The value of student attendance at face-to-face classes, as part of a blended learning experience


  • Charlotte Clark The University of Melbourne
  • Ger Post The University of Melbourne



Blended learning, eLearning, student attendance


eLearning can create more flexibility for students; more efficiently utilise infrastructure; and can provide high-quality learning at scale. We have investigated perceived value and learning gains associated with online (eLearning) and face-to-face (f2f) components of a blended learning experience. We hypothesised that individual student preference for eLearning and f2f learning would be variable but that participation in f2f learning opportunities would enhance student learning. Using a design-based research approach, we have evaluated blended learning with interactive eLearning materials, and a collaborative, active f2f class. We have combined qualitative evaluation survey data and quantitative f2f attendance data and student grades. Students overwhelmingly value active learning, both within eLearning materials and f2f classes. Final marks positively correlate with the number of f2f classes students attend. Analysis of a subset of intended learning outcomes (ILOs) shows that students who access the eLearning materials independently and students who attend the f2f class perform equally-well in ILO-related assessment tasks; however, students are more likely to choose an assessment task directly-related to a class they have attended. We suggest that attendance at f2f classes as part of a blended learning experience is beneficial however students can sufficiently obtain selected ILOs from engaging eLearning materials.