Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Train of thought shunted

For some time now I have been mulling a question. Why do so many of those who start their studies via the distance learning mode not actually make it the whole distance and graduate?

Or perhaps the question could be, how does % that make it, make it?

Obviously, some don't make it because, despite trying, they fail to pass the minimum assessment criteria. But that is not actually a high number. One could argue that a lot of people fail to finish because of events in their lives outside their control. For some, this may be true, but don't the kinds of events most people experience in their 30s - births, deaths, moves, marriages, divorces, promotions and so on - happen equally as often to those who graduate as those who don't?

This leads me to speculate whether it is not the fact of things happening, but how people deal with them. That is not to say that the ecology of a person's situation isn't important, but it is also of their own making (largely), so I'm left with the question: what makes the difference between the MBA distance finisher and the drop-out?

This is only indirectly related to the Vrtual Tutor Course I am now a participant on. Well, perhaps I may discover that it is dirctly related, too. It is interesting to speculate whether tutors/facilitators can help people who would otherwise find themselves dropping out.

1 comment:

Taggy said...

Hi Chris,
As I struggle to complete my Marketing reading (for DL31) and shuffle my tasks into an assignment, I'm pondering the same question!

I suspect that part of the answer is that people get what they want out of the course, and in some cases the qualification is not as important as the knowledge.

Reading the business press - both articles and advertising - it appears that MBAs are two-a-penny and employers are becoming increasingly skeptical about them. Also, many colleges seem to being taking shortcuts with their DL programmes, effectively diluting the content to encourage registrations and revenue. The impact is that many employers regard DL qualifications as second class.