Investigating relationships between features of learning designs and student learning outcomes

Carmel McNaught, Paul Lam, Kin Fai Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports a study of eLearning in 21 courses in Hong Kong universities that had a blended design of face-to-face classes combined with online learning. The main focus of the study was to examine possible relationships between features of online learning designs and student learning outcomes. Data-collection strategies included expert reviews of the learning designs, student surveys of perceptions of the web environment and their own learning outcomes, and a SOLO (structure of observed learning outcomes) analysis of assessment evidence of student learning outcomes. The findings of this correlational study indicate mild relationships between features of learning design and student perceptions of their learning outcomes. Both the provision of learning resources and the engagement of students in online communication relate to aspects of learning (acquisition of knowledge and skills, and enhancement of learning motivation). Also, the relationship was stronger when eLearning strategies were more extensively used. However, no relationship was found between learning design and the student performance in assessment tasks, possibly because of the limited assessment data that was examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-286
Number of pages16
JournalEducational Technology Research and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment
  • Learning design
  • Student learning outcomes
  • Student perceptions
  • Web environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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