On multi-device use: using technological modality profiles to explain differences in students' learning

Varshita Sher, Marek Hatala, Dragan Gašević

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


With increasing abundance and ubiquity of mobile phones, desktop PCs, and tablets in the last decade, we are seeing students intermixing these modalities to learn and regulate their learning. However, the role of these modalities in educational settings is still largely under-researched. Similarly, little attention has been paid to the research on the extension of learning analytics to analyze the learning processes of students adopting various modalities during a learning activity. Traditionally, research on how modalities affect the way in which activities are completed has mainly relied upon self-reported data or mere counts of access from each modality. We explore the use of technological modalities in regulating learning via learning management systems (LMS) in the context of blended courses. We used data mining techniques to analyze patterns in sequences of actions performed by learners (n = 120) across different modalities in order to identify technological modality profiles of sequences. These profiles were used to detect the technological modality strategies adopted by students. We found a moderate effect size (ϵ 2 = 0.12) of students' adopted strategies on the final course grade. Furthermore, when looking specifically at online discussion engagement and performance, students' adopted technological modality strategies explained a large amount of variance (η 2 = 0.68) in their engagement and quality of contributions. The result implications and further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK'19)
Subtitle of host publicationLearning Analytics to Promote Inclusion and Success
EditorsChristopher Brooks, Rebecca Ferguson, Ulrich Hoppe
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450362566
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventInternational Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference 2019 - Arizona State University, Tempe, United States of America
Duration: 4 Mar 20198 Mar 2019
Conference number: 9th

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


ConferenceInternational Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference 2019
Abbreviated titleLAK 2019
CountryUnited States of America
Internet address


  • Blended learning
  • Learning analytics
  • Mobile learning
  • Multi-device use
  • Online discussions
  • Trace analysis

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