Collaborating for Success in Your Online MBA
In the workplace, team camaraderie, culture and collaboration are highly valued team attributes that can deliver greater outcomes for a company and its staff. When undertaking a higher education degree like an MBA, this is no different – Studying in a pair or with a team of motivated individuals can make a big difference to the knowledge you develop, grades you receive and overall career impact of the experience.
But how can those studying online degrees like The AIB MBA collaborate and benefit from the experience, skills and insights of their peers? Study collaboration can take place online or face-to-face, and can be facilitated through online platforms and student communities.
Advantages of study collaboration
Students who study in a group gain a much deeper understanding of the material and its application in the real world than self-studiers, partly due to the fact that the interactive environment spawns new questions, explanations, discussions and debate. Groups also outperform individuals in higher-order thinking activities such as problem-solving, critical thinking and self-reflection.
Diversity within a study group is important as it favourably brings alternative views, career experiences, industry perspectives and cultural understandings, enhancing the overall learning experience.
The skills gained from studying in a group are also highly transferable to the workplace, including most valuably the ability to work with others, communicate effectively, lead and work in a team, and organise, delegate and negotiate tasks.
Read more: How to Stay Motivated While Studying Online
How to connect and collaborate when studying an online MBA
Studying the MBA or any degree online will give students the flexibility to fit the course in around their work and personal commitments – something that’s simply not possible when studying on-campus. The onus to collaborate, connect and seek support, however, is on the student.
Online learning specialists like the Australian Institute of Business (AIB) help to facilitate this collaboration. Interactive online classroom environments encourage students to engage with facilitators and fellow students through graded and un-graded forum participation. There are also numerous online student communities at AIB across social media and collaboration platforms that allow students to connect, pose questions, discuss topics and join forces throughout their studies. These communities can be used to find and form small study groups for both face-to-face study meetups and online sessions, and are a great way to network.
Top 5 tips for getting the most out of your study group
- Choose an online collaboration tool that everyone will use: Try platforms like Zoom video conferencing, Skype, Slack and social media channels to conduct study sessions online or coordinate face-to-face catch ups and chat.
- Actively contribute: This is a no-brainer, but don’t just sit back and benefit from the hard work of the other members, or you won’t be invited back to the group. The group is only as strong as its weakest link, so hold each other accountable to the productivity of the sessions.
- Set study group goals: Know what tangible goals you want to accomplish with each session and keep each other on track when productivity declines.
- Review your progress: At the end of each session, take 10 minutes to summarise your new learning and any questions to answer next time.
- Discuss more than just the subject material: Your group members can become valuable professional connections and even good friends. Encourage the team to share their career aspirations and offer advice when you can help.
Also read: 6 Apps to Help Navigate the MBA
Top 5 tips for studying in a pair
- Don’t partner up with your career twin: Aim for diversity in each of your career experiences as your different perspectives will drive in-depth discussions and greater understanding of the subject matter.
- Keep up with the pace and your commitment: Show up or log in to your study sessions prepared to discuss the relevant course topics or assessment. Don’t let your study buddy down by being unprepared.
- Play to each other’s strengths and abilities: If you’re a planner who hates to leave assignments to the last minute, help your partner to get organised by drawing up a study schedule and setting aside blocks of time to study. Rely on each other to bring different strengths to the table.
- Build on each other’s experiences: Share how the theory applies to your work experiences. This will not only make the topic more meaningful to you both but also help you to recall the information in the exam.
- Celebrate your success together: Share in the satisfaction of mastering a difficult topic, achieving a better than expected grade and completing each MBA stage with your study buddy. Celebrate each win together – big and small.
The MBA from AIB is Australia’s largest MBA, chosen by more professionals than any other MBA degree in the country. It has been specifically designed for busy working adults, delivered 100% online through our interactive Student Learning Portal. The AIB MBA offers genuine flexibility, industry-relevant course content and the practical knowledge and skills you need to achieve your career goals.