As online learning technologies are becoming an integral part of the learning experience at university, the quality of student learning is increasingly shaped by their experience of using these new artefacts. In many cases, the research frameworks investigating the contribution of online learning technologies to quality outcomes are yet to have explicitly identified their role and contribution. Adopting a Student Approaches to Learning perspective, the study described in this article analyses how online learning technologies are qualitatively situated in relation to inquiry by investigating associations among approaches to online learning technologies, perceptions of the learning context, and academic achievement. The findings indicate that there are consistent and distinct patterns of associations between the different aspects of the learning experience that reveal the role of online learning technologies in the student experience of learning. The findings suggest that qualitative differences in how students use online learning technologies and differences in how they perceive online learning technologies are logically related to the quality of outcomes. The discussion highlights an appropriate role and location of online learning technologies in the Student Approaches to Learning framework in order to help researchers, students, teachers and university leaders better understand their contribution to qualitatively different experiences of learning. It suggests principles for a more effective design of learning tasks based on the results which indicated deeper engagement both online and in-class.
- online learning technologies
- perceptions of the learning context
- student approaches to learning