On the 28th of June Hendrik Drachsler had the honor of being a jury member for the PhD defense of Esteban Villalobos at the University of Toulouse. Esteban successfully defended his thesis titled “Developing a Learning Analytics framework to understand the temporal behavior of students in Blended Learning Environments“.

Especially in Blended Learning (BL) settings, Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) is crucial for student success. These environments require students to manage their learning not only in online, but also in traditional in-person activities. Esteban’s thesis advances our understanding of SRL in BL contexts through a comprehensive approach, using Learning Analytics (LA) techniques as well as the latest Sequence Analysis (SA) advancements to examine students’ behaviors via trace data and self-reported measures.

One of the main goals of his thesis is the manifestation of SRL over time and its relationship to students’ individual characteristics and performance. It explores the link between students’ self-reported measures, prior achievements and their learning strategies, considering trace data as a mediator between internal conditions and course performance. The other main goal is the impact of LA applications on students’ studying strategies over the course of time. Here, the causal effects of LA interventions on the temporal dynamics of student behavior is investigated.

Using quantitative methods and data from three quasi-experiments in higher education courses, his research brings together broad variable-centered analyses with detailed person-centered approaches to capture the complexity of SRL in BL environments.

Key findings include:

  • The relationship between students’ self-reported measures, prior achievements and their learning strategies.
  • The mediating role of trace data between students’ internal conditions and course performance.
  • The causal effects of LA interventions on students’ learning behaviors.

This research offers a holistic analytical framework for studying SRL in BL, highlighting the influence of external conditions on student behavior, the mediating effect of behavioral data on academic performance as well as the positive impact of LA interventions on learning strategies.

Overall, Esteban’s thesis provides a comprehensive view on SRL in BL environments, offering a detailed findings of student learning processes and strategies, thereby advancing the understanding and application of educational technology in modern learning landscapes.