How are we doing?!

When I did my undergraduate degree a few years ago, I remember the dread, panic, cramming, sleepless nights and energy drinks that became the norm in the week approaching the end of term exams.  The difference with the MBA is that this state of feverish work prevails throughout each and every term.

I reckon that there are two primary reasons for this.  The first is that the equivalent volume of information encountered over four years of an undergraduate degree is condensed into a year at Smurfit.

The second is that those creative lecturers at Smurfit have come up with innumerable ways to assess each student’s performance on an almost daily basis.

Over the 15 subjects studied to date, a third of our assessments have been individual continuous assessment, a third have been group assignments and a third have been end of term exams.  Future course components are detailed in this programme.

Assessment components Smutfit MBA 2010/2011 Chart 1

Learning Journals – Reflect on the material studied and class debates and analyse what you have learnt.

Class participation – Quality and quantity of class participation and debate.

Assignments – Anything from case studies to calculations, business plans to essays -and individual exams!

Assessment Components Smurfit MBA 2010/2011 Part 2

Presentations – Analysing a case or solving a problem followed by a presentation to a challenging audience – the rest of the class!

Group Assignments – Anything from doing a case analysis to valuing a company, undertaking an industry profitability analysis to writing a report.

Group Exam – Can you think of anything worse that doing an exam in a group?!

The beauty of all these assessment methods is it draws out every single last skill or ability in your arsenal, no matter how deeply concealed.  Not so hot at presenting but superb at report writing? Not so hot with spreadsheets but exceptional at introspection and reflection?  Don’t worry your time will come. The downside is that there is NO REPRIEVE from deadlines!

– Christopher Kitchin