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Journal Issue
Volume 8 Issue 2, ECEL 2009 / Mar 2010  pp51‑208

Editor: Shirley Williams, Florin Salajan

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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

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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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