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.