Five Reasons Flex Mode is My New Favorite Way to Learn

By Amanda Eckerle

Flex is a new course mode offering at DePaul that began in the fall of 2021. Students have the option to attend class in person or join online; the choice is up to you based on your schedule. Lectures are given live from an on-campus classroom equipped with technology to connect and engage in-person and remote students simultaneously. Here are the five reasons Flex mode is my new favorite way to learn:

1. Best of both worlds

I began pursing my MBA in the fall of 2020. Starting school again after being away from the classroom environment for many years was a challenging adjustment. On top of this, I had to adapt to virtual learning; something I had never done before. After a full year of virtual learning, I started to really enjoy and prefer a lot of its aspects. So, when a Flex course was offered in fall 2021, I was eager to keep those things I loved about virtual learning, but also get back to the classroom in person. The set-up was truly the best of both worlds.

2. Flex can fit into any schedule

In Flex mode, you have the option to attend virtually or in-person or a combination of both. Having this flexibility allowed me to juggle school, my full-time job and my lifestyle more easily. Some weeks were busier than others at work, so I was able to work right up until class time and join virtually. Other weeks, I needed to get out of the house and wanted to experience in-person interactions to foster those crucial connections while getting your MBA. Being able to choose which way I would attend class on a weekly basis made all the difference.

3. Sometimes we need that human interaction 

I’ve discovered many perks to virtual learning: watching and re-watching lectures when I don’t understand a topic the first time, you’re already home after class with no late-night commute, and most importantly, location flexibility. With all that, sometimes you just need to interact in real life. See people’s expressions or have a non-course related conversations before and/or after class. These are the moments where I made great connections and networked with those in and outside of my industry, and networking is a big reason many pursue an MBA.

4. When virtual is the way, the experience isn’t lacking

James Moore, director of Online Learning at DePaul’s business college, demonstrates the digital monitor in a technology-enabled Flex classroom.

When virtual is the choice for a particular week’s class, DePaul has an excellent video and audio set-up in each classroom. There are cameras in the front and back of the room, allowing those at home to see the class during a discussion and the professor during a lecture. Additionally, the monitors are also virtual “white boards,” so those at home can see written notes from the professor during a lecture. Because the virtual experience can be as equally engaging as in person, you don’t feel like you’re missing out if you can’t make class that week.

5. Access anywhere, any time

Flex mode allows you to attend class from anywhere, but it also allows flexibility for when you take class as well. While the lecture is given live, it is also recorded, allowing those who can’t make it the ability to watch the live recording. While it’s not ideal to miss class, conflicts can occur! A business dinner or trip is scheduled during class, or a family matter may arise that needs to be addressed. Additionally, maybe you made it to class, but you just need to watch the lecture again to better understand the material. Either way, you have options, which is so incredibly valuable as we all try to juggle our busy lives.


Amanda Eckerle works full-time at a fully integrated advertising agency, Blue Chip Marketing, while pursuing her MBA at the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. Originally from Missouri, Amanda now calls Chicago home with 2022 marking almost 10 years here. She anticipates graduating in the fall of 2022 and is looking forward to applying what she’s learned, taking her strategic thinking and leadership to the next level. When she’s not in the classroom or at work you can find her breaking a sweat at a locally owned boutique gym, L.E.A.P., in Lakeview. 


Posted on

February 23, 2022