Month June 2016

Month June 2016

Recording VITAL webinar by Bart Rienties

featured image
  • Dr Bart Rienties, Reader at the UK Open University, 10 June 2016

“The impact of learning design on student behaviour, satisfaction and performance: a cross-institutional comparison across 151 modules”

Pedagogically informed designs of learning are increasingly of interest to researchers in blended and online learning, as learning design is shown to have an impact on student behaviour and outcomes. Although learning design is widely studied, often these studies are individual courses or programmes and few empirical studies have connected learning designs of a substantial number of courses with learning behaviour. In this study we linked 151 modules and 111.256 students with students’ behaviour (<400 million minutes of online behaviour), satisfaction and performance at the Open University UK using multiple regression models. Our findings strongly indicate the importance of learning design in predicting and understanding Virtual Learning Environment behaviour and performance of students in blended and online environments. In line with proponents of social learning theories, our primary predictor for academic retention was the time learners spent on communication activities, controlling for various institutional and disciplinary factors. Where possible, appropriate and well designed communication tasks that align with the learning objectives of the course may be a way forward to enhance academic retention.


Dr. Bart Rienties is a Reader in Learning Analytics at the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University UK. He is programme director Learning Analytics within IET and Chair of Analytics4Action project, which focuses on evidence-based research on interventions on OU modules to enhance student experience. As educational psychologist, he conducts multi-disciplinary research on work-based and collaborative learning environments and focuses on the role of social interaction in learning, which is published in leading academic journals and books. His primary research interests are focussed on Learning Analytics, Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, and the role of motivation in learning. Furthermore, Bart is interested in broader internationalisation aspects of higher education. He successfully led a range of institutional/national/European projects and received several awards for his educational innovation projects.

Watch the recording here.