Recently, with the advent of the massive open online courses (MOOCs) in the online learning space, many tributes have been paid to this movement stating that it is easily accessible, open to a large number of students and also very convenient as one could learn at his/her own pace. Similarly, distance learning in management has been termed as very convenient for working professionals.
While not disputing these facts, it is also correct that in management education classroom learning can play a vital role in enhancing the skill-sets of participants. Also, for classroom-based learning, participants have to invest their time, energy and resources (monetary and non-monetary) and, in some cases, even sacrifice their jobs to acquire higher qualification.
One must remember that distance or online learning heavily leans on the self-motivation of the learner. If this, somehow, wanes during the duration of the course, then things could get difficult for the student. The classroom setting, on the other hand, provides a great environment for peer group learning. Added to this is the fact that premium business schools attract a diverse range of talent from IT professionals, manufacturing professionals, hotel management graduates, even doctors and literature graduates apart from the freshers. This brings richness and quality to the daily interaction among the participants. The discipline of business management, in fact, is greatly enriched by the discussion among students of varied background as each one brings his own dimension to understanding and solving business problems. This factor is missing in the distance and online learning methods.
The peer group learning process has one more advantage. In the group setting it automatically puts pressure on each participant to perform, thereby resulting in higher motivation and thus better performance.
Another great experience in the classroom setting is the discussion of the case studies. Moderated by an inspirational faculty member, case discussions and analysis can reach great heights in the classroom. The solutions to case study by different presenting groups could turn out to be diametrically opposite in nature indicating the complex nature of business problems as well as the fact that different solutions could be adapted to solve the