Learning Personas in Online Distance Learning (ODL): An Analysis of the Motivations, Perceptions and Strategies of ODL Students (75486)

Session Information: Adult, Lifelong & Distance Learning
Session Chair: Marie Martin

Friday, 24 November 2023 11:20
Session: Session 2
Room: Room 703
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

With the surge in online distance learning, there's a presumption that new doors have been opened for student demographics that were previously excluded from higher education. This assumption revolves around a specific learner persona — adult learners, often parents or caregivers, working professionals, or those geographically isolated, who now have the chance to reconnect with higher education through online platforms. However, these assumptions are rarely tested and might not accurately reflect the actual demographics or motivations of online distance learners.
In 2022, Sunway University introduced an entirely online accelerated MBA program, offering an opportunity to interrogate some of these assumptions about learner personas and gain a deeper insight into the student experience of online learning. To achieve this, semi-structured interviews were carried out with students enrolled in Sunway University's Online MBA program. Participants were encouraged to describe their own learning personas and share the driving forces behind their decision to enroll in an online distance learning MBA program. The qualitative data from these interviews underwent thematic analysis, shedding light on student perceptions of online learning and whether they perceived any shifts in their learning approaches as adults returning to education while juggling various personal and professional obligations.
By conducting research into student learner personas, motivations, and strategies for online learning, this study aims to offer valuable insights for higher education institutions seeking to cater to the needs of an emerging and expanding student cohort.

Eamon Vale, Macquarie University, Australia
Geetha Nadarajan, Sunway University, Malaysia

About the Presenter(s)
Eamon is the Director of Learning Design for Asia Pacific at Keypath Education an ‘Online Program Management’ (OPM) company partnering with universities across Australia and Southeast Asia. Eamon Vale is also Ph.D. candidate at Macquarie University.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00