Understanding Essential Factors in Influencing Technology-Supported Learning: A Model toward Blended Learning Success
In this study, we aim to understand factors that can influence technology-supported learning, specifically in the blended environment. To do that, a research model is developed by incorporating factors from three perspectives, including self-related factors, technology and systems factors, and the instructional design factor.
Technology-supported learning has changed the way of instruction dramatically in higher education, from e-learning to the more recent blended learning. Because of the increased popularity and wide adoption of blended learning, it would be of importance for educators and researchers to know and understand factors that could lead to student success in the blended environment.
The survey method was used in this study. The study site is a freshman-level, introduction to computer information systems class, at a major public university located in the United States, which adopts the blended learning instructional method. In total, 699 students completed the survey.
This paper contributes to the existing literature by investigating potential, influential factors on blended learning success from multiple perspectives. In addition, a research model is developed and tested in order to systematically investigate and understand the impacts of those factors on student success in such a learning environment.
Some interesting results have been identified. One is that students’ computer self-efficacy doesn’t play any significant role in influencing their perceptions of either the learning climate, task-technology fit, or the level of flexibility associated with blended learning. However, their own motivation to learn could significantly influence the first two of them. Another important result we find is that all four technology and systems related factors, including information quality, system quality, service quality, and media richness, have significant impacts on students’ perceptions of learning climate, task-technology fit, and blended learning flexibility. We also find that the instructional design factor can significantly influence blended learning success.
This study offers a research model that researchers could adopt to evaluate student success in blended learning or technology-supported education in general.
This study offers a research model that researchers could adopt to evaluate student success in blended learning, or technology-supported education in general.
The higher education industry needs to gain a better understanding of how potential factors could influence student success in blended learning (or technology-supported learning in general) in order to ensure the success of the use of modern information technology and systems to assist students’ learning.
Future research can further examine and validate the research model proposed in this study on other class settings and with different types of study bodies. In addition, future research may identify other types of important factors and further extend the proposed research model.