Munich Personal RePEc Archive

E-learning as internationalization strategy in higher education: Lecturer’s and student’s perspective

Mihhailova, Gerda (2005): E-learning as internationalization strategy in higher education: Lecturer’s and student’s perspective. Published in: Baltic Journal of Management , Vol. Vol.1, No. No.1 (2006): pp. 270-284.


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Purpose – Use of e-learning opens up a whole new range of business expansion and internationalization opportunities for many companies including higher education institutions. The paper seeks to explore the challenges a business college may encounter using e-learning as internationalization strategy. E-learning-related problems are analyzed from two main internal interest groups’ point of view – lecturers and students. The aim of the case study presented in the paper is to find out what are the major challenges from a student and academic personnel perspective using e-learning. This kind of analyses should be the first step introducing e-learning as a strategic tool for business expansion. Design/methodology/approach – Questionnaires, in-depth interviewing and semi-structured group interviews were used to find answers to the posed research questions. Research took place in two phases. In phase one, two types of questionnaires were distributed – Type A to lecturers (ten respondents) and Type B to students (115 respondents), Both types were constructed by the author. In phase two, two in-depth interviews and two semi-structured group interviews were conducted (ten students in one group of interview, eight lecturers in the second group of interview). Findings – The main problem areas for lecturers related to e-learning are: lack of time, lack of interest/motivation, lack of co-operation, compensation system does not take into account the specifics of e-learning and lecturers are concerned about the quality of teaching in a virtual environment. The most problematic of them appear to be lack of time and inappropriate compensation system. Students appear to have interest in e-courses, but the level of knowledge regarding specifics of web-based learning as well as about e-courses offered was unexpectedly low. This is an especially problematic case as open university students were the main target group for whom the e-courses were designed in the first place. Research limitations/implications – The research is based on one case study and thus the conclusions made may not exactly reflect the situation in all universities of Estonia. But due to the shared economic, cultural and historical background, at least to some extent the case study reflects the main problem areas of all Estonian universities using e-learning. Originality/value – The originality of the paper stems from an interdisciplinary approach to e-learning – use of e-learning as a tool for internationalization. The paper presents results of a case study research, conducted in an East-European business college and the results of the study are discussed in respect of historical, social and economic specifics of Estonia.

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