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Learning behaviours and successful outcomes in STEM students

Project leader(s): 
Elizabeth Ellis and Alice Gallagher

This project will investigate the relationship between learning design, learning behaviours and student outcomes to establish any significant correlations. An empirical understanding of this relationship will allow us to add another dimension to the Learning Design process, with a closer alignment to student success.

Research Question

‘Is there a significant relationship between combinations of learning behaviours and student outcomes?’


To further investigate the relationship between the learning behaviour of students and outcomes we want to study learning behaviours within the context of a module in presentation. We propose:

  • Gathering longitudinal learning behaviour data of individual students and cohorts from selected modules, combining quantitative and qualitative data, to provide a baseline as well as a triangulation point for determining the relationship between learning behaviours and student outcomes.
  • Comparing learning behaviours to the module design, through in-depth module mapping using Learning Design Online tools and a Systems Mapping approach.
  • Compare student behaviours to module performance data and student outcomes (SAS-VA),
  • VLE activity (EAI dashboard), and key events identified at Analytics for Action data touchpoint meetings (A4A).

Proposed module criteria

Ideally three Level 2 Science modules should be identified, to sample 100 students from each module. Non-mathematics modules are preferred, but the delivery method (print/online/on-screen) is not important. The outputs of this project will give modules an opportunity to take action, i.e. it could inform Mid-Life Review, QME, rewrite, single subject Science quals.

Proposed outputs

  • Practice-based case study on the effectiveness of using learning behaviours in learning design for improving student outcomes.
  • A set of resources designed to assist module teams (through the prism of Learning Design) in their preparation of review documentation for Mid-Life Review, QME and/or rewrite purposes.
  • Recommendations for how student behaviour insights can enhance the A4A process.
  • Complete mapping of learning behaviours against learning design activity types

Ellis, E. and Gallagher, A. (2019) project poster (PDF)