Designing an Action Learning Course for an MBA Program: A Qualitative Evaluation

  • Martin Goerlich Stamford International University
Keywords: MBA, Action Learning, Course Design, Evaluation Research


The focus of this research project was to evaluate the course design of an introduction course for an international master of business administration (MBA) within the ASEAN context by using Action Learning (AL). For that purpose a class was designed with the AL approach in mind and applied during an 8 week course. In this research the same course participants have been investigated on their own learning reflections and experience during the course, the end of the course and one year later after finishing all coursework of the MBA. The research is using an interpretive, mixed method, approach to qualitative evaluation using observation, qualitative questionnaire, students learning reflections, and a focus group. The findings suggest that the AL approach has the potential to create a wide variety of skills and knowledge for the users if enough time is given to experiment and apply with the AL approach. The findings also correlate with the findings of previous studies. The other lecturers of the MBA not involved in the course, on the other hand, rejected the course. Educator and lecturer teaching at Postgraduate level within the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will benefit from the design descriptions of the introductory class and the subsequent evaluations results to be applied in future course designs and to avoid the same mistakes made by the researcher. The value of this particular course design evaluation can be found in its contribution to practice and the research design, as the study lasted more than a year and it would be challenging to replicate such study.