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Journal Article

Evaluating the Impact of Distance Learning Support Systems on the Learning Experience of MBA Students in a Global Context  pp51-62

Yongmei Bentley, Anjali Shegunshi, Mike Scannell

© Mar 2010 Volume 8 Issue 2, ECEL 2009, Editor: Shirley Williams, Florin Salajan, pp51 - 208

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Abstract

This paper reports the findings from an investigation into the distance learning support systems of a UK University's overseas MBA programme. This programme is provided to several countries around the world in alliance with the overseas' local higher educational institutions (HEIs), and is delivered primarily via online courses, but also with periods of face‑to‑face teaching by both UK and local staff. The aim of the research was to evaluate the learning support mechanisms that are used to deliver this programme overseas, and to determine their impact on the learning experience of the MBA students. The primary research method was questionnaire surveys which were conducted over two periods: April — July 2008, and January — March 2009. The first survey showed a high level of satisfaction with the MBA programme as delivered, but also indicated areas that could see further improvement. The impacts of programme changes were examined in the second survey which revealed students' improved satisfaction with the programme after the implementation of the changes in the programme support systems. The outcomes of this research have not only helped improve the learning support systems and enhanced the quality of this particular programme, but could also help provide guidelines for other HEIs that offer, or intend to offer, blended learning courses globally.

 

Keywords: distance learning, support systems, MBA, questionnaire survey, learning experience

 

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Journal Article

Adding Value: Open Online Learning and the MBA  pp250-259

Rachel Fitzgerald, Maggie Anderson, Ross Thompson

© Apr 2015 Volume 13 Issue 4, ECEL 2014, Editor: Kim Long, pp205 - 315

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Abstract

Abstract: A range of issues have emerged through the design of a MOOC project known as Gateway MBA. The Gateway MBA Project aims to extend the MBA Programme at Northampton Business School and this MOOC has a number of intentions. From a pedagogical pers pective the MOOC was created to give the student insight into the demands of postgraduate study while introducing a core area of the MBA, Critical Issues in Business. Evidence suggests that MOOCs are being used as a strategic tool to explore alternative models of course delivery (Allen & Seaman, 2013) and in this instance the MOOC aims to increase recruitment to the MBA internationally and to raise the profile of the university. While there are risks in this strategy, the Gateway project team see a po tential to introduce and market the MBA to a global audience through open online learning, raising the university brand profile and expanding the eLearning horizons of those involved in the project and beyond. This paper will consider recurring themes in the literature in the context of the design and delivery of the Gateway MBA. It is clear that reconciling MOOC values and aims with educational quality and learner satisfaction standards is problematic so this paper considers how we developed and embed i nnovations in the areas of technology and academic cultural practices in order to meet this challenge. Finally we will consider the issues and challenges in the design and delivery of a MOOC and will offer future considerations for sustainability.Evidence suggests that MOOCs are being used as a strategic tool to explore alternative models of course delivery (Allen & Seaman, 2013) and this paper shares insight into an example of such innovation for Business School Education. Gateway MBA draws on examples of open learning worldwide to create a MOOC to extend the MBA distance learning programme for Northampton Business School. The Gateway MOOC offers open online access to MBA education to develop recruitment to the MBA internationally and to raise the pro file of the university. While there are risks

 

Keywords: Keywords: MOOC, open practice, peer collaboration, disruptive technologies, MBA, online curriculum design

 

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Journal Article

Students’ use of Asynchronous Voice Discussion in a Blended‑Learning Environment: A study of two undergraduate classes  pp360-367

Khe Foon Hew, Wing Sum Cheung

© Oct 2012 Volume 10 Issue 4, ICEL 2012, Editor: Paul Lam, pp360 - 440

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Abstract

Contemporary discussions of education in blended‑learning environments increasingly emphasize the social nature of learning which emphasizes interactions among students, or among students and instructors. These interactions can occur asynchronously using a text based discussion forum. A text‑based discussion forum, however, may not work well for all participants as some find it difficult to explain complex concepts in words, while others complain of being misunderstood due to the absence of verbal cues. In this study, we investigated the use of a Wimba Voice Board to support asynchronous voice discussion. A quasi‑experiment research design involving two classes of undergraduate students was conducted. One of the classes (n = 24 students) used the Wimba Voice Board while the other (n = 18 students) used a text discussion forum in BlackBoard. The results of an independent t‑test analysis suggested that there was no significant difference in the students’ degree of participation in the two classes, asynchronous voice discuss class (M = 2.92, SD = 1.586) and text discussion class (M = 2.78, SD = 1.353), (t = 0.299, df = 40, p = 0.767) at the 0.05 level of significance. However, the online discussion appeared to be more sustained in the asynchronous voice discussion group. Analyses of the students’ reflection data suggested that asynchronous voice discussion have several advantages over text forums. Specifically, an asynchronous voice discussion: enables students to understand one another’s messages better, allows students, who prefer speaking to writing, or students who are not proficient in written English, to participate in the discussion, promotes originality of students’ ideas, and helps to foster a sense of online community.

 

Keywords: blended-learning, asynchronous online discussion, voice board, discussion forum, participation, Wimba Voice Board

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 10 Issue 4, ICEL 2012 / Oct 2012  pp360‑440

Editor: Paul Lam

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Keywords: Multi-disciplinary Learning, Teamwork, Database Application Development, blended-learning, asynchronous online discussion, voice board, discussion forum, participation, Wimba Voice Board, first person point of view, learning in the first person, paramedic science, paramedic science skills, skill acquisition, experiential learning, video learning materials,

 

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