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A Delphi-based approach for detecting key e-learning trends in postgraduate education: The Spanish case

Blanca Lopez-Catalan (Management and Marketing Department, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain)
Victor A. Bañuls (Management and Marketing Department, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of national level Delphi study carried out in Spain aimed at providing inputs for higher education administrators and decision makers about key e-learning trends for supporting postgraduate courses.

Design/methodology/approach

The ranking of the e-learning trends is based on a three-dimensional analysis that combines the cost of implementation, the impact of each trend on learning outcomes and the diffusion forecast among postgraduate courses in the time horizon. The authors use the Delphi method for managing an expert panel.

Findings

Mobile learning, gamification, social media and open education are found as some of the key e-learning trends that might have greater educational impacts in postgraduate programs in the next years. These results are expected to help educational institutions to plan future positioning strategies depending on their starting positions, resources and intentions to innovate.

Originality/value

Educational managers and planners need to identify priority issues and principal trends in higher education in order to raise their innovative offer and to maintain competitiveness. The results might help them. Moreover the indicator and the methodological approach is a novelty in the field.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Escuela de Organización Industrial (Spain) for its support of this research through the project “E-Learning for SME, Offer Analysis and New Educational Methodologies” (Ref 2015/0212). We also thank Murray Turoff for assistance with Delphi Method, and Star Roxanne Hiltz for comments that greatly improved the manuscript.

Citation

Lopez-Catalan, B. and Bañuls, V.A. (2017), "A Delphi-based approach for detecting key e-learning trends in postgraduate education: The Spanish case", Education + Training, Vol. 59 No. 6, pp. 590-604. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-12-2016-0186

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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