Columbia MBA Core Curriculum Changes & How Flip teaching is getting Popular in MBA Programs

The success of self-paced online courses offered by Coursera proves that learning courses, thousands of miles away from the provider is possible if the technology creates an environment for learning, motivating and keeping the participants updated about the course schedule.

Although Online MBA Courses are yet to be recognized by Recruiters as equivalent to a Full-time or a Part-time MBA program, several Business Schools have started pilot programs to integrate online learning with Classroom discussions through Flip Teaching.

What is Flip Teaching?

Case Based methods have differentiated Harvard Business School from other top Business Schools but it has its disadvantages. To compensate that, experiential learning was introduced that require students to develop Emotional Quotient, make decisions with incomplete data, and implement solutions by taking the responsibility of the outcome. However, the number of experiential learning activities that an MBA program can fulfill is limited.

Business Schools found a middle-ground with Flip teaching where students are asked to complete the video lectures, tasks and recommended reading  at home and the classroom time is devoted to discussions about the concepts. This is different from Case based method where MBA students are asked to read about the case and related materials.

MBA Programs that are adopting Flipped Teaching are:

1) Columbia Business School

Columbia Business School has made several changes to the curriculum for the Class Entering Fall 2013, mainly:

• Introduction of Leadership Course During Orientation
• More Electives for First Year Students
• Emphasize on Big Data and how it is influencing decision making
• Placing Technical course content Online

The last part of the curriculum change is part of the Flip teaching methodology that allows Columbia Business School to devote classroom time for in-depth discussions about technical topics.

2) Texas A&M’s Mays Business School

Jerry Strawser, the KPMG Chair in Accounting and Dean of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University shares how he taught the process of journalizing transactions with online video and spend the classroom time focusing on analyzing the transaction, and discussing it.

This is what he said: “In class, we could focus on analyzing the transactions, rather than the rote skill of recording the transactions. Some of our faculty at Mays are experimenting with this approach (“flipping the classroom”) and are reporting very positive experiences”

3) UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School

The flipped classroom approach at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School was heavily influenced by the MBA@UNC, a full-scale online MBA program launched in June 2011. The Faculties at Full-time MBA program have translated the textbook-based lectures into recorded video lectures, and students are required to watch the lectures online before the class so that the class time is devoted to discussions.

4) Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business

For Tuck School of Business, Khan Academy was the big influence. According to BusinessWeek, around 12 Tuck professors are translating the introductory course materials into video series. The courses that are part of Flip Teaching include:

• Managerial Economics
• Statistics for Managers
• Corporate Finance
• Operations Management
• Retail Pricing
• Service Operations

Flip Teaching – Limited to Technical Courses

What we have found out with the schools that have adopted Flipped teaching is that most courses that have supplementary video lectures are technical in nature. A better utilization of this approach would be to include non-technical courses: leadership development, strategy and managerial decision making into the list. These video lectures would enhance the learning experience for MBA students.

To prove how effective online courses can be, check out Coursera’s non-technical courses:

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