A qualitative study exploring the perceptions of part time distance learning students learning gain using the ‘Three Gains’ Employability model

Joan Simons, Michael Snowden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This qualitative project set out to identify if Open University (OU) students who were studying a level three (FHEQ level 6) module had achieved, as a consequence of their study enhancement in three key areas of an employability framework: learning, working and personal gains. Findings from 27 interviews demonstrated that learning gains appeared to arise from specific module material that was relevant to the student’s employment, but also, on study skills and transferrable skills that contribute to the students’ confidence and ability to carry out their employment. Working and personal gains appeared to be closely linked because of the students’ developing confidence, self-esteem and sense of achievement as a result of their studies, as well as their practical skills such as self-management. The key personal gain that emerged was confidence, which had a positive impact on the interviewees’ personal and working life. The increased self-esteem and sense of achievement indicated that ‘study has enhanced an individual’s sense of self’. The study also reports unexpected gains: the impact of their studies was apparent in how others view of them changed over time. Colleagues admired and respected them for their achievement with their studies and sought advice from them at work. Their families had pride in them and for some were seen as a role model for their children. This study is unique: The Three Gains model of employability used as a conceptual framework offers a perspective on the employability gains part-time distance learning students achieved through study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-18
Number of pages14
JournalInternational journal of multidisciplinary comparative studies
Volume7
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

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