DISTINCTIVE FEATURES OF ON-LINE EDUCATION
The Electronic Classroom:
The intellectual model for iMBA’s online CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER™ program is the Electronic Classroom (EC). In the EC, a small group of 1-3 students interact personally with a living instructor. With this low student/faculty ratio, the environment is intimate, although virtual. Some students/faculty find that they are more comfortable communicating via their computers than others; but many who try online learning find that they are surprised by the genuinely personal level of communication. This is known as an Electronic Discussion Activity (EDA) and represents the core of any online asynchronous learning experience.
The EC is conducted in an asynchronous mode, meaning that CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER™ program participants can sign-on and access a class whenever it’s most convenient to them. Three classes are typically available over the course of a week. This helps busy FAs and working adult-learners avoid the time constraint problems they would face with a “real time” exchange.
Live Interactive Education:
Electronic Classes can require intense interaction between live faculty members and adult-learners, often more so than in many traditional on-ground courses; and most automated Computer Based Training (CBT) programs. Students are typically expected to log-in and contribute three to five times each week. With this frequency of interaction, students and faculty all get to know one another, well. There are few opportunities for passivity. In fact, in the EC of iMBA’s CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER™ program, students tend to interact with instructors much more than in traditional settings; thus promoting future peer-based discussions and real world applications. Moreover, in the electronic iMBA classroom, everyone must write; particularly for the R&D loaded CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER™ program. All assignments are typed, creating a permanent record of each person’s contribution. Faculty members find this promotes careful, reflective submissions from most students. Additionally, instructors can easily monitor student progress and communicate with those who need help, or who have trouble keeping up. This is usually done privately by e-mail, fax or phone after certain online expectations have been clarified.
Flexible Anytime-Anywhere Education
Because of the extreme flexibility of the iMBA virtual classroom, punctuality is not a problem, and adult-learners students don’t lose valuable class time due to weather, traffic, or unforeseen scheduling conflicts; the bane of all working Financial Services professionals or Medical Management consultants. Also, students who travel can log in from anywhere and therefore will not fall behind in their CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER™ class work. This is known as anytime-anywhere education. For these reasons and many others, online distance learning is quickly earning adherents among adult-learners, faculty, and the profession; both nationally and internationally. Some virtual students may find that they learn even more in this environment; augmenting state-of-the art prestige of the CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER™ program from iMBA, Inc.
Education Model Not for Everyone:
There are some important caveats to this almost nirvanic picture of the online learning model.
First, students and instructors must be fully trained and supported in the use of computer technology. They must be exposed to examples of “good practice” and mentored by colleagues with extensive prior experience in the electronic teaching and learning classroom. Successful online teaching requires much more than simply placing one’s lectures online; it mandates the careful rethinking of an entire course and “way” of teaching.
Similarly, successful online learning requires much more than simply reading chapter material and answering a few questions. It mandates the careful thinking and the application of learned material to solve real-word problems, for future physician clients. All assignments and responses are reviewed and, if necessary, corrected and redesigned. For students; discipline, reading and writing skills are prerequisites.
Like most iMBA faculty members, Dr. Paul Edelson, author of Complete Book of Distance Learning Schools, teaches courses online and has determined that for his classes to be successful, each element must be carefully spelled out in greater detail than in courses with conventional syllabi, where ambiguities can be “talked out” in class. He has also discovered that without the visual cues that are commonly taken for granted in the face-to-face classroom, he must pay greater attention to written comments and ask probing questions that require students to respond and follow-up in greater detail. In the end, he found the results of adult-learning and teaching online may be comparable to what students experienced in the online classroom. We, at iMBA, could not agree more.
The growth of online learning attests to its increasing acceptance by students, faculty, and the financial, educational and healthcare industrial-complex. All groups have discovered that the many positive features of the electronic classroom can outweigh the negative effects of not physically meeting in an onground class. Hence, iMBA, Inc., and the CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER™ program strive to be a leader, not a follower, in contemporary education.
In summary, those comfortable with the “rote-sales training” and “multiple guess” formats of automated CBT programs and tests; need not apply for CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER™ matriculation. The revolutionary program is nothing less than exceptional health industry education for professional financial advisors, and medical management consultants. CMP™ is Academe
NOTE: This experience was provided by the Princeton Review™ and MSN Encarta™; modified by iMBA Inc., and adapted from the Complete Book of Distance Learning Schools by Dr. Jerry Ice and Dr. Paul Edelson.
What is e-learning
OPINION: There is a tremendous opportunity to serve the unmet needs of clients in this area.