Why are there no "Executive MFA / IxD" programs? (response to RPI online HCI program phase out)
25 Feb 2009 - 11:20am
4 years ago
Interesting, I didn't know online HCI grad programs even existed.
On a related note, I do wish that a premier design school (e.g. RISD, Art Center, SVA, New School, CMU) would step up and address the need for online / part-time IxD "executive MFA" program for practitioners, along the executive MBA model with a mix of online learning and on campus sessions. Forgive me if I've overlooked an existing program, but it seems (just based on this discussion list) that there is a significant demand for this option, particularly with the current economic pressures. Employed designers could leverage company sponsorship to work towards their "executive MFA" using online materials with infrequent on campus (2-3 all weekend sessions per semester) crits / intensive workshops to address the need for face-to-face interaction. It seems like the field has matured to a point where programs like this should exist, does it not?
I wonder how much of it goes back to findability and information architecture (but I can be a little biased thinking most problems come back to these things).
Placement in search engine isn't really high (and didn't even seem them for "online hci program" and the like) and then the description provided seemed accidental and had an odd subdomained URL that didn't give you the university's name or program in it.
When you go to the program site you arrive at from some of the more obscure search terms, I didn't see a mention of format (online vs oncampus). There was a link for "working professionals". Mmmm...here's the mention: "live on-campus and, by electronic means". I guess in the months I spent searching for an online program I never Googled for "masters program HCI electronic means".
In my experience, disambiguating on-campus only programs from distance ones was a challenge. Trying to winnow them down via search engine alone was impossible and even as noted above...it was kind of a treasure hunt on their program sites.
I went with an barely online Human Factors program through U of Idaho last year and would have certainly looked at Rensselaer's HCI program as I could have taken it "by electronic means".
Why is noone interested in this program?
There are only two online HCI programs to my knowledge - Rensselaer's
and Brigham Young University.
RPI's name has cachet and prestige. I know some nuclear engineers who
graduated from RPI - smart school for smart people.
I think they are phasing the online HCI program out because they
didn't have enough applicants.
Does no one have an interest in working while getting a degree remotely?