Student Interaction with Content in Online and Hybrid Courses: Leading Horses to the Proverbial Water
Permutations of traditional and online learning are rapidly advancing along a blended continuum, prompting conjecture that learning and e-learning will soon be indistinguishable. As variations of blended learning evolve, educators worldwide must develop better understanding of how effective interaction with course content impacts engagement and learning. This study compares patterns of access to instructional content in online and hybrid courses offered at a regional university in the United States. Frequency counts and access rates were examined for course content in four categories: core materials, direct support, indirect support, and ancillary materials. Observed results were echoed in responses to a survey of students, who reported selectively accessing course content based upon perceived likelihood of positive impact on performance. Implications for course design are myriad.