Practice and Repetition during Exam Preparation in Blended Learning Courses: Correlations with Learning Results
Learner-centric research on factors influencing learning results has focused, among other things, on student characteristics, demographic data, and usage patterns in learning management systems (LMSs). This paper complements the existing research by investigating potential correlations between learning results and LMS usage during exam preparation, focusing on practice and repetition. Based on 250 million log-file entries used to analyze student interactions within specific courses and overall in the LMS, results show positive, albeit modest, correlations between usage variables and final exam grades. Regarding practice, the number of learning days and the number of days between the first and the last learning sessions correlate better than the coverage of different learning materials. The findings for repetition indicate that it is more beneficial to transfer learning to new tasks than to repeat the same items many times. The study not only looks at single usage variables but also examines the distribution of the descriptive and dependent variables and uses visualization techniques and quantiles to deal with outliers. This paper describes the largest empirical study of learner interactions in blended learning courses conducted so far (at least according to the authors’ knowledge) and including techniques for processing and analyzing large datasets about LMS usage.
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