Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development > Vol. 1, No. 2 (2004)

Can students improve performance by clicking more? Engaging students through online delivery

Jenny Kofoed, Central Queensland University, Australia


One of the biggest challenges facing educators today is to engage students in an active learning environment. Owing to the diversity of the student cohort, educators need to explore new and exciting ways of engaging students in the course content. One important aspect associated with this ongoing challenge is to reflect on one’s own teaching practice. This reflection provides an opportunity to develop innovative ways to guide student learning and to improve overall course performance. The use of asynchronous learning networks is growing in popularity, which provide students with more flexible delivery of courses. This paper explores the relationship between student engagement through online delivery of materials and assessment and end-of-term examination performance. In addition, comparisons are made between students studying in different modes. The paper presents data from a study involving all students enrolled in FINC19011 Business Finance at Central Queensland University in Winter Term in 2002 and 2003. Initially in 2002, only the course materials were made available to students online through WebCT. Owing to the frequent use of virtual materials by students in 2002, online assessment was introduced in 2003. Inferences are drawn from the study as to whether students who frequently engaged in online learning performed better than students who rarely used the virtual materials.

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