The Open UniversitySkip to content

Linking students' timing of engagement to learning design and academic performance

Nguyen, Quan; Huptych, Michal and Rienties, Bart (2018). Linking students' timing of engagement to learning design and academic performance. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge, ACM, New York, pp. 141–150.

Full text available as:
PDF - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (1MB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


In recent years, the connection between Learning Design (LD) and Learning Analytics (LA) has been emphasized by many scholars as it could enhance our interpretation of LA findings and translate them to meaningful interventions. Together with numerous conceptual studies, a gradual accumulation of empirical evidence has indicated a strong connection between how instructors design for learning and student behaviour. Nonetheless, students' timing of engagement and its relation to LD and academic performance have received limited attention. Therefore, this study investigates to what extent students' timing of engagement aligned with instructor learning design, and how engagement varied across different levels of performance. The analysis was conducted over 28 weeks using trace data, on 387 students, and replicated over two semesters in 2015 and 2016. Our findings revealed a mismatch between how instructors designed for learning and how students studied in reality. In most weeks, students spent less time studying the assigned materials on the VLE compared to the number of hours recommended by instructors. The timing of engagement also varied, from in advance to catching up patterns. High-performing students spent more time studying in advance, while low-performing students spent a higher proportion of their time on catching-up activities. This study reinforced the importance of pedagogical context to transform analytics into actionable insights.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Copyright Holders: 2018 ACM
ISBN: 1-4503-6400-4, 978-1-4503-6400-3
Keywords: learning analytics; learning design; virtual learning environment; higher education
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Knowledge Media Institute (KMi)
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 53939
Depositing User: Bart Rienties
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2018 09:35
Last Modified: 01 May 2019 21:54
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU