The first course in semester two of my homemade MBA is Critical Perspectives on Management, brought to us via Coursera from IE Business School in Spain. I have completed the first week of material, and here’s what I think so of it so far.
Professional video lectures
Critical Perspectives on Management has some of the best video lectures I’ve seen yet. So far, it’s an interesting combination of the green-screen approach that Darden used with Foundations of Business Strategy, and the in-class recording approach that Wharton used in Corporate Finance (see image below).
The majority of the content are recordings of the on-campus class like Wharton’s, but with some noticeable editing (for example, see image below).
This combination works well, and is far superior to just recorded in-class lectures. I’m sure it will make for some rather long videos, but so far they have been good about splitting the videos up into shorter segments based on the topics covered in class. I’m impressed with the quality thus far.
Critical Perspectives on Management is also (I think) the first course I have taken as part of my homemade MBA that uses multiple cameras, from different angles, to record the in-class lectures. This makes for much more visually appealing video lectures, and makes you feel more like you are there with the professor and students. Well done, guys! Hopefully other courses will start doing this as well.
This professor is unique
To my knowledge, this is the first business class I have taken in my homemade MBA project that is not taught by a “business school professor.” Instead, this professor is a Historian by background. I think this subtle twist is going to make this class more fun, as I think there will be more novel approaches, discussions, and analyses from a Historian. Maybe not, but hopefully. I think the Week one material has already been raising some eyebrows (in a good way) amongst the students because the lecture was an analysis of the grain market in ancient Rome. Not a typical business-school example!
I like the simplicity of this course – lectures, reading, and quizzes. There are no superfluous requirements. Perhaps it’s just because I’m coming from Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence, where I was annoyed with all the chaos going on, but I foresee enjoying the simplicity of this class structure.
As with all of these First Impressions posts, please keep in mind that they are exactly that – my first impressions of a course. It is plausible, perhaps even likely, that my first impression will be wrong and my opinion of the course will change over time. Please read my Full Review posts in the My Homemade MBA Curriculum section (written upon completion of the course) for the full story.