New insights into students’ engagement with online learning contents: perception versus action

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper


The implementation of blended learning in higher education has been increasing rapidly during the past decade and has become especially popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. While tutors spend an enormous amount of time preparing online learning contents, their usefulness for achieving learning objectives is not apparent. Moreover, students may consciously choose not to engage with online materials. Using data on engagement with the e-learning platform Moodle for 390 undergraduate business students, we investigate patterns of online student behaviour, examine the effects of students' engagement with various e-learning contents on their performance, and discuss the impact of student learning style on online engagement. The paper uncovers the contradiction between student attitudes towards e-learning resources and their use behaviour. While students find online contents useful and efficient for learning the subject, they tend to ignore them. Such disengagement may be explained by 'strategic' learning behaviour, which places the main focus on assessed elements of the course rather than on additional learning contents. We further show that this approach to learning may be harmful to learning outcomes as completion of online activities provided in the course has a significant positive effect on students' performance.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - 15 May 2023


  • Blended learning
  • Learning style
  • Moodle
  • Business School
  • Engagement
  • Learning Analytics


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