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Examining effects of instructional strategies on student engagement in blended online courses

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Oxford : Blackwell Science
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Blended online courses, which combine synchronous and asynchronous online activities, have expanded rapidly in higher education. How to enhance student engagement in such courses is unclear, although it is recognized that student engagement is malleable through instructional strategies. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the influence of categories of strategies on student engagement in blended online courses. A conceptual framework of instructional strategies indicated as fostering student engagement in the relevant literature was first presented, divided in eight categories (structure, pace, relevance, active, choice, relationships, explanations, guide). Then a research framework linking the categories of strategies to student engagement dimensions (emotional-cognitive, social, behavioral) was built and tested in blended online courses. Data collected in various disciplines and university levels at four universities (n = 482) were examined using partial least squares structural equation modeling. The structural model examination confirmed the combined effects of categories of instructional strategies on student engagement in such courses in all disciplines. Particularly, this study revealed that 1) establishing trusting relationships, 2) demonstrating the relevance of activities, content, and resources, and 3) maintaining a sustained course pace significantly impacted student engagement in blended online courses in all disciplines. Providing a large-scale portrait of how instructional strategies relate to student engagement in blended online courses, practical implications for teachers were also discussed.
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, (2022)
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Higher education , Blended and online learning , Student engagement , Instructional strategies
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article de recherche