Below is the executive summary of my MICM Masters “How can elearning enhance study success at The Hague University of Applied Sciences?”.
Learning has always been about capturing and communicating knowledge. However in the last two decades, rapid technological advances, internationalisation and the rise of social media have drastically changed the landscape of both formal and informal education, leading to an elearning explosion. The sheer speed of these trends makes it difficult for individuals and institutions to grasp. It is not only desirable but also crucial to keep up, as is being mandated in educational frameworks, with policy and pressure to develop 21st century skills. This document will assist educators and students to gain a basic but solid understanding of important elements in this educational evolution.
Written as a master’s thesis, the central research question in this study asks, How can elearning enhance study success at The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS)? With six supporting sub questions covering both an educator and student perspective, it delineates which are the most relevant elements to consider in the context of higher education, also represented visually in a concept model. To give more depth, it focuses on one particular higher educational institution in the Netherlands (THUAS), though the research and findings are also likely to be useful to other individuals, institutions and organisations that want to gain an insight into the implications of the elearning trend that is becoming ubiquitous in education worldwide.
The diverse way in which these two core constructs of elearning and study success are defined and operationalised, as well as measured and communicated, makes proving a direct relationship challenging. However through a robust mixed methods qualitative approach, combining a literature review with observation, surveys and interviews, it becomes clear the majority of educators and students do believe there is a close connection. General conclusions drawn are that elearning can enhance study success at THUAS by enhancing flexibility, engagement, employability, internationalisation and communication. It is also shown that the term ‘blended learning’ is more common and relevant, though developing an increased elearning component is crucial.
Overall, this thesis will assist the reader to better understand the elearning trend in theory and in practice. Recommendations are presented with a focus on explaining how elearning can enhance study success through industry benchmarking, policies and priorities, remaining relevant, connecting communities, creating and curating, centralising communication channels and committing to a culture of experimentation and sharing. The elearning explosion is here, and we are all a part of it by default or design, this research assists in guiding the way to make the most of the opportunities.
Higher Education, Elearning, Online Learning, Blended Learning, Study Success, EdTech