Learning Effectiveness and Students’ Perceptions in a Flexible Learning Course

Claude Müller [muew@zhaw.ch], Michael Stahl [michaelstahltg@bluewin.ch], Mark Alder [alma@zhaw.ch], Maximilian Müller [mlxi@zhaw.ch], Zurich University of Applied Sciences [www.zhaw.ch], Winterthur, Switzerland


With flexible learning, students gain access and flexibility with regard to at least one of the following dimensions: time, place, pace, learning style, content, assessment or learning path. Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) has launched a new flexible learning study format called FLEX, a blended learning design allowing students to be more flexible as to when and where they study. It reduces classroom learning time, replacing some of it with an e‑learning environment for self-study that includes instructional videos. In a pilot phase, we conducted a semi-experimental study on the learning effectiveness of FLEX. Students’ perceptions of the new study format FLEX were found to be positive. In addition, the final test results of students in the FLEX programme were similar to those of other students, despite classroom learning time was reduced by about half.

Abstract in German

Mit flexiblem Lernen wird den Lernenden Flexibilität in Bezug auf mindestens eine der folgenden Dimensionen ermöglicht: Zeit, Ort, Tempo, Lernstil, Lerninhalt, Bewertung oder Lernpfad. Die Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften hat ein neues flexibles Studienformat FLEX eingeführt. Das Blended Learning Design FLEX ermöglicht Studierenden, zeitlich und örtlich flexibel zu studieren, da die physische Präsenzzeit an der Hochschule reduziert und durch eine E-Learning-Umgebung mit Lernvideos ersetzt wird. In einer Pilotphase des FLEX-Programmes konnte eine semi-experimentelle Studie zur Lerneffektivität von FLEX durchführt werden. Die Befunde zeigen, dass die flexible Lernumgebung FLEX von den Studierenden positiv beurteilt wurde. Zudem erzielten die Studierenden äquivalente Klausurergebnisse, obwohl die Präsenzzeit in FLEX im Vergleich mit dem konventionellen Studienformat um die Hälfte reduziert wurde.

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e-learning, distance learning, distance education, online learning, higher education, DE, blended learning, MOOCs, ICT, information and communication technology, collaborative learning, internet, learning management system, LMS, interaction,

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