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Understanding transnational MBA students’ instructional communication preferences

Mary Bambacas (Mary Bambacas, International Graduate School of Business, GPO Box 2471, University of South Australia)
Gavin Sanderson (Learning and Teaching Unit, University of South Australia)
Vicki Feast (School of Commerce, University of South Australia)
Song Yang (International Graduate School of Business, University of South Australia)

Journal of International Education in Business

ISSN: 2046-469X

Article publication date: 1 April 2008



This paper reports on a preliminary investigation into the instructional preferences of students from Confucian‐heritage backgrounds studying in a transnational Master of Business Administration (MBA) program of an Australian university. This is part of a long‐term undertaking to ensure that teaching and learning arrangements in the MBA program are improved. The teaching and learning environment of the program is characterised by an intensive teaching regime which utilises a mixed mode of face‐to‐face and online delivery which promotes independent and collaborative learning. The aim of the investigation was to provide lecturers with an understanding of the students’ instructional preferences so that, where possible and appropriate, they can better assist the students to meet the learning objectives of the MBA program. Questionnaire data was collected from students studying the MBA in English (EMBA) in both Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as students studying the MBA in Chinese (CMBA) in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. The findings demonstrate that whilst students ranked teacher‐directed, face‐to‐face instructional delivery highly, some students also indicated that an independent, online learning environment had advantages even though it was their least‐preferred approach to learning. These findings provide lecturers with insights into their students as learners and this is particularly useful in terms of informing planning processes for how to best assist students to work productively and successfully in the face‐to‐face and online teaching and learning environment.



Bambacas, M., Sanderson, G., Feast, V. and Yang, S. (2008), "Understanding transnational MBA students’ instructional communication preferences", Journal of International Education in Business, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 15-28.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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