Measuring MBA Student Learning: Does Distance Make a Difference?

  • Mark Kretovics
  • James A. McCambridge
Keywords: distance learning, outcomes assessment, management education, MBA program evaluation


This article reports on an exploratory research effort in which the extent of MBA student learning on twelve specific competencies relevant to effective business performance was assessed. The article focuses on the extent to which differences in student learning outcomes may be influenced by one of three different types of instructional delivery: on-campus, distance, and executive MBA. It affirms the high quality of learning that can occur via distance education and proposes a strategy to conduct summative, program-level assessment. Specific findings include participants in all three groups self-reporting significantly higher scores on seven of twelve outcomes (e.g., goal setting, help, information gathering, leadership, quantitative, theory, and technology skills). It also notes that distance MBA students self reported significantly higher scores than on-campus students on the learning outcomes related to technology, quantitative, and theory skills, and higher scores on technology skills than the executive MBA group. Implications for further research are discussed.

Key Words: distance learning, outcomes assessment, management education, MBA program evaluation

Author Biographies

Mark Kretovics
Mark A. Kretovics, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Higher Education Administration and Student Personnel at Kent State University. He was formerly the Assistant Dean in the College of Business at Colorado State University where he received his doctorate. His research interests include distance education, learning outcomes, and student retention.
James A. McCambridge
James A McCambridge, Ph.D., is an associate professor of Management at Colorado State University. He received his doctorate in industrial organizational psychology. His research and consulting interests include, distance education, decision making, agreement management, organizational development, change management and quality issues.
How to Cite
Kretovics, M., & McCambridge, J. A. (2002). Measuring MBA Student Learning: Does Distance Make a Difference?. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 3(2).
Research Articles