Individual differences in students' use of optional learning resources

We investigated ways in which undergraduates use optional learning resources in a typical blended learning environment. Specifically, we recorded how often students attended live face-to-face lectures, accessed online recorded lectures, and visited a mathematics learning support centre during a multivariate calculus course. Four distinct study strategies emerged, but surprisingly none involved making heavy use of more than one resource. In contrast with some earlier research, the general strategy a student adopted was related to their academic achievement, both in the multivariate calculus course, and in their degree programme more widely. Those students who often accessed online lectures had lower attainment than those who often attended live lectures or the support centre. We discuss the implications of these findings and suggest that ‘blended teaching environments’ may be a more accurate description for what have previously been called ‘blended learning environments’.