A Study of the Impact of Technology-Enhanced Learning on Student Academic Performance


  • Sandeep Chowdhry Edinburgh Napier University
  • Karolina Sieler Edinburgh Napier University
  • Lourdes Alwis Edinburgh Napier University




Academic Practice, Higher Education


In university education a lot of emphasis is placed on the use of the virtual learning environment (VLE) in teaching to enhance the student learning experience. As a result, the academic staff is encouraged to use VLEs in different ways, including as a platform to provide online access to the study material but also as a source of additional online module activities aimed at enhancing student learning. This article reports on a study conducted on 257 students to investigate whether the utilisation of VLE has any impact on the final marks achieved by the students. As part of the study, the VLE logs were contrasted with the final marks of the students participating in a Law Module (LM), an Electrical Engineering Module (EEM) and a Mechanical Engineering Module (MEM) delivered at Edinburgh Napier University in the academic year 2013/2014. The results showed that the number of VLE visits did not have a direct impact on the final marks obtained by the students. However, for one of the modules there was some correlation between the final marks obtained by the students and the way the modules were structured around the VLE. The results of the study emphasised the need for continued improvement of the technology-enhanced teaching and learning skills of the academic staff in order to enhance the student learning experience.

Author Biographies

Sandeep Chowdhry, Edinburgh Napier University

School of Engineering and Built Environment

Karolina Sieler, Edinburgh Napier University

Lourdes Alwis, Edinburgh Napier University


Biggs, J. (1994). Approaches to learning: Nature and measurement. The International Encyclopedia of Education (1), 318–322.

Cheng, C. K., Paré, D. E., Collimore, L.M., & Joordens, S. (2011). Assessing the effectiveness of a voluntary online discussion forum on improving students’ course performance. Computers & Education, 56(1), 253–261.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2010.07.024

Dawson, S. (2006). Online forum discussion interactions as an indicator of student community. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 22, 495–510. Retrieved from http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet22/dawson.html

Demian, P., & Morrice, J. (2012). The use of virtual learning environments and their impact on academic performance. Engineering Education, 7(1), 11–19.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.11120/ened.2012.07010011

Garrison, D. R., & Kanuka, H. (2004). Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 7(2), 95–105.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2004.02.001

Ginns, P., & Ellis, R. (2007). Quality in blended learning: Exploring the relationships between on-line and face-to-face teaching and learning. The Internet and Higher Education, 10(1), 53–64.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2006.10.003

Graham, C. R., Woodfield, W., & Harrison, J. B. (2013). A framework for institutional adoption and implementation of blended learning in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 18, 4–14.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2012.09.003

Gray, C., & Smyth, K. (2012). Collaboration creation: Lessons learned from establishing an online professional learning community. Electronic Journal of E-Learning, 10(1), 60–75. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ969436

Ho, A., Lu, L., & Thurmaier, K. (2006). Testing the reluctant professor’s hypothesis: Evaluating a blended-learning approach to distance education. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 12(1), 81–102.

Kember, D., McNaught, C., Chong, F. C. Y., Lam, P., & Cheng, K. F. (2010). Understanding the ways in which design features of educational websites impact upon student learning outcomes in blended learning environments. Computers & Education, 55(3), 1183–1192.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2010.05.015

King, C. R., & Arnold, K. C. (2012). Blended learning environments in Higher Education: A case study of how professors make it happen. Mid-Western Educational Researcher, 25(1-2), 44–59.

Kirkwood, A., & Price, L. (2014). Technology-enhanced learning and teaching in higher education: what is “enhanced” and how do we know? A critical literature review. Learning, Media and Technology, 39(1), 6–36.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2013.770404

Laurillard, D. (2011). A draft research briefing document from the technology-enhanced learning research programme. London Knowledge Lab. Retrieved from http://www.tlrp.org/docs/ProdBeta.pdf

Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (2014). Changing the Learning Landscape. Retrieved 05 May, 2014 from http://www.lfhe.ac.uk/en/programmes-events/your-university/cll/

Lee, S. W. Y. (2013). Investigating students’ learning approaches, perceptions of online discussions, and students' online and academic performance. Computers & Education, 68, 345–352.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2013.05.019

Mijatovic, I., Cudanov, M., Jednak, S., & Kadijevich, D. M. (2013). How the usage of learning management systems influences student achievement. Teaching in Higher Education, 18(5), 506–517.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2012.753049

Ocak, M. A. (2011). Why are faculty members not teaching blended courses? Insights from faculty members. Computers & Education, 56(3), 689–699.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2010.10.011

Ofsted. (2009). Virtual learning environments: An evaluation of their development in a sample of educational settings. Available from http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/virtual-learning-environments-evaluation-of-their-development-sample-of-educational-settings

Porter, W. W., Graham, C. R., Spring, K. A., & Welch, K. R. (2014). Blended learning in higher education: Institutional adoption and implementation. Computers & Education, 75, 185–195.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2014.02.011

Romero, C., López, M. I., Luna, J. M., & Ventura, S. (2013). Predicting students’ final performance from participation in on-line discussion forums. Computers & Education, 68, 458–472.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2013.06.009

Romero, C., Ventura, S., & García, E. (2008). Data mining in course management systems: Moodle case study and tutorial. Computers & Education, 51(1), 368–384.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2007.05.016

Walker, S. E. (2003). Active learning strategies to promote critical thinking. Journal of Athletic Training, 38(3), 263–267.

Walker, R., Voce, J., & Ahmed, J. (2012). Survey of technology enhanced learning for higher education in the UK. Retrieved from http://www.ucisa.ac.uk/groups/ssg/surveys.aspx

Wu, J. H., Tennyson, R. D., & Hsia, T. L. (2010). A study of student satisfaction in a blended e-learning system environment. Computers & Education, 55(1), 155–164.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2009.12.012






Original Research