Exploring critical factors of the perceived usefulness of blended learning for higher education students

PLoS One. 2019 Nov 21;14(11):e0223767. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223767. eCollection 2019.


Performed in a Slovenian higher education institution, the presented research was designed to help investigate which factors influence the ways a student perceives an e-course's usefulness in a blended learning environment. The study is based on an online questionnaire completed by 539 students whose participation in the survey was voluntary. Using structural equation modelling, the students' perceptions of different aspects were investigated, including their attitudes to course topics and technology, learning preferences, teachers' role in course design and managing the teaching process. The empirical results show e-learning is positively perceived to be usefulness when: (1) the teacher is engaged and their activities in an e-course, with the (2) a student's attitude to the subject matter and the lecturer's classroom performance having a direct impact, and (3) technology acceptance having an indirect impact. No major differences were revealed when the model was tested on student subgroups sorted by gender, year of study, and students' weekly spare-time activities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude*
  • Education, Distance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Male
  • Models, Statistical
  • Students / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult

Grant support

This work received support from the Slovenian Research Agency (research core funding No. P5-0093). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.