Title: Managerial Marketing
Type: online MBA course
Company: Cardean University
URL: www.ilinc.com/ www.cardean.edu
Pricing: $665 per credit
It seems safe to say that in the year 2006, access to the Internet
through a connection at home, at work, or even at the local library
is a given for most of us. This "window to the world" continues to
become more available, more accessible, more affordable, and
When the Internet was less mature, online learning was regarded as
a gimmick, a poor substitute for the "real deal" that could only
occur through traditional classroom learning. This is no longer the
case, and online learning continues to move into the mainstream.
For example, undergraduate and advanced degrees earned online are
no longer regarded with suspicion. Indeed, many argue that online
learning has afforded many people, particularly those with
demanding jobs and busy lives, the opportunity to continue their
education and acquire knowledge and skills to enhance their career
The unique, desirable, and valuable aspect of online learning is
that the student can learn and earn a degree from an accredited
school without ever stepping into a brick-and-mortar classroom.
However, that doesn't mean that learning comes easily. In many
ways, online learning requires more discipline and commitment than
traditional learning opportunities.
Cardean University was one of the earlier online degree providers,
and it has a distinguished academic foundation. Its programs have
been developed in collaboration with four renowned traditional
institutions: Stanford, Columbia, the University of Chicago, and
the London School of Economics. That doesn't mean Cardean students
receive a degree from one of these schools or that its faculty
teach the online courses. It does mean, though, that Cardean offers
its students the benefit of a curriculum that has been developed at
four of the best universities in the world.
Cardean is a pure online university, meaning it has both
undergraduate and graduate degree programs but does not offer
traditional classroom instruction in addition to online courses.
After going through a series of changes in recent years, Cardean
was recently relaunched.
In addition to its MBA program, Cardean University offers several
graduate certificate programs. These programs are designed for
professionals who want to acquire advanced knowledge and skills in
various fields of study. Many of the same courses available to
Cardean MBA students are offered in the Certificate Programs. The
credits earned for a certificate can count toward a completion of
their MBA program.
Cardean MBA: Managerial
The class I reviewed is Managerial Marketing, a first-year MBA
course. It is offered in six or nine weeks, and about half of
Cardean's students choose the longer version. All MBA candidates
start with Marketing, and the nine-week version gives them an
opportunity to become familiar with online study. All other MBA
courses are six weeks. New courses are scheduled every three weeks
as opposed to once a semester.
At the time of this review, Cardean University was testing a
mandatory College Success course in its undergrad program,
consisting of a three-week introduction to online study and how to
be a successful online student. It was receiving great reviews.
Although some students might be put off by being required to take a
course before beginning real work in a program, the introductory
course could be extremely helpful to students who are unprepared
for the realities of online study, and in the long run might
improve retention rates for providers.
Managerial Marketing focuses on analyzing the marketing
environment, including customers and competition, and aligning
marketing efforts with the strategic goals of a company. Students
learn to determine which customers should be targeted in the
marketing effort, choose which products the company should offer,
ascertain the method and timing for informing customers about the
product, and determine the best pricing strategy and the most
effective way to bring the product to market.
There is no prerequisite for Managerial Marketing. Course
requirements include participation in online discussions. Each
student is expected to share his or her insights, experiences, and
opinions. In addition, reading assignments include a textbook, a
coursebook consisting of Harvard Business Review articles, and a
multitude of links and graphic illustrations from the virtual
Students must complete a total of eight written assignments. Each
assignment has a specific due date.
Six of the assignments are completed on an individual basis, and
two as a team. Each written assignment consists of a scenario in
which the student is the marketing person in an organization who
receives memos, reports, and other information regarding a detailed
case study. The assignment not only requires the student to respond
to numerous questions but also to take a position on an issue that
does not have one correct answer.
It is up to the student to support her point of view persuasively
with data and information obtained from the links in the virtual
classroom, as well as readings from the textbook.
Team assignments are an opportunity to work with classmates. The
lack of face-to-face contact somewhat diminished our ability to
interact and connect fully, but it was still a worthwhile
The learning environment is a secure virtual classroom that
students access with a user id and password. One area of the
classroom is a forum where each student is expected to post an
introduction as well as participate in ongoing discussions
initiated by the instructor. Students are especially encouraged to
share their experiences from the workplace.
These discussions are useful and valuable to the learning
experience. Students can also communicate privately with the
instructor. In addition to the venues for discussions and
submitting assignments, there is also a virtual cafe where
classmates can converse about non-course related topics if they
The reference links provided in the virtual classroom were a source
of frustration for me. Each "parent" link contained copious "child"
links, within each link there was yet another link that needed to
be read. It would have been more efficient, less time consuming,
and less frustrating for all the information to be presented in a
linear fashion within the parent link. This design seems to be the
norm for online learning, as I experienced the same frustration
with another online course completed with a different university.
Cardean courses are taught either by full-time faculty or part-time
Adjunct faculty. These are working professionals who have
experience directly related the course material or university
faculty with PhDs. Cardean faculty are required to hold a PhD or
Masters degree in their subject area, and the majority of
instructors have significant work experience related to their
My instructor was excellent. She demonstrated her commitment to
learning before our class began. I was returning from a business
trip the day our class began. I received an email from Sandra
gently reminding me to post an introduction on our class forum. I
appreciated her attentiveness and genuine concern.
In addition, she was a terrific facilitator. She initiated
discussions that closely resembled those had in a traditional
classroom. She participated but did not monopolize our discussions.
Each writing assignment was returned with detailed written
feedback, which was crucial to my learning experience. The
coursework was challenging, and the assignments were sometimes
overwhelming. Sandra provided feedback that helped me to approach
the next assignment with more confidence and ease.
I hope that every instructor I encounter as I continue my online
learning experience is as effective and at ease in a virtual
classroom as Sandra was.
Although the class enrollment was small, my classmates were
professionals who wanted to expand their knowledge of marketing in
order to develop new skills and knowledge for their respective
jobs. Our entire class fully participated in the online discussions
and team projects, but it would have been a richer experience had
there been more students.
Administration and Technical Support
As soon as I completed course registration, my Cardean Student Life
Program Coordinator emailed an invitation to attend a student
orientation session. The email was informative and helpful and so
was the orientation. An Admissions Representative also emailed to
confirm that I was set to go with the course and invited me to
contact him if I had any difficulties. When I was unable to log in
to the virtual classroom, the admissions representative quickly
responded, resolving the glitch. He even followed up with a phone
Value for the Money
A graduate course costs $1,995, or $665 per credit hour, along with
an $85 processing fee. I spent
$190.29 for a used textbook, workbook, and two job aids, and zero
for parking, tolls, and gas for the commute. Online education
itself doesn't cost less than traditional classroom programs, and I
felt the value matched the price. But online students can save
money on overhead, such as commuting, meals, time away from a job,
and other similar costs.
The Cardean course excelled in a number of important areas and was
very good in others. The new Cardean promises a quality education,
as long as you are up to the task. Anyone still under the
impression that online learning is an easy alternative to
traditional MBA programs is in for a rude awakening. The coursework
is difficult and intense. Deliverables are expected to be well
written, concise, and submitted on time. At the same time, you will
receive more feedback from the professor than you may have ever
experienced in a classroom. Professionals accustomed to doing what
is required to achieve personal goals will do well earning credits