Distance learning - The Global Mini MBA® management development program

Project information

Index: 0729C2
Priority:1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Sub Theme:Entrepreneurship and SMEs
Location POLAND CENTRALNY Lodz Lodzkie Start/End date of the practice
Start: 2000-03-04

Topic of the practice

A management development Internet-based training non-degree program addressed to business people, entrepreneurs and owners of SMEs, needing to acquire an up-to-date knowledge and new practical skills in the area of management required in their everyday operations. It is an Internet version of the renowned Mini MBA® program (Global Mini MBA® and Mini MBA® are registered trademarks).

Good Practice Information

The Global Mini MBA® program has been successfully implemented since 2000 - delivered for the first time in 2000 it was one of the pioneer e-learning projects in Poland. Its was developed by joined efforts of the PAM Center/University of Lodz, aiming towards introducing to Polish market modern forms of managerial education based on American standards, and its American partner – R.H.Smith School of Business, University of Maryland.The program corresponds to the EU Lisbon Strategy and Strategy 2020 objectives of: constant quality improvement of education systems, common access to education systems and raising the level of society’s education, opening education systems to social needs in the world of constant change and globalization and improvement of adaptation capabilities of employees – continuous investment in human resources.The course is intended as short 136-hour management development program comprising the survey of key management areas and preparing its graduates for further self-exploration of fields useful in their career development.The theoretical bases for learning are the course materials dedicated exclusively for the program, made available in the Internet platform, as well as books/manuals provided to students during the orientation session.The beneficiaries of the program are business people, entrepreneurs and owners of SMEs, needing to acquire an up-to-date knowledge and new practical skills in the area of management required in their everyday operations.The curriculum consists of 8 subject modules: Organizational behavior, Financial accounting, Managerial accounting, Finance and capital markets, Strategic management, Marketing, Labor and commercial law and Economic strategic game.Program’s unique methodology relies on academic model of distance learning (as opposed to an e-learning course of a “teach yourself” type or a manual for self-tuition), requiring full activity on both sides - teachers/facilitators and the group. The concept of the progra
The distance learning formula is a very challenging one. It requires regularity, self-discipline and high time-management skills. Nevertheless it offers a lot of benefits, such as: possibility of studying in any place and time, time savings on travelling to academic center or place of training, possibility to join studying with business travelling or other duties and family life, constant access to rich sources of course materials, quick access to information, possibility of individual consultations with the facilitators/lecturers, opportunity to exchange ideas with all group members and to participate in any activities practically 24/7, accordingly to one’s capabilities. An added value is improvement
or advancement in modern communication technologies (Internet communication, management of documents on the distance learning platform, exchange of data on the server or spreadsheet use in the Economic simulation game).The program has since 2000 been organised either on commercial basis (course tuition) or as a project sponsored by the EU funds.Conditions for potential transfer are: development of program curriculum customized to local needs (market analysis), identification of effective promotion channels, development of detailed schedule and training scenario,delivery of training for teachers on DL methodology and IT administrators, identification of DL system, development of course materials and training organization procedures, implementation of pilot program, ensuring methodological supervision over program implementation, providing systematic program evaluation.The PAM center can offer: joint development of flexible and relatively low-cost course, design of program content and schedule, preparation of course methodology, selection of applicable tools for particular courses, workshops for platform administrators, tutoring for faculty/trainers/teacher, preparation of course evaluation, study tour in Poland in PAM Center / University of Lodz, experience exchange i

Evidence of success

In the years 2000 -2004, in Poland, 3 open enrollement cohorts of the program were implemented (with total no.of 45 students) and in the years 2006 – 2008, in Poland, 4 cohorts co-financed by EU Funds (100 students). 4 of Global Mini MBA® graduates completed the course staying abroad – 2 people in China,1 in Slovakia and 1 in Congo.High success rate of the program is proved by 96 participants (out of 100) successfully graduating the program in all 4 cohorts co-financed by the EU funds. Achieved high results (students’ grades,positive course evaluation) confirm the attractiveness and effectiveness of the academic distance learning method.An Internet formula proved to be effective for people in rural areas with no access to academic centers, middle-aged people reluctant to enroll into traditional courses fearing “confrontation” with younger colleagues,people holding high positions in their professional life who would rather not participate in a traditional course to take the role of a „student” (an Internet-based program lets anonymity and independence and ensures flexibility).The course corresponds to the concept of flexicurity, allowing flexible managing of one's own learning process together with professional duties or family life and proves to be ideal option for women wanting to learn during the maternity leave.

Contact details to obtain further information on the practice

Angelika Chyla

University of Lodz, PAM Center



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