Informal e-learning : the case of small business owners
Smith, Tara & Barrett, Rowena (2014) Informal e-learning : the case of small business owners. Education + Training, 56(2/3), pp. 219-232.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the use of an informal online discussion forum (ODF) to encourage voluntary participation and promote double-loop learning by small business owners (SBOs).
Design/methodology/approach - A qualitative methodology was used where data gathered from three sources, the ODF posts, in-depth interviews with participants and a focus group with non-participants. These were analysed to evaluate learning of SBOs in an ODF.
Findings - This research provides evidence that an ODF for SBOs supports double-loop learning; however, participation could not be assumed simply by the online availability of the discussion resource.
Research limitations/implications - Few SBOs participated in the ODF which is consistent with research finding SBOs are a difficult group to engage in learning. Four forms of data were analysed to strengthen results.
Practical implications - Caution should be exercised when considering investment in e-learning for SBOs.
Originality/value - Evidence showing e-learning through an informal voluntary ODF can promote deep learning for SBOs.
Impact and interest:
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|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||Learning, Informal Learning, E-learning, Online Discussion Forum, Small Business Owner|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Human Resources Management (150305)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Small Business Management (150314)
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
|Deposited On:||25 Aug 2014 01:22|
|Last Modified:||25 Aug 2014 21:31|
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