Interrelated analysis of interaction, sequential patterns and academic achievement in online learning

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AUSTRALASIAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY, vol.38, no.2, pp.181-200, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.14742/ajet.7360
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, Periodicals Index Online, EBSCO Education Source, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), INSPEC, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.181-200
  • Keywords: online learning, learner profile, age and programme features, course design, cluster analysis, sequential patterns, PERFORMANCE, ANALYTICS, COURSES, BEHAVIOR, ATTRITION
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


This study aimed to examine the behaviour of learners across a whole system and in various courses to reveal the interrelation between learners' system interaction, age, programme features and course design. We obtained data from the system logs of 1,634 learners enrolled in distance learning programmes. We performed hierarchical clustering analysis to describe system interactions; then, we carried out a sequential pattern analysis to examine navigational behaviours by clusters. The results showed that the system interactions (e.g., content, live lesson, assignment, exam, discussion) across the whole system differ by age and programme. The behaviour profiles of the learners changed when different course designs were presented. Learners who interacted more with any component (e.g., live lesson or content) according to their needs were more successful than those with limited interaction and assessment-oriented (those with limited interactions outside of the assignment). In an information and communication technology course, learners whose system interactions were sufficient to receive rewards were more likely to succeed. The sequential pattern analysis showed that the assessment-oriented cluster interacted with the assignment in the midterm weeks; the awardoriented cluster interacted with the content or completed their assignment and received an award. Consequently, it is difficult to determine or generalise the intervention unless the system, programme and course design features are standard.