Chapter 4 – Blended Learning and Individual Differences

The theoretical potential of education technology is well described in the literature. However, the reality of educational technologies in higher education often fails to meet its potential (Henderson, Selwyn, & Aston, 2015). Research on the use of educational technology should move away from comparative research, in which the added value of one single educational technology is determined, towards research of integrated use of those technologies within a course in an authentic setting wherein new research methods are being explored.

The current study explores this opportunity while taking into account some important factors that are often neglected in current research into the effects of educational technology in a blended learning environment: individual differences in the use of learning resources, the role of learning strategies and the impact of instructional conditions. Data collected during a blended learning course (n=333) from online and offline learning activities, supplemented with students’ self report on processing strategies, regulation strategies and learning orientations revealed that there are distinct patterns between students in the use of (digital) learning resources in a blended learning setting. These distinct patterns can be partly explained regulation of the learning process. When examining course performance, this study demonstrates that not all students benefit equally from the different learning resources. These results are related to the expertise reversal effect (Kalyuga, Ayres, Chandler, & Sweller, 2003).

This chapter has been submitted for publication as:

Bos, N. R. & Brand-Gruwel, S. (2016). Who Will Benefit from Blended Learning? Individual Differences in the Use of Blended Learning and its Impact on Course Performance.
Manuscript submitted for publication.