Should Meaningful Online Learning Experiences be Fun for Higher Education students in Indonesia?

Sheehy, Kieron; Sujarwanto; Rofiah, Khofidotor and Budiyanto (2021). Should Meaningful Online Learning Experiences be Fun for Higher Education students in Indonesia? In: 8th LSME International Research Conference on Sustainable Development and Education (Kumar, Ravi; McKinney, Stephen; McAreavey, Martin; Parhi, Sarita; Jackson-Sil, Dolly; Gray, Peter and Shifau, Hassan eds.), London School of Management Education, London.


Indonesia is the ‘most diverse multi-ethnic state in the world with very low enrolment rate in tertiary education (36%) comparing to primary education (93%) and secondary education (79%) according to UNESCO Institute for Statistics. There are 4 kinds of tertiary education institutions in Indonesia, namely polytechnics, academies, institutes and universities.

A key issue highlighted by the Ministry of Education and Culture is to provide ‘meaningful’ online learning experiences for their H.E. students, which was aggravated by the pandemic. Eight million of tertiary students are experiencing distance education for the first time in Indonesia. Examining approaches to ‘meaningful’ online learning experiences became extremely relevant. 80% of institutions whose students have left campus and returned to their home locations are concerned about how to support students’ retention and progress. To explore the needs and views of H.E. students, this work examines epistemic beliefs and relationships between fun and learning.

In addition, previous work in Indonesia suggests that international epistemological research needs to have a more differentiated view of learning models in order to better understand and inform how more meaningful pedagogies can be applied (Budiyanto et al, 2018) in all levels of education. This study in Indonesian tertiary education is supported by a recent research (Okada & Sheehy, 2020a) which has identified two key factors students’ epistemological beliefs and their beliefs about fun in learning. These factors are relatively underexplored in distance education.

Through a mixed-method approach, this study examined questionnaire responses from 774 students from across Indonesia. Findings shows that five themes emerged which reflected relationships between students’ epistemological beliefs and beliefs about study and enjoyment. A key issue that emerged from the findings is the lack of enjoyment with online study including a dissatisfaction with a content delivery approach to online teaching. These findings will be used to provide recommendations for tertiary education in Indonesia.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Item Actions