E-Learning Degree Programs – A Better Way to Balance Work and Education?

Claudia Moessenlechner, Regina Obexer, Karin Sixl-Daniell, Juergen-Matthias Seeler

Abstract


In the year 2011, in the USA alone, over seven million students were taking at least one online course in the tertiary educational sector. ICT-supported degree programs allow students to work on a more flexible schedule as regards time and location, which makes such programs especially attractive for working students. At the same time, such programs require greater effort and skills in terms of personal organization and study skills. As employees’ willingness and ability to engage in lifelong learning and continuing professional development become core success factors for businesses world-wide, these aspects gain critical relevance.
This study looks at a cohort of 46 online students enrolled in a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Austria. The students, most of whom are pursuing their first degree whilst working, come from Austria, Germany, Italy and Spain, and are on average 28 years of age. The BBA program (Bachelor Business Administration) is conducted in a blended learning mode, with up to ten days of face-to-face sessions per semester.
The main aim of this study is to explore the motivational factors of working students during the first phase of a blended learning degree program and investigate the main difficulties and challenges students perceive when having to organize and balance online education and full time work.

The results and implications of this study will be presented at the conference with suggestions for future research provided.

Keywords


Working professionals, continuous education, lifelong learning, E-learning degree programs, online learner expectations, motivation.

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International Journal of Advanced Corporate Learning (iJAC) – ISSN: 1867-5565
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