Articles

The Factors Influencing E-Learning and Blended Learning in Relation to Learning Outcome

by SK Yadav Educational Blogger and SEO at U18.

Abstract: In higher education, e-learning is gaining more and more impact, especially in the format of blended learning, and this new kind of traditional teaching and learning can be practiced in many ways. Several studies have compared face-to-face teaching to online learning and/or blended learning in order to try to define which of the formats provides, e.g., the highest learning outcome, creates the most satisfied students or has the highest rate of course completion. However, these studies often show that teaching and learning are influenced by more than teaching format alone. Many factors play significant roles, and this literature review will look further into some of them.

The review has a special interest in professional bachelor education and teacher training, and it focusses on factors that influence learning experiences in e-learning, online learning and blended learning. Thus, the research question of the review is as follows: Which factors are found to influence e-learning and blended learning in relation to learning outcome, student satisfaction and engagement in collaboration in higher education and particularly in professional education?

The findings from the research papers included in the review show that among the many factors some seem to dominate more: educator presence in online settings, interactions between students, teachers and content, and designed connections between online and offline activities as well as between campus-related and practice-related activities. The article thus points in the direction of some significant factors, but it also discusses and questions the relevance of research focusing on comparisons between individual formats of e-learning, online learning, blended learning or "traditional" face-to-face teaching and learning. Teaching and learning are complex and are influenced by more than just the teaching format.

Introduction

 In the literature reviewed, a great number of studies have aimed at determining whether computer-mediated education in the form of e-learning, blended learning or hybrid learning is better than traditional face-to-face teaching in relation to, for instance, learning outcome and student satisfaction. Researchers, educators and educational decision makers alike are eager to find out which format leads to the best results for their students and the educational institutions. However, as we shall see below, comparative studies of educational formats show different results, which might indicate that factors other than the format alone influence learning outcome, satisfaction, student retention et cetera. In this review of the literature on e-learning, we present and discuss definitions of e-learning, hybrid learning and blended learning, and we review the literature comparing different online teaching formats with traditional on-campus/face-to-face teaching. With this point of departure, we explore which factors affect students’ learning experiences in different online formats in higher education, with particular emphasis on professional education and teacher training. The review serves to show that some factors are more prominent than others, and these factors, including spaces, learning community and student identity, course design and the educator’s role, are further discussed.

Spaces, learning community and student identity

 In this part of this review, we look into teaching and learning environments, student identity and learning communities, putting particular emphasis on the aspects highlighted by the reviewed literature to be of specific importance for professional education students’ learning experience in online and blended programs. Several studies have noted that the online element of blended learning education has important implications for students’ experience of the learning setting.

Course Design

In this part of the review, we look into the overall course design and the elements and activities that researchers find to be of relevance and importance when designing a successful blended/online course in higher education. As we have a special interest in the online part of blended learning course design in professional education, a specific focus is kept here.

To sum up, the most important elements we find in this part of the review are related to interactions, links and scaffoldings

• Between online and offline activities

• Between campus-related and practice related activities and

• Between students, teachers and content

Educator roles and relations

 In the last part of the review, we look into educator roles and relations, with particular emphasis on the dimensions that are reported in the reviewed literature to have significant influence on student learning in professional programs offered through blended or online formats. Several studies find that strong educator presence along with quality course content are essential elements in courses that successfully facilitate online student engagement and learning. Establishing educator presence in online courses can be achieved in a number of ways, such as through regular communication with students, consistent feedback and critical discourse modeled by the educator. Online students need to feel connected to the educator, to other students in the course and to the course content

Conclusion and discussion

Many studies, and education institutions alike, are concerned with comparing different formats of e-learning, online learning, blended learning or F2F courses to find out which format is most effective in terms of, e.g., learning outcome and student satisfaction. However, research shows that teaching and learning are complex and are influenced by more than just the teaching format. For this reason, we should look into the many different factors that influence teaching and learning in different formats and in different contexts. This literature review has focused on the factors that affect students’ learning experiences in e-learning, online learning and blended learning in higher education, with particular emphasis on professional education and teacher training. The findings from the research papers included in the review show that among the many factors, some seem more salient than others: educator presence in online settings, interactions between students, teachers and content, and deliberate connections between online and offline activities and between campus-related and practice-related activities. More specifically, the reviewed literature offers numerous suggestions for specific course designs that are found to be effective in a particular context. Across studies, it is found that e-learning/blended courses should be designed to foster coherence between online and offline activities, between campus-related and practice related activities and between students, teachers and content. In relation to educator roles and relations, the dimensions that are reported in the literature reviewed to have significant influence on student learning in professional programs offered through blended or online formats include the educator’s role in establishing strong educator presence in online settings and in building online learning communities that foster positive relations. As for the students, research indicates that a number of factors influence their learning experience in eLearning/blended/online courses. The factors that are highlighted by the literature reviewed to be of specific importance for professional education students’ learning experience and their learner identity include the presence of appropriate teaching and learning spaces online as well as off-line and the presence of engaging and meaningful learning communities that support the students’ social relations.

In conclusion, the literature review confirms that there is an intense interest within the field of educational research to determine which factors affect learning outcome and student satisfaction in e-learning, online learning and blended learning in higher education, but further research is needed to better understand what influences students’ learning experiences in the online formats of professional bachelor programs.

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About SK Yadav Advanced   Educational Blogger and SEO at U18.

34 connections, 0 recommendations, 123 honor points.
Joined APSense since, January 5th, 2015, From Gurgaon, India.

Created on May 11th 2021 11:08. Viewed 226 times.

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