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Krannert faculty, ITaP staff earn honors for hybrid Weekend MBA program

Monday, May 15, 2017

A veteran Krannert professor and two instructional designers from ITaP were honored for their innovations in teaching and learning technologies as part Purdue’s recently restructured Weekend MBA program.

Introduced in 2016, the 21-month hybrid program features two-thirds on-campus instruction and one-third online work, meaning participants only need to travel to campus twice a month for classes.

Charlene Sullivan (right), a longtime professor of finance, received a 2017 Award for Excellence in Distance Learning: Course Design and Technology at Purdue’s faculty awards convocation in April for her work on Financial Management (MGMT 61000), which is part of the Weekend MBA program’s core curriculum.

The award recognizes faculty and/or staff members who demonstrate course development and pedagogical excellence as the instructor of a digital education course that promotes creative and effective approaches delivered via distance learning media.

“Professor Sullivan is one of Krannert’s most respected instructors and continuously works to improve her teaching methods and courses,” says John Fassnacht, the school’s director of online and hybrid learning. “Her course was innovative, well designed and highly successful for the students in the Weekend MBA program. Having a senior faculty member who is willing to try new things and champion new technologies is extremely valuable in moving the school forward.”

ITaP instructional designers Sheree Buikema and Erica Vail also earned recognition for their distance-learning excellence, receiving 2017 MVP: Instructional Design and Support Awards. In addition to aiding Sullivan, the duo supported the redesign of eight other courses in the Weekend MBA curriculum.

Under the new format, students take two classes at a time and have sessions every other Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In the old format, students met on Fridays and Saturdays every other week.

“The redesign was complicated by the fact that the on/off week format required significant work be done to maximize the impact of the face-to-face and online components while still progressing in a logical manner,” Fassnacht says.

“Erica and Sheree worked diligently on the task both on a course-by-course basis and from a program level, aiding instructors with little online experience and supporting students as they progressed through the newly designed courses,” he says. “The project has been a great success and is a lynchpin program critical for the continued success of the Krannert School.”

“The hybrid format has several benefits," adds Don Roush, associate director of program managers and the Weekend MBA program. "First, it allows participants to miss less time at work without losing contact hours with their instructors. It also allows them to do prep work online that will offer deeper discussion and understanding of course material in their classroom meetings.

"The program is accessible to more participants in the new format while continuing to offer a world-class MBA education that can be immediately applied in the workplace."

Applications are currently being accepted for fall enrollment. More information on the Weekend MBA program is available at