Combining self-reported and observational measures to assess university student academic performance in blended course designs

Keywords: student approaches to learning research, learning analytics research, self-reported measures, observational measures, academic performance, blended course designs

Abstract

This study combined the methods from student approaches to learning and learning analytics research by using both self-reported and observational measures to examine the student learning experience. It investigated the extent to which reported approaches and perceptions and observed online interactions are related to each other and how they contribute to variation in academic performance in a blended course design. Correlation analyses showed significant pairwise associations between approaches and frequency of the online interaction. A cluster analysis identified two groupings of students with different reported learning orientations. Based on the reported learning orientations, one-way ANOVAs showed that students with understanding orientation reported deep approaches to and positive perceptions of learning. The students with understanding orientation also interacted more frequently with the online learning tasks and had higher marks than those with reproducing orientation, who reported surface approaches and negative perceptions. Regression analyses found that adding the observational measures increased 36% of the variance in the academic performance in comparison with using self-reported measures alone (6%). The findings suggest using the combined methods to explain students’ academic performance in blended course designs not only triangulates the results but also strengthens the acuity of the analysis.

Implications for practice or policy:

  • Using combined methods of measuring learning experience offers a relatively more comprehensive understanding of learning.
  • Combining self-reported and observational measures to explain students’ academic performance not only enables the results to be triangulated but also strengthens the acuity of the analysis.
  • To improve student learning in blended course design, teachers should use some strategies to move students from a reproducing learning orientation towards an understanding orientation and encourage active online participation by highlighting the importance of learning online.

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Author Biography

Feifei Han, Griffith University

Feifei Han, PhD, is a research fellow at Griffith University. Her research interests focus on teaching, learning, educational technology in higher education, and educational psychology. She has worked on a number of large scale research projects funded by Australian Research Council. As a mixed-methods researcher, she has high level research skills in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies and has rich research experience in educational technology, language and literacy education, and educational psychology.

Published
2020-12-22
How to Cite
Han, F., & Ellis, R. (2020). Combining self-reported and observational measures to assess university student academic performance in blended course designs . Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 36(6), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.6369
Section
Special Issue 2020 Learning Analytics: Pathways to Impact