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How Tertiary Students Managed their Learning During the COVID – 19 Lockdown Periods: Findings from the Learner Management System (Moodle)


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As the first wave of COVID‐19 sweeps New Zealand (NZ) communities, the NZ tertiary institutions were opting to shift to online teaching and learning. Moodle is the most widely used Learning Management System (LMS) in the world that can be effectively used to create an efficient distance learning process for students, assist educators in creating online resources, convey information, grade assignments, and deliver online activities. Both educators and students have access to Moodle, which creates an online environment of ongoing communication, social interaction, and cognitive skills of students. In addition, Moodle platform is capable to deliver student collaboration which is an integral part of distance learning sessions in conjunction with to use of video conferencing tools such as Zoom.
The purpose of this study is to analyse the student traffic logs data in utilising Moodle platform during the stages of COVID-19 lockdown occurring from February 2020 to July 2020 and September 2021.
Moodle is one of the most used LMS in practice and the current version of Moodle (3.9) includes various plugins that correspond to students’ specific activity logs such as assignments, lessons, pages, quiz, URL, folders and files. This study examined 87,194 Moodle activity logs from 191 students from February 2020 to September 2021 including two nationwide lockdowns in NZ, through nine courses at the Waikato Institute of Technology. The log data for this study was taken from first and second-year students following NZ diploma (Level 6) and BEng Tech (Level 7) within the area of engineering.
We explored differences in students’ learning behaviours and interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic by analysing the Moodle log data. Moodle log data was extracted from three different timeframes from February to June 2020 (1st COVID-19 Lockdown period), July 2020 to June 2021 (No-lockdown Period) and July to September 2021 (2nd COVID-19 Lockdown period) for the courses on Moodle. As expected, a significant increase in online activity was observed during the two lockdown periods, 2020 Semester one and 2021 Semester two. During the first lockdown in 2020 Semester one, a significant increase in Moodle participation was observed, the frequency of using Moodle was 125.5 logs per month per student, compare to the normal semesters in 2020 S2 and 2021 S1 without COVID lockdown, 76 logs per month per student. A similar pattern has been found during the second lockdown in semester 2, 2021 where a higher frequency of Moodle activities with 134.7 per month per student accesses was made. In addition, this study found a variance of logs throughout the semester, particularly during the 1st lockdown period. From the beginning of the semester to the lockdown, students accessed the course moodle on average of 99 logs per month per student. During the lockdown period, students Moodle access was steeply increased by 258.7 logs per month per student, and their Moodle activities have further extended after the lockdown until the end of the semester with 134.7 logs per month per student. Although online learning through Moodle was an integral part of the study, the results of Moodle log data indicated that online learning environments are increasingly used by students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Item Type: Paper presented at a conference, workshop or other event, and published in the proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords: Learner Management System (Moodle), COVID – 19 Lockdown Periods, student traffic logs data, Moodle
Subjects: A General Works > AS Academies and learned societies (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Engineering and Industrial Design
Depositing User: Jai Khanna
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2021 22:34
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 09:26

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