Can utilising blended learning help achieve academic success for architecture and engineering students?

    Shannon, Susan J.
    Francis, Rebecca L.
    Design education and computing


Understanding how students utilise any element presented in teaching for their learning is important, particularly with increasing enrolments and resource limitations. This paper explores the ways in which design studies and architectural engineering students utilised digital learning elements alongside face-to-face teaching in a (so-called) blended learning environment when learning about the tectonics of designed construction.

Methodologically, a case study of five successive iterations of one construction course taught from 2006-2010 was examined. The analytics which sit behind any Learning Management System (now ubiquitous in Universities) were harnessed to reveal students’ patterns of access to the digital learning elements in 2009, and 2010. These usage patterns were tracked throughout a Semester, and compared with students’ assessment outcomes to ascertain whether a relationship between usage and assessment outcome existed. The results revealed that students’ access to the digital learning objects was related to both assignment and overall grade outcomes. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) method was used to reveal that responses to the student evaluation question “The learning resources (e.g., handouts, web resources) are valuable for my understanding of the subject” revealed a significant result across the years 2006-2010 as students reported increasingly greater satisfaction with the available learning resources.

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