Investigation of the Relationship between Learning Process and Learning Outcomes in E-Learning Environments

1Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hacettepe University, Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technology, Ankara
2Hacettepe University, Res. Asst. Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technology, Ankara.
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2015.59.4


Problem Statement: Learners can access and participate in online learning environments regardless of time and geographical barriers. This brings up the umbrella concept of learner autonomy that contains self-directed learning, self-regulated learning and the studying process. Motivation and learning strategies are also part of this umbrella concept. Taking into consideration learning processes and outcomes together, Biggs’ 3P model of learning is used as the theoretical framework. The first P was defined as learning presage and included learning inputs such as learner variables, prior knowledge, learner readiness, personality, etc. The second P was considered the learning process, which covers learner motivation and learning strategies. The last P was suggested as learning outcomes (product) which consist of the results of formal and informal assessment, perceived learning, self-concept, satisfaction, etc.

Purpose of Study: In this study, we especially considered the learning process and the learning outcomes and investigated the effects of learning process on learning outcomes. In addition, we took into consideration the two dimensions of learning outcomes as a) perceptions of learning, and b) performances of learning, respectively. Also, we investigated the relationship between learners’ perceptions of learning and performance of learning.

Methods: Relational scanning model was used based on the 3P model. Within the Computer Networks and Communication Course, 68 students participated in the study. Study Process Questionnaire, Online Learning Perception Scale and performance test were used to identify student learning processes and outcomes. Associations between these psychoeducational constructs were examined through Structural Equation Model (SEM).

Findings and Results: According to SEM analysis, learners’ approaches to learning have a significant effect on their perception of learning. Conversely, the effects of surface approaches on learners’ perception of learning was not statistically significant (p>.05). Whereas deep strategy approaches have significant effects on performance of learning, the relationship between deep motivation and performance of learning was not significant. Performance of learning was negatively affected by surface approaches (p<.05). Interestingly, there was no significant relationship between perceived and actual learning performance.

Conclusions and Recommendations: Results showed autonomous learners (those with deep strategy and motivation) have better perceived learning outcomes. However, having deep motivation and high perception of learning is not necessarily correlated with high performance. This asserts that performance in an online learning environment independent of learner’s motivation and perception about learning. One possible reason is that assessment of perception of learning is norm- referenced, while performance of learning is criterion referenced.

Keywords: E-learning, learning management system, perception of learning, performance of learning, learning outcomes.