Persistence and Performance of Adult Learners in Blended Business Education
Abstract: Policy makers, scholars and practitioners emphasize the importance of blended learning as a leverage for accessibility, flexibility and effectiveness of teaching and learning activities in tertiary education. In 2009, a mid-sized university college in Belgium developed a blended academic business education program aimed at adult learners. This paper reports on the findings of analyses using a large and original data set to test the impact of the introduction of the blended learning format on students’ persistence and performance. For this purpose, a difference-in-difference research model is developed which allows to calculate net effects, controlling for variations in exam difficulty across time. The results indicate that the introduction of blended learning led to better exam results and higher course pass rates but failed to improve persistence of individual lifelong learners. Implications for practice and follow-up studies are described.
Presider: Adewunmi Ogunbase, University of Tampere, Finland