At University of Essex Online, we believe that people are more than how they perform on exam day.
For this reason, students on all our courses, including our online AMBA accredited MBA, are assessed through a range of methods. This allows you to demonstrate your skills and expertise in a variety of ways, as well as building the writing and communication skills that you will likely use every day in a business career.
So let’s examine the different methods we use to find out how well you have absorbed the course material.
Discussion forums are at the heart of the online study experience. Since we have no classrooms, this is one of the key ways that you will interact with and debate with your fellow students.
For many of your modules, you will be encouraged to share up to 10 posts within the forum about the topic you are studying at the time. These may be conversation starters or as a reaction to something a classmate has said.
Reflective journal entries
Part of your grade will come from completing reflective journal entries throughout your studies. These are especially useful for those who have a commitment to personal development, as they can be used to track your growth as a person, a professional, a businessperson and a leader, as you encounter new topics and ideas.
Longer written assignments
Most of your modules will include a longer assignment that will make up of the majority of your final mark for that module. The format of these can vary from critically assessing organisations, creating new business ideas and developing consultancy reports.
While you are writing these assignments, you will be supported by your module tutor who will give you clear guidance on what is expected from your final piece. You will also have access to support from our Study Skills team, as well as a host of resources on our Virtual Learning Environment, including a comprehensive eLibrary containing textbooks and academic journals.
One of the most exciting parts of our online MBA is our innovative Director’s Workshops. These events bring together our entire MBA population for a week-long discussion around a particular area of business or management. Past topics have included Sustainability in Business, Entrepreneurism in a Changing Global Environment, and Employability and Innovation in Digital Marketing. This real-world perspective is a critical part of the MBA as it gives a clearer sense of how to apply the knowledge you are gaining. In fact, it is one of the most popular modules across all our programmes.
The week kicks off with an introductory session by a guest speaker who is an expert in the topic being discussed. Throughout the week, you will take part in student-led groupwork, facilitated by a tutor, containing both synchronous discussion over Zoom and asynchronous discussion through the forums. The week culminates in presentations by each group and tutor-led discussions to round off the topic.
Over the two-year programme you need to rack up at least 120 hours of synchronous attendance, including at least six of these workshops and supplemented by live seminars in other modules. For assessment, you will be asked to produce a portfolio of your contributions to the group activities.
The online MBA does feature exams on two modules: Accounting and Managerial Finance, and Managerial Economics. But rather than telling you to pack the books away and travel to an assessment centre, these are open-book exams you can take in the comfort of your own home.
Our sophisticated eProctoring tool ensures that the exams are conducted under rigorous conditions, but without inconveniencing you. The tool uses machine learning and artificial intelligence in order to create a secure examination environment and eliminate cheating.
The finale of your entire MBA experience is your MBA Project. This is a dissertation or business plan on a topic of your choice. Throughout the project you will be supported by a supervisor, and you will undertake first-hand research as well as examining existing and secondary data. The outcome will be a written report of up to 15,000 words, critically discussing and evaluating the issue in question and making recommendations based on your analysis.
Previous projects have included such diverse topics as ‘how Artificial Intelligence is affecting industries’, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ and ‘how effective are different management styles’.
How you’ll receive feedback
Unlike other institutions, where you may only discover your performance at the end of the level or course, our assessment methods are designed in such a way that you will always be aware of your current provisional grade. We are committed to providing feedback and marks within 7 days of our tutors receiving assessed work, and you are able to see your marks in your gradebook, which can be accessed through the Virtual Learning Environment at any time.
If at any point you have concerns about your grades or another aspect of your online studies, your personal Student Adviser will be on hand to discuss your situation and help you resolve it. We want you to succeed as much as you do!