Kellogg World Alumni Magazine, Spring 2002Kellogg School of Management
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New online learning initiatives
“Online essentials” courses offer new students academic edge

The Kellogg School continues to partner with its students to deliver academic innovations that best meet student expectation and needs.

As part of this agenda, Kellogg recently launched three more online learning modules that enable incoming students to review concepts in microeconomics, statistics, accounting and mathematics in preparation for the academic rigor of enrollment at Kellogg. The Web courses, developed in conjunction with Chicago-based Learning Insights, are taught by Kellogg School faculty who are experts in their respective disciplines.

Associate Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences Peter Klibanoff helped design Statistics Essentials, while Associate Deans for Academic Affairs David Besanko and Robert Magee helped create the Microeconomics and Accounting Essentials courses, respectively. Scott McKeon, senior lecturer in decision sciences, spearheaded the Mathematics Essentials course.

Cathy Grimsted, associate dean for finance, planning and technology, noted that while students have clamored for these online interactive modules, these prep courses are not intended to replace for-credit courses, but to level the playing field among all incoming students, so that initial class time can be used most effectively. In addition, she said, the courses serve as resources for students to revisit any time throughout their Kellogg career.

“These courses are highly interactive, including audio commentary by Kellogg School faculty and Flash animation,” explained Grimsted, adding that an important aspect of the Online Essentials series was their “dual-channel delivery” via the Internet as well as on CD.

Said Grimsted: “Student response has been very positive. They enjoy the flexibility of working through the courses at their own pace, and appreciate the convenience of the CD versions.”

Online Essentials are designed to provide students with key fundamental concepts and then tailor these concepts to fit best within the context of the Kellogg School curriculum.

For example, McKeon said he researched the Kellogg core curriculum to learn what common mathematical elements students were using across all the school’s departments, and then designed more than 200 screens to communicate 16 important themes. The course takes approximately 23 hours to complete. Other modules require 4-6 hours to finish.

“These courses allow students to learn by making mistakes without incurring any harm,” said Magee, who noted that Accounting Essentials introduces three financial reports and shows interrelationships among them, familiarizing students with accounting terminology and the methods used to construct financial reports.

All Online Essentials courses can be found by navigating the “Academics and Faculty” pages of the Kellogg School Web site, or by following the links located under “Online Resources” on the Student Serial page.

— MG

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University