Can we improve academic performance and student satisfaction without additional time cost for teachers? Evidence from a blended methodology in Microeconomics

Anett Erdmann, Alfonso Jesús Torres Marín

Abstract

Purpose: The main goal of this paper is to determine if the use of a blended methodology can improve performance and satisfaction of the students, with no additional time cost for teachers. As a second objective, the article attempts to explain observed differences across students in the effect of the methodology on study time based on the theory of optimal decision making. Finally, we sketch a simple cost benefit analysis for the digital learning platform (DLP) used.

Design: The teachers combined the traditional classes methodology with the adoption of a DLP in two courses of Microeconomics at an undergraduate level at ESIC Business & Marketing School. Subsequently it is analyzed the impact of this methodology on student satisfaction and performance, as well as on student’s study time using different analytical tools.

Findings:  students’ grades, at the final exam, increased in a significative way as they spent more time with the DLP and/or when they do more digital assignments at home. Their satisfaction with the blended methodology, and the use of the DLP was quite high for most of students. Their feedback on working time relative to traditional methods showed two extremes, either studying much more or much less. We provide a theoretical explanation for this observation, based on Microeconomic theory.  A cost-benefit analysis of the DLP tool at an institutional level suggests that its economic costs are more than justified by the economic benefits of the tool in terms of student’s satisfaction, brand reputation and teachers time saving.

Contribution: This document provides a methodology to measure the benefits of an innovative learning methodology using relevant indicators and employing advanced statistical techniques as regression analysis. It also helps us to understand student’s behavior in the face of an educational innovation based on technology. The findings are in line with economic theory.


Keywords

Blended Learning; Technology-Enhanced Learning; virtual labs; educational innovation; computer software on education

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Universitat Politècnica de València

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