Online education is a revolutionary invention that is capable of supporting the educational needs of many students (Oyuang & Stanley 2014). The education model is facilitated by modern developments in technology such as the Internet. More people are now in a position to pursue their academic goals while at the same time focusing on their careers and families. My MBA distance learning program proved to be practical for my personal and professional goals. This is the case because I was able to combine learning with my career objectives. This paper presents my personal reflections on MBA distance learning.
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To begin with, I strongly believe that the university has designed a competitive model to support distance learning. The curriculum is customized in such a way that it meets the diverse needs of more students (Aydemir, Ozkenskin & Akkurt 2015). This fact explains why my experience is commendable. I was able to concentrate on various subjects, complete assignments, and liaise with different instructors throughout the learning process. The distance learning structure allowed students to share notes, books, and ideas.
My personal assessment is that the program was appropriate and capable of empowering every learner. The tutors understood their roles, offered timely instructions, and promoted evidence-based practices that delivered meaningful results. The content was delivered through the use of discussion boards, interactive animations, online videos, and lectures. The concept of excellence supported the learning process, thereby empowering more students (Darden 2014).
Examinations and continuous assessments were handled in a professional manner. I received timely insights and feedbacks depending on the scores attained after every test. The approach made the learning process desirable and capable of supporting my aims. Unfortunately, specific assessments such as finance and accountancy proved to be difficult for me. Nevertheless, I was keen to work hard in an attempt to achieve my academic goals.
Time management was a major challenge for me. The process required me to complete a wide range of roles every day. However, I was dedicated in an attempt to attend every learning session. Effective communication with different tutors and instructors empowered me to manage my time effectively. I designed a timetable to guide me throughout the process.
Illustrating and Evaluating My Learning
The institution promotes the use of different strategies to deliver desirable content to online learners. Personally, I have merged my educational needs with the MBA program model. For instance, the institution exploited online videos and lectures to educate the targeted students. Discussion boards, videos, and interactive animations supported the learning scheme. These tactics were relevant for every student. Personally, I developed superior skills in management, finance, and accounting.
Additionally, I was keen to support my goals using various strategies. I embraced the concept of self-study. After receiving the content from the tutors, I created enough time to study class materials. Journal entries were used to ensure specific concepts and skills were developed (Moon 2006). The application of peer-to-peer interaction with different learners supported the learning process. Emails were shared with fellow students and instructors. These attributes explain why my distance MBA program was a success.
How Learning Informs My Practice
One of the outstanding benefits of the distance MBA program is that it gave me enough time to acquire new dexterities. Such competencies are currently being applied in my professional practice as a real estate marketer. For example, concepts such as business operations, decision-making, and problem-solving were acquired from the program. Several management functions such as accounting, marketing, and planning have been applied in my organization. I have improved my leadership philosophy by considering new skills and concepts that were developed throughout the learning process.
The notion of lifelong learning emerges from this program. For instance, I have been focusing on and identifying evidence-based strategies, ideas, and practices that can be applied in different organizational settings. The concept of teamwork, for example, has been embraced and implemented in my working environment. Followers are sanctioned to make timely decisions, focus on anticipated goals and address every focusing on effective marketing processes (Northcote & Gosselin 2017). Specific areas in the organization such as marketing, financial management, and accounting have been monitored using the insights gained from this learning process. I will use my proficiencies whenever interacting with different stakeholders such as investors and customers.
Evaluating Reflective Practice: Learning Theories and Critical Perspectives
As indicated earlier, the ideas associated with the course continue to influence my management strategies. I understand that marketing is a complex field that requires professionals to focus on the best functions that can add value to the targeted organization. I have learned how to engage in planning. This know-how has made it possible for me to come up with appropriate marketing aims and visions. Such goals are usually communicated to the targeted followers in a timely manner. Aspects to do with human resources have also been developed and applied respectively. I understand how to attract competent workers and equip them with satisfactory resources so that they can deliver desirable goals. Business ethics has been developed as an attribute of management (Darojat, Nilson & Kaufman 2015). This area focuses on the best practices that add value to different stakeholders and community members.
My awareness of various theories of learning supported my goals as an MBA student. The first model is Kolb’s learning theory. The theory presents four stages that are critical throughout the learning process (Moon 2006). I managed to utilize the theory by focusing on my learning experience (stage 1), reviewing the process (stage 2), acquiring new concepts (stage 3), and applying them in my new role as a marketer (stage 4).
The community of practice model was also taken seriously as a learning theory. I joined different teams and virtual groups to pursue my aims as a learner. The members of the teams shared ideas, concepts, and materials to make the learning process successful. The theory was appropriate because most of the students were pursuing related professions. Gibb’s reflective cycle is a powerful model that supports different forms of learning. The theory follows six unique paths (Moon 2006). According to the model, my experiences and gains from the distance learning course were outlined. I focused on new dexterities that could be improved to make me a successful marketer and manager. With new concepts and abilities, I strongly believe that I can be in a position to achieve my professional goals.
The online content made it easier for me to develop adequate critical perspectives. Online interactions and discussions equipped me with adequate dexterities that made me creative. Critical thinking guides leaders to analyze issues, make informed decisions and offer meaningful models for delivering positive outcomes (Oyuang & Stanley 2014). I presently encourage my fellow marketers to think critically, question emerging situations, and identify creative approaches that can maximize sales in the real estate sector. The implementation of such perspectives will support my professional objectives.
Role of Reflection on Practice
This reflection has made it easier for me to identify the unique gains from the distance MBA learning program. The insights have directed me to pinpoint the advantages of the course and how they can support my goals as a marketing expert. Professionals working in different settings or organizations should engage in similar reflections to monitor their respective achievements (Moon 2006). This move will inform their future practices and strategies as leaders or entrepreneurs.
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When it comes to the issue of practice, the observations made from the reflection can inform new philosophies that meet the needs of different stakeholders. Leaders can use the approach to identify new fields for improvement. This strategy will result in superior plans that can result in appropriate practices and eventually drive performance. Nolan (2013) acknowledges that reflection is a powerful practice that fosters lifelong learning. The practice can be done to identify unique dexterities, concepts, theories and models to be improved. In the practice setting, an individual will be in a position to mentor others and learn from every emerging issue.
I strongly believe that professionals who want to pursue their goals must engage in personal reflections. This is an evidence-based practice that can empower individuals to examine the issues associated with various activities, roles, or programs. Reflection, therefore, becomes a powerful practice that helps people develop superior plans for realizing their potential. In conclusion, I will continue to embrace the power of reflection throughout my career journey. This move will guide me to achieve my goals as a real estate marketer.
Aydemir, M, Ozkenskin, E & Akkurt, AA 2015, ‘A theoretical framework on open and distance learning’, Procedia – Social and Behavioural Sciences, vol. 174, no. 1, pp. 1750-1757.
Darden, DC 2014, ‘Relevance of the Knowles theory in distance learning’, Creative Education, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 809-812.
Darojat, O, Nilson, M & Kaufman, D 2015, ‘Quality assurance in Asian open and distance learning: policies and implementation’, Journal of Learning for Development, vol. 2, no. 2, p. 1-15.
Moon, JA 2006, Learning journal: handbook for reflective practice and professional development, 2nd edn, Taylor & Francis, Oxford, UK.
Nolan, RL 2013, ‘Management: theory and practice, and cases’, Harvard Business School Research Paper Series, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 1-21.
Northcote, M & Gosselin, KP 2017, Handbook of research on humanizing the distance learning experience, IGI Global, Hershey, PA.
Oyuang, JR & Stanley, N 2014, ‘Theories and research in educational technology and distance learning instruction through blackboard’, Universal Journal of Educational Research, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 161-172.