Optional student use of online lecture resources: resource preferences, performance and lecture attendance


Mark Grabe, Department of Psychology, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202, USA. Email: mark_grabe@und.nodak.edu


Abstract  One of the most common uses of a course management system in the on-campus environment is to offer lecture resources to students. Few researchers have investigated how students use such resources. This study considers student use of lecture resources that offer a representation of the lecture presented (i.e. lecture outline, lecture summary, audio recording) and the relationship of the use of such resources to examination performance and attendance. The present research is argued to be an extension of research that investigated the benefits of providing students instructor notes conducted some 30 years ago. The Internet provides a practical way to apply some of these ideas and to collect data on the reaction of students to the opportunity to view lecture resources. Students made very little use of the audio recordings. We suggest audio recordings may be regarded by students as less efficient and less useful than text-based lecture summaries. The use of online lecture resources, lecture attendance, and examination performance were positively related. For one of three examinations, there was a significant negative interaction of note use and attendance in predicting examination performance providing some support for the hypothesis that students may be able to successfully compensate by viewing online lecture resources when unable to attend class. Because students in this study were not asked to explain their use of these resources, the present findings are regarded as speculative. However, given the interests of many practitioners in providing students lecture resources, the descriptive data and the relationships observed here encourage additional investigation.