Patterns of students' utilization of flexibility in online academic courses and their relation to course achievement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Online academic courses provide students with flexible learning opportunities by allowing them to make choices regarding diverse aspects of their learning process; hence, such courses support personalized learning. This study aimed to analyze the ways students make use of flexibility in online academic courses based on learning time, place, and access to learning resources, as well as to investigate how this relates to differences in course achievement. The study examined 587 students in four online courses. Educational data mining (EDM) methodology was used to trace students' behavior in the courses and to compute 34 variables, which describe their use of flexibility. The results show that students developed different patterns of learning time, place, and access to content, which indicates that flexibility was used substantially. Students' achievements were significantly related to patterns of learning time and access to learning resources. Understanding the different patterns of flexibility usage may support the design of personalized learning and increase collaboration among students with similar characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-220
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Course achievement
  • Educational data mining
  • Flexible learning
  • Learning behavior
  • Online academic courses
  • Personalized learning

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