Dr. Nicholas Shipley's Video Transcript

My role here at La Trobe is Professor in Marketing. I'm one of a group of people that started in the Business School about a year and a half ago, and our role is to work with the teaching academic groups to bring some real life practice into the academic study.

In terms of online learning, we offer the MBA program and Master of Management Online and I co-ordinate the marketing component of that.

We’ve tried to deliver as close to the classroom experience as we can in an online environment whilst recognising a fundamentally different approach to learning.

So the number of things we do to help scaffold that learning is an intensive program delivered over about a six week period, which means that there are different pressures for students in engaging in that time program, but also a number of advantages for people who have got a work-life balance to establish and who you want to get more of an accelerated pathway towards the program. Over a six-week period there are a structured sequence of knowledge components, if you like, that are built, that students work their way through.

The support on a week-to-week basis is provided to students through what we call peer support, where there's online discussion activity between students who are all trying to sort of unpack, if you like, some of these areas of learning and try to explore these together. We also have what we call asynchronous activities with a lecturer who will engage probably almost on a daily basis working out particular questions, working through the particular problems online and we also have synchronous, a posh word for doing everything at the same time. But we have what we call Zoom sessions, now they're videoconference sessions on a weekly basis where everyone can all hop in and explore and unpack some of the topic areas.

I think there are a number of ways in which having a university such as La Trobe behind these online programs is important. The first one of course is that the university is very committed to the idea of trying to integrate business practices and Academic learning. The other very obvious one is the fact that credentials are important and that it's a competitive employment market, so having a good brand behind you think is very valuable.

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