“Switching to the Online MA TESOL Program”: Experiences and Decision-Making Processes of International Learners

Luis Miguel Dos Santos


The COVID-19 pandemic changed the curricula and mode of instruction for many postgraduate taught and research programs. Before the pandemic, many MA TESOL programs included on-campus tutorials as requirements, as the curricula were designed based on on-campus activities. However, as the United Kingdom restricted face-to-face teaching due to social distancing, most of the courses were switched to online learning platforms during the pandemic. Although most courses returned to on-campus teaching during the 2021/2022 academic year, a group of East Asian international students decided to continue their MA TESOL program online as an alternative option. The purpose of this study is to understand the experiences and decision-making processes about this group of MA TESOL students and their decisions to finish their degrees via the online completion option. In line with social cognitive career and motivation theory, the results indicated that flexibility, career development through online learning options, and concerns about job security were the main three themes that arose within this group of students. The outcomes provide suggestions to university leaders and program directors in regard to developing additional online courses and programs to meet the needs of adult and postgraduate students who cannot attend on-campus courses, particularly MA TESOL learners.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jct.v11n5p15


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