- The Warwick Business School took 3rd-place on the recent Financial Times Online MBA Rankings;
- The University of Birmingham’s Online MBA recently received a global-1st accreditation from the globally recognised AMBA;
- The University of Liverpool’s Online ‘MSc Psychology’ is accredited by the world-renowned BPS.
Purpose of session: The rise of fully-online degree-programmes across the world presents both new challenges and new opportunities. The purpose of our session is to present a solution-seeking study which is based on student survey feedback, collected from multiple global online programmes (29% response rate). We apply a solution-seeking method called ‘Issue-Tree’ to uncover root challenges and identify key solutions to learning design and application of learning technology. The issue-tree analysis is very similar to ‘thematic analysis’ but with the added advantage of being ‘impact’ orientated, allowing for the discovery of actionable solutions.
Core Content: The Solution-seeking approach (Deutsch, 2013) is used in business settings and consists of 4 steps, which we applied as follows:
- Make a call for issues (in our case: gathering student feedback via the survey);
- Issue selection (in our case: analysing 2 questions with the Issue-tree method),
- Issue broadcast (we gathered feedback from individual internal colleagues) and;
- Hold a collaborative event (solution-seeking workshop held with group of internal colleagues).
Online Pedagogy: The COI framework is world-renowned for explaining online learning dynamics with numerous research studies being conducted to develop, conceptualise, and validate it (Saadatmand et al, 2017). Most of the research points to a 3-Factor framework: (1) Teacher Presence, (2) Social Presence, and (3) Cognitive Presence. However, Arbaugh et al, (2008) carried-out a factor-analysis on reliable data and found a 4th factor: ‘Teacher Presence 2’. Arbaugh et al, concluded that “while factor-analysis supported the idea of teaching presence as a construct, it also suggested that the construct consisted of two factors—one related to course design and organization and the other related to instructor behaviour during the course” (page 133). We believe this distinction between ‘course design’ and ‘instructor behaviour’ is significant as the former can be a measure of the effectiveness of the learning design (LD) and the application of learning technology (LT).
Session: In our session, we will distribute the Issue-Tree diagram to the participating colleagues and discussing our findings. We will also seek audience participation by discussing the ‘Issue-tree’ method and how the method can be further used in Education management globally. We will also look at the importance of CoI in online student retention and delve into the COI framework and discuss the 3-factor vs 4-factor debate.
Arbaugh et al (2008) Developing a community of inquiry instrument. Internet and Higher Education. 11 133-136.
Deutsch, C (2013) The Seeking Solutions Approach: Solving Challenging Business Problems with Local Open Innovation. Technology Innovation Management Review. https://timreview.ca/article/664
Saadatmand, M (2017) Examining Learners’ Interaction in an Open Online Course through the Community of Inquiry Framework. European Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning. 20 1.