From Passing the Exam to Self-Actualisation: Different Ways of Conceptualising Success among Adult Students in Online Higher Education

Keywords: online learning, online higher education, adult students, success, phenomenography, qualitative research, student voices


Knowledge about adult students’ perspectives on success is scarce, with a slim history of research in online higher education. To fill this gap, this article reports on the results of a phenomenographic investigation of alternative perspectives on success among adult students from two online postgraduate programmes. The study uncovered that adults’ perspectives fell into five categories: obtaining satisfactory exam results and getting a degree, understanding, improvement in their professional practice, the opportunity to open doors, and self-actualisation. The study provides the research community and educators with information on what is missing from the full definition of the concept of success from the perspective of adult students in online higher education.


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How to Cite
Rotar, Olga. 2022. “From Passing the Exam to Self-Actualisation: Different Ways of Conceptualising Success Among Adult Students in Online Higher Education”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 4 (December), 233–259.
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