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New product development in graduate management educational programs
Business Sciences and Management Journal (BSMJ), Volume 2, Sep 2017

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It has been approximately twenty years since the inception of the Internet as we know it today. In addition to a vast array of opportunities for increased communication, the Internet and the World Wide Web have ushered in a new form of graduate management education that has significantly increased in popularity and educational value. This new platform for graduate management education provides unique opportunities for the design and development of new higher education programs that better relate to students changing needs. Developing these new educational programs requires enhanced skills, capabilities, infrastructures, and processes. In some form distance education has been available for approximately 100 years. Due to advances in communication technology, distance education programs of the past have blossomed into the variety of graduate management products (courses and seminars) that are now accessible through the Internet. In this paper, we first discuss the literature surrounding distance education with a focus on two major concepts - dialogue and structure - that can be used to describe and measure the studentfaculty educational interface and the quality of distance education programs. Second, we address the changing environmental conditions that have exacerbated contemporary students needs for access with regard to how and where their education is delivered and flexibility relative to when and how students can participate in educational programs. Both access and flexibility can impact the delivery and content of educational programs in important ways. Next, we examine the relationship between dialogue and structure relative to three existing models of distance education that can be employed to deliver graduate management programs. Fourth, we describe an online graduate management education product entitled the student-centric model and compare its features to the three previously described distance education models. Finally, we discuss several issues surrounding the administration of web-based education programs with a continued emphasis on the concepts of dialogue and structure as they relate to the role administrators play in offering quality graduate management educational programs. Throughout our paper, we suggest propositions derived from our discussion that can be developed into testable hypotheses. We conclude by identifying several specific issues warranting further investigation.

Author(s): Murray R. Millson, David Wilemon
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