Motivational factors affecting online learning by Japanese MBA students

Hisayo Kikuchi

Abstract


In Japan, Internet based learning is still at an early stage. However, adult learners in Japanese society expect the development of flexible e-learning programs. This case study examines motivational factors affecting online learning in a Japanese and Australian MBA program, using observations, interviews and a questionnaire survey. The data were investigated from motivational categories of the ARCS model (an acronym from Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction) and influence of e-learners' learning environment, by comparing two e-learning experience stages, beginning and final. The analyses revealed that whereas the e-learners at the beginning stage were curious about e-learning, required encouragement in individual learning situations, and set goals individually, the learners with about two years e-learning experience were motivated by interdependence, flexibility and sharing the rewards with family. The study also showed motivation of adult e-learners was individually different, but was positively influenced by online collaborative interaction, in particular with peers and in group activities. Interaction in e-learning settings went beyond social activities and the simple exchange of information. This article concludes with some suggestions for improving the design of e-learning programs for Japanese students.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.1293

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