The role of user preferences in engagement with online learning


Ilin, V. (2021). The role of user preferences in engagement with online learning. E-Learning and Digital Media.


Digital technology in education has become a staple of many contemporary classrooms. Educational technology offers many benefits, including access to knowledge, mobility, multiple means of engagement, accessibility, distance learning, as well as the ability to connect in unprecedented ways. There is a growing body of research that examines digital learning tools, online classroom environments, learning management systems and other technologies that are integrated into the learning process. Such research extends to analysing the positive impacts of online and blended learning; however, few studies explore the user preferences of the learners. Without assessment of the user preference, the benefits of learning through technology are often lessened. This research explores and analyses how user media preferences influence engagement and motivation in online learning. One hundred twenty-two KS3 (13-year-olds) secondary school were provided voluntary access to a purpose-built online learning resource that augmented their in-class Holocaust history curriculum with learning materials in audio, video and e-text. Data were collected through web analytics and user feedback forms. The analytical tools provided detailed quantitative data on user activity on the site, while the feedback forms yielded qualitative data on usefulness and enjoyment. Results provided insights on the usage trends and user preferences that influence engagement. These behavioural patterns reflect user motivation and learning preferences and can be utilised to personalise digital content delivery to increase engagement with online learning materials.


  • Ilin, Vladislav

Reference Type



  • Online learning