Increasing online interaction in a distance education MBA: Exploring students' attitudes towards change
AbstractThis paper reports the results of the first phase of a mixed methods study investigating the attitudes of students enrolled in a distance education MBA program towards interacting more with other students online. It grapples with the issue of whether students enrolled in a successful distance education program grounded in instructivist and constructivist pedagogy would support changes to its design centring around social-constructivist theory. In this phase, a predominantly quantitative online survey was administered to 316 students. The most significant finding was a division in attitudes according to nationality and location, with Indian respondents less satisfied with the status quo and more interested in changes than their Australian counterparts. This raises the possibility of a fundamental difference in the attitudes, expectations and preferences of Australian and Indian distance education students. However, the results also show that if changes of the nature suggested were made, most respondents would not consider withdrawing from the MBA program.
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