The influence of blended learning on students' learning behavior with respect to the heterogeneity of students
This dissertation examines the influence of blended learning on student's learning behavior with respect to student heterogeneity. The analysis is based on theoretical models. Since blended learning offers a variety of learning opportunities which are available around-the-clock, it is able to influence learning in a different way than traditional teaching methods. Especially online feedback helps students to self-regulate learning and to assess their abilities. Taking the growing heterogeneity of students into consideration, blended learning may be a measure to rethink homogeneous university structures. Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 follow Göcke (2002) by applying his model of learning by doing to the framework of university courses. These chapters analyze how learning behavior is influenced by online learning opportunities. Chapter 3 introduces a broader perspective, shedding light on the impact of blended learning on student heterogeneity which characterizes today's higher education system. Dynamic utility maximization in Chapter 1 emphasizes that around-the-clock online learning opportunities lead to a nearly constant learning activity in time. In this connection, we also show that constant learning increases the learning progress. Furthermore, the introduction of an online mid-term test leads to a higher level of learning time before the test and consequently shifts the learning activity towards the beginning of the semester. Since studies on flawed self-perception indicate that students are not able to self-assess themselves accurately, Chapter 2 assumes imperfect knowledge about the individual ability. As a result, we are able to show that online exercises and a mid-term test improve self-assessment of skills and the failure rate of the exam if students persistently make use of these feedback sources. Chapter 3 introduces a new perspective by looking at blended learning and the higher education system. On the one hand, Chapter 3 shows that blended learning guides the self-study of students and improves flawed self-assessment and on the other hand, blended learning is able to transform teaching routines in higher education to adapt to the heterogeneous student body.
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