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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Student Engagement and the Factors That Contribute to Students' Use of Blended Learning Technologies

Timothy Florer (DeVry University, USA)
Bob Haluska (DeVry University, USA)
Session Information
July 8, 2014 - 1:00pm
Institutional Leadership and Strategy
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Research and Evaluation
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Plaza Ballroom F
Session Duration: 
50 Minutes
Information Session 1
Virtual Session
Best in Track

Findings from a quantitative study measuring student engagement via the NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement) and students' intentions to use blended learning technologies.

Extended Abstract

This presentation will engage the audience through a series of straw poll questions that addresses student engagement and students' intentions to use technologies in blended learning. Interactive discussions will encapsulate two primary focus areas of the Sloan-C Quality Framework: Students' access to learning opportunities through blended learning technologies and instructor facilitation; capturing scalability through technical and financial considerations for blended learning infrastructure.

Participants will respond to straw polls based on their perceptions of how blended learning students responded on engagement and technology use questions in a recent blended learning study at a four-year university. The results of the study will be shared with the audience and a discussion will ensue based on student retention implications. Small groups will then discuss the one student engagement factor that predicted students' use of technologies in the study and present conclusions or anecdotal evidence based on experiential applications. Participants will be given handouts of the presentation and the blended learning research results with a link to the doctoral research dissertation. The presentation will include current advantages and challenges of blended learning based on research and study findings. The goal of this presentation is to provide institutional leaders and faculty with blended learning strategies that improve student engagement and retention results.

The use of technologies has been considered integral to students' blended learning experiences. A critical question in any learning environment is: "How does student engagement improve learning performance?" Blended learning's capacity to engage students in learning is thought to be different than either face-to-face or online instruction through collaborative online and face-to-face learning communities. Student collaboration and communities of inquiry are considered unique to the blended learning experience, and which is both dependent upon and facilitated by learning technologies while preserving onsite interaction.
Background, Findings, and Discussion

Blended learning is an instructional method that blends both face-to-face and online learning. Oliver and Trigwell (2005) stated that while the use of blended learning has expanded greatly, it is not well understood in higher education. The purpose of this descriptive quantitative study at a Midwest university was to determine how student engagement factors predict the use of blended learning technologies in a blended learning program. The primary research instruments used were: The NSSE and a technologies use survey based on the "Unified Theory of the Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT)" model. The presenter will interact with audience members using sample NSSE and UTAUT model questions through a straw poll to familiarize participants with each before discussing the research findings. The presenter will lead a discussion about audience perceptions of blended learning student engagement and the use of learning technologies, as compared to the research findings.

The results of the blended learning study will be presented and given to the audience in handouts. It was determined in this study that student engagement was a significant predictor in the use of blended learning technologies (F=6.14, p<.05). The level of academic challenge was the one student engagement factor out of four factors in the NSSE survey that significantly predicted students' use of blended learning software (eCollege) at the university studied (F = 6.20, p=.0134), p< .05). 

The presenter will discuss how these research findings suggest ways to improve pedagogies, innovative instructional design, and teaching methods in blended learning from a "learner-centered" perspective. Participants will become familiar with the NSSE and UTAUT questions through the straw poll surveys and interactive discussions. This study may be beneficial to college and university leaders considering blended learning in improving student engagement, learning, retention, and financial results.

Lead Presenter

Dr. Timothy Florer is a Dean at DeVry University in the business and technology programs and has been a National Director of Admissions and Training, and a Senior Faculty member in Training and Development in the Masters of Business Administration program at DeVry for the past nine years. Dr. Florer received his Ed.D from Creighton University; his Masters in Business Administration from Keller Graduate School of Management; and holds a B.A. in Psychology from Eastern Illinois University. He is also a certified Steven Covey Leadership trainer and facilitates the "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" training nationally.