Attraction and retention of students is a primary concern for education. The global shift of face to face mode to online creates choices for students. This impact and reasons behind these choices needs to be understood to optimise higher education and employability.

Dr Heather Stewart, Dr Katrina Radford and Dr Harsha Sarvaiya are investigating the study choices of management students.

“With lifestyle at a premium it is important for us to understand how to accommodate our students’ study choices – after all they are our future” said Heather as she highlighted the significance of this project.

The initial pilot was funded by the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation, and has expanded, with Heather, Katrina and Harsha awarded a Griffith Grant for Learning and Teaching (GGLT) for their project titled “So many roads and detours: Exploring students’ study mode choices”.

The pilot study examined why undergraduate management students choose to study online, face to face or mixed mode, and how students feel these choices influence their future.

To answer these questions, the pilot study targeted first- and third-year students in the ‘on campus’ and ‘online’ management offerings at Griffith University and Open Universities Australia (OUA) Bachelor of Business programs.

“The initial study has extended our understanding and curiosity on the influences of students’ choices, performance and perceived outcomes. Subsequently, the impact of the pilot has created further questions into exploring the choices and the reasons behind these study mode decisions,” Heather said.

If we can have greater understanding of how and why our students choose to study, we will be better informed to optimise their learning experience – and have greater influence in students’ lifelong impact on business and society.”

The ongoing study with the support of the GGLT grant has been extended to cover all undergraduate management students with a focus on why students choose to study online, face to face or in mixed mode? And, how do students’ study choices impact their academic outcomes?