Advancing project management by applying learning theories for designing and delivering professional education online

Strang, K 2005, Advancing project management by applying learning theories for designing and delivering professional education online, Professional Doctorate, Graduate School of Business and Law, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Advancing project management by applying learning theories for designing and delivering professional education online
Author(s) Strang, K
Year 2005
Abstract Online learning appeals to busy professionals and project managers (PMs) since demands from work, family, and personal interests compete with the desire to engage learning and finish courses. The thesis critically analyzes adult learning literature, then develops models, and tests the approaches at a commercial university. The professional learning model overcomes the gap in applied online learning design and delivery theories through a perspective transformation of the fundamental educational psychology principles, to shift the philosophy towards an integrated humanistic-constructivist paradigm. The key principles emphasized in this new approach are andragogical motivation, self-schema, self-efficacy, and self-regulation. A repeated-measures quasi-experiment was designed and conducted in a university online MBA program (n=48), using a scientific research methodology (that controlled confounding factors) to empirically test the professional learning factor model. Paired-treatment tests, factor covariances, coefficient of multiple determinations, and cause/effect multiple regression findings were statistically significant at the 95% confidence level (most tests exceeded 99%). A linear mathematical predictor and systemic model was substantiated from the concept testing, to quantitatively explain 66%(r²) of cause-effect variance between the contextual factors and dependent variables. These findings were compared to, and were in agreement with similar studies. The limitations of the quasi-experiments are small sample size, natural selection (as opposed to pure randomization), and generalizability to other contexts (models not yet replicated). The research makes a theoretical and empirical contribution to four stakeholder domains - Project Management (PM) professionals, adult educators, academic research community, and the PM body of knowledge. The first value claim consists of empirically proven online learning design and delivery guidelines, that can be applied and/or replicated. Secondly, the research multi-methods to decrease time-to-market for these multi-year experiments. Lastly the research evidence might promote the development of more 'soft-skills' content in PM
Degree Professional Doctorate
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Graduate School of Business and Law
Keyword(s) Distance education
Industrial project management
Computer-assisted instruction
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