In addition to provided materials, many students will also tend to seek information from non-academic websites such as social media, (Kim, Sin & Tsai, 2014) and Wikipedia (Selwyn & Gorard 2015). Use of such sites raises concerns relating to the relevance, reliability, and validity of material, as well as the students’ ability to critically select useful materials. To this end, a selection of curated additional resources, (YouTube videos and website extracts) were provided to first year students in a psychobiology course, through its VLE. Patterns of additional resource usage were examined to establish the efficacy of this practice as a model for encouraging effective learning practices. For example, were weaker students accessing materials more or less often than the stronger ones? The statistics tracking logs of blended courses can only capture a fraction of students’ interactions with learning materials, thus the reliability of learning analytics predictions based on such logs should be interpreted with caution.
Focusing on the theme of virtual learning spaces, this presentation will consider whether students are taking full advantage of our virtual learning spaces. Do students truly find online materials a valuable resource, and if so what is the value of these resources to a student’s learning progress? Furthermore, it will consider if different approaches may encourage students to take a more proactive approach to the VLE to help enhance their learning.
Kim, K.S., Sin, S.C.J. and Tsai, T.I., 2014. Individual differences in social media use for information seeking. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40(2), 171-178.
Norberg, A., Dziuban, C.D. and Moskal, P.D., 2011. A time-based blended learning model. On the Horizon, 19(3), 207-216.
Selwyn, N. and Gorard, S., 2016. Students’ use of Wikipedia as an academic resource. The Internet and Higher Education, 28, 28-34.
Zacharis, N.Z., 2015. A multivariate approach to predicting student outcomes in web-enabled blended learning courses. The Internet and Higher Education, 27, 44-53.