The Carrot and the Stick

McTaggart, Valerie and Hallinan, Sandra (2021) The Carrot and the Stick.


The acceptance of the web-based course as a viable educational delivery medium has greatly accelerated during the last decade (Arbaugh and Benbunan-Finch,2006). Students are increasingly ready to use computer technology in education and have an expectation that it will form part of their college experience, with blogs facilitating diversity in viewpoints which can be used as an excellent opportunity for teaching critical thinking (Goffe and Sosin,2005). Blogs provide a dynamic interactive medium for online discussion and allow “bloggers” an outlet in which to provide commentary on whatever topic interests them (Cameron, 2012:397). However, it is not entirely clear whether these technologies have truly “transformed” management education (Whitaker et al.,2016) or whether student engagement is student dependent or subject dependent. .

The aim of this study was to investigation the use of MS Office Teams as a learning platform for students of an online Master’s in Leadership Programme . The study endeavoured to identify if student engagement and participation in an online learning platform is student dependent or subject dependent

A practical multi-disciplinary approach was chosen using an online forum. Both lecturers implemented an online blog for students in the academic year first semester 2019-20 as part of a taught module in a Master Programme. The two modules were from diverse disciplines. Module 1 was Financial Management and Module 2 was a Leadership Module. The digital platform link was accessible to students via the page on the student virtual learning platform. All students enrolled on the module were asked to contribute to the blog situated on MS Teams each week in preparation for the following weeks class. At the end of the semester students’ interactions and contributions were awarded marks as a percentage of their overall grade.

Data was analysed using the principles of content analysis as put forward by Krippendorff (2012).

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