Questrom’s newest graduate program, the Online MBA (OMBA), launched August 2 with 400 students enrolled from around the world. Overseeing this first-of-its-kind degree is Questrom’s newest assistant dean: Dr. Monica Moody Moore, an entrepreneurial administrator who is deeply passionate about innovation in higher education. She brings 25 years of experience to BU, including 15 years specifically working with adult learners and graduate professional students. Moore was instrumental in building online and hybrid programs at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, Babson College, and Brandeis University. She has also taught courses to graduate online students and adults in hybrid programs.
We spoke with Moore about what brought her to Questrom, her enthusiasm for online learning, and how she will measure success.
Why are you so excited about online learning?
I’ve been involved with online learning since 2008 when I was assistant dean of academic services at Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts & Sciences. The school had more than 20 graduate degree programs for working professionals. I helped take those programs online from purely onsite offerings; I also started new programs and created support services for this population.
The feedback we had from students was tremendous. The vast majority found the online learning experience highly engaging, and the faculty very present. They also found the courses better structured and were enthusiastic about the opportunity to do the coursework on their own schedule.
The more I got into online learning, the more excited I became about it. In fact, I wrote my doctoral dissertation at the University of Pennsylvania on the factors that influence the propensity for alumni giving among online master’s students.
I come to online learning from a student development background—I have an M.Ed. in Counseling & Student Development from the University of Maryland. I’m concerned about the educational and psychosocial factors of how students learn; the student experience matters and is a differentiator among educational institutions.
What makes a great online student?
The same as what makes a great in-person student: a passion for learning. Beyond that, successful online students are those who are willing to follow a roadmap and those who can operate in a dynamic setting—they can capture and absorb information in different ways.
What role does technology play in this arena?
Technology is a driving force—it’s the vehicle for delivering course content as well as different ways for students to engage with faculty and each other. But it’s not the whole story. Technology is the supporter and transporter of the online learning experience.
What drew you to the Questrom Online MBA Program?
With OMBA, Questrom has the opportunity to not just advance graduate business education but catapult it ahead. I’m excited to be at Questrom—I think we’ve created a well-designed, integrated curriculum for an experienced workforce looking for a reputable business management credential offered online at a competitive price point. It can set the model for what business education can be.
What’s on your agenda for this first year?
Assessing the program early and often. We will look at feedback from students and faculty—how does this new model work in practice—as well as students’ learning outcomes. I will gauge success on a combination of the student experience and our ability to create a “best-in-class” model of online business education.
What’s something we should know about you?
I’m a poet and a problem-solver. I actually do write and publish poetry: That perspective helps me think figuratively and literally. I also love cracking the nut of systems engineering with new integrative approaches in education. In fact, I served as a judge for the Educational Entrepreneurship showcase at the University of Pennsylvania this past year.