Experiences of E-Learning and Its Delivery Among Learners Who Work: A Systematic Review

  • Christopher Carroll
  • Andrew Booth
  • Diana Papaioannou
  • Anthea Sutton
Part of the Professional and Practice-based Learning book series (PPBL, volume 5)


The development of educational opportunities among learners who work is increasingly recognised as an important mechanism in transferring skills and knowledge from the academic environment and embedding them within working practice. This review aims to explore and describe the experience of e-learning among students in employment. A systematic review and thematic analysis of studies evaluating the experience of online learning among working learners in the UK. Literature searches identified 41 relevant studies. Five key themes emerged from the data that influenced the learning experience of students: peer communication; support; flexibility; knowledge validation; and course presentation and design. Given that the effectiveness of online learning is mediated by the learning experience, course designers and providers need to take careful account of these issues if they are to enhance working learners' experience of e-learning. This synthesis offers a new means for understanding the experience of online learning for those in formal employment, which can be used to inform the delivery of such courses.


Systematic review Thematic analysis E-Learning Online learning Situated learning Moderated learning Working students Higher Education Qualitative Studies Student Experience United Kingdom 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V.  2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Carroll
    • 1
  • Andrew Booth
    • 1
  • Diana Papaioannou
    • 1
  • Anthea Sutton
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Sheffield, School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR)SheffieldUK

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