Evaluating the Impact of Distance Learning Support Systems on the Learning Experience of MBA Student

Evaluating the Impact of Distance Learning Support Systems on the Learning Experience of MBA Student

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Evaluating the Impact of Distance Learning Support Systems on the Learning Experience of MBA Students in a Global Context Yongmei Bentley, Anjali Shegunshi and Mike Scannell University of Bedfordshire, Luton, UK yongmei.bentley@beds.ac.uk anjali.shegunshi@beds.ac.uk mike.scannell@beds.ac.uk 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 1. Introduction This paper reports the findings from an investigation into the distance learning support mechanisms of a UK University’s overseas MBA programme. The aim was, through the evaluation of the learning support systems that were used to deliver this programme, to determine the impact of such systems on the learning experience of the MBA students. Questionnaire surveys were used and the MBA students who were taking the course were encouraged to complete the evaluation form. The following sections give an overview of the MBA programme; a review of specific literature relevant to this distance learning programme; and sets out the investigation process, the findings from the data analysis, and the implications of the research. 2. Overview of the MBA programme This University has developed an MBA programme which is being delivered to students in a number of countries around the world. Currently it has centres running MBA courses in the UK, Zurich, Hamburg, Poland, Oman, India, and South Africa. Up to the summer of 2008, the programmes’ total MBA student numbers were 362. Figure 1 gives the percentage of the MBA students from each of the centres.
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This note was uploaded on 03/13/2011 for the course PUK 202 taught by Professor Roth during the Spring '10 term at Universität Klagenfurt.

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Evaluating the Impact of Distance Learning Support Systems on the Learning Experience of MBA Student

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