We are happy to have been able to win Dr. Alisa Hunt from Post University, Malcolm Baldrige School of Business for an interview about online learning and cultural differences between the U.S. and Germany in the M.A./MBA (USA). She has been SIBE’s highly regarded focal point at Post University during the entire process of the development and implementation of M.A./MBA (USA) and the collaboration between the two schools.
Dr. Hunt has been in the business world for 20-plus years, as a business owner, and in leadership positions in various organizations. She has been teaching University level courses since 2007, focusing primarily on accounting and finance. She has developed several courses for the MBA program as well as for the MSA program. In addition, she has done training in the world of Education; training teachers to be motivators and to create programs that encourage learning based upon differentiated learning styles.
Dr. Hunt holds a Ph.D. in Education from Capella University with a focus on Self-regulated learning. She is a published author in the field accounting and finance, and self-regulated learning.
Dr. Hunt, what is your position at Post University?
I am an Academic Program Manager in the Malcolm Baldrige School of Business Graduate Program.
How long have you been an Academic Program Manager at Post University?
What subjects do you teach at Post University?
I teach all the accounting and finance topics as well as organizational creativity, networking and customer service and leadership courses.
How long have you been teaching online?
I’ve been teaching online for 10 years.
And what do you like about teaching online?
Online with students it’s possible to get into some very in depth conversations, exploring topics in a way that is not as easily done in a classroom setting. Students feel more free to participate in an online forum than in the face to face situation.
And of course, I also enjoy the freedom online teaching provides. I can teach from anywhere in the world.
Do you think it is difficult to teach online, when you cannot meet your students in person?
Not at all. There are times when we naturally can accomplish a better understanding of things face to face, however in the world we live in today it is possible to use Skype, Facetime, and a multitude of other means to see each other face to face. And there is always the telephone!
What differentiates studying online at Post University from other online programs?
I haven’t taught at all the other online programs, however, based upon what I hear and see I think there are a couple of things that set us apart.
One is the support systems we provide for students. Students have instructors, success counselors, and program managers who are all available to assist students be the successful.
Another is that we hire professors who have been in the field they are teaching in. Having professors who have been out there in the business world helps to bring a whole other level of experience to the course that you cannot get otherwise.
We have a partnership between our academics and our course designers to always be updating and providing the best possible course experience in our classes.
We believe in engagement. What I mean by this is that we encourage our professors to engage with the students in discussion boards, announcements, feedback, emails, etc. We believe that true learning occurs when the students and professors are fully engaged in the material.
In your classes at Post University, you also have been teaching the dual degree-students from SIBE Did you notice any differences between them and the regular students of the Malcom Baldrige School of Business, the Business School of Post University?
There are of course some cultural differences, but then again we have cultural differences when we have students from the north and south of the US.
We have seen some differences in comfort levels with ambiguity, but once explained the students from SIBE accept the reasons.
What I find is how similar the students are. The students in both programs are engaged and dedicated to continued learning. The students in both programs have such wonderful stories and backgrounds that enriches the conversations and makes the courses so much more interesting. Students in all areas have the ability to excel and having more diversity takes the learning to a new and different level.
Why would you recommend the dual degree M.A./MBA program of SIBE and Post University?
There are so many reasons for this.
One is that here is an opportunity to obtain two valuable degrees in a shorter amount of time than pursuing them separately.
Both Universities strive to provide a high level of academic excellence – always pushing their students to succeed.
Having instructors with experience who can mentor and help guide someone’s career is a definite benefit.
But more important is the experience. Students get the opportunity to interact with others with a wide variety of experiences in different parts of the world. These shared experiences are invaluable in the global world we live in today. With work and busy lifestyles getting these opportunities becomes more and more difficult. Using the online design students can learn while working and meet people that they might otherwise not get the opportunity to meet. This provides opportunities for networking and creating lifelong friends and colleagues.
The interview was conducted by Ute Sachsenroeder, M.A., MBA