Variations in the coherence and engagement in students’ experience of blended learning


  • Feifei Han
  • Robert Ellis



blended learning, coherence, engagement, engineering students


We report a study which examines coherence of engagement of 344 first year engineering students’ blended learning experience. Using self-report and observational data sources, we demonstrate that student perceptions of the blended learning environment, academic learning outcomes, and engagement with the online learning activities are logically related at the variable level as shown by correlation analyses; and at the level of student groupings of similar learning experience and behaviors, as revealed by cluster, ANOVA, and 2 x 2 contingency analyses. Using self-report data, we found that when students perceived the learning activities in the f2f and online environments were integrated, they were more likely to be engaged with the online learning and to perform relatively higher on the assessment tasks than students who perceived disintegration between f2f and online learning. Using the observational data, students who were more engaged with the online learning tended to perceive that the online learning was well integrated with the f2f learning, that the online contributions were valuable for the whole learning experience, and achieved relatively higher than less engaged students. A 2 x 2 contingency table revealed a logical relationship between the groupings of students based on the selfreport and observational data: moderate and positive association was found between students with coherent perceptions and more engagement; and between students with fragmented perceptions and less engagement. The use of multiple data sources and methods enabled triangulation, strengthened analysis power, and offered a more comprehensive picture of students’ blended learning experience.






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