blog post.

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4 thoughts on “Finished my first lesson”

  1. Hi Matt,

    How are the studies progressing? I am applying for the July intake and I’ve enjoyed your blog.

    How many hours per week are you spending on your studies? How many reading text books vs composing the essays vs reading the notes from WBS?

    What is your impression overall of the DL MBA from WBS?

    Lots of questions on my side…but thanks for taking the time to provide info on your experience so far.

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  2. Hi Glen, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading my blog.

    I’m currently spending 15-20 hours per week on my studies, although expect this will start to increase to around 20-25 hours moving forward. I would probably break this down into:
    40% Reading textbooks / making notes
    30% Reading the online course lectures and watching the embedded videos
    20% Completing exercises
    10% Reviewing ongoing discussions around each of the topics.

    The structure of the current modules means that I currently don’t allocate any time to essays; however, this will change later this month when the first TMA (Tutor Marked Assignment) is due, and probably take up around 50% of my time in May/June (when the final assessed essays are to be written).

    My overall impression of the WBS DL MBA is very positive – I think the course is structured well, and various teaching methods are used which helps keep you engaged in the course. Hopefully some of my other posts will give you some more detail on this, but please feel free to ask any further questions.

    Matt

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    1. Matt – I am waiting for one more reference to complete their form – they should be complete by tomorrow and then everything is 100% complete. I already have an offer letter from Manchester MBA but if I get into Warwick it’s done deal!

      How math heavy have you found the modules to be? That is my only concern as I have forgotten all the math from 20+ years ago…

      By the way you have THE BEST blog around on this matter. It is excellent and captures a great deal of the stuff/info I want to know. Warwick should give you a scholarship for it.

      PS – if you are ever in Chicago give me a shout. I do a ton of business with Cisco and we are a show case site for you guys. I will ping you my contact info from twitter.

      Like

      1. Hi Glen, that’s great news – I can definitely recommend the Warwick DL MBA.

        I wouldn’t worry too much about the math content of the course – there is an element of math in some of the topics (eg. accounting and economics), but it is mainly at the conceptual level (eg. you need to understand what the numbers mean and where they came from, but don’t necessarily need to be able to run all the calculations yourself).

        Thank you very much for your feedback about my blog – I’m hoping to keep it going for the duration of the course, so welcome any suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear about.

        And finally, its great to hear that you do lots of business with Cisco, I’ll definitely get in touch if I’m in the area, and if you decide to sign up to Warwick then I’m sure we can meet in person at one of the in-person events.

        Like

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