A study of the relationship between students’ engagement and their academic performances in an eLearning environment

Banoor Yousra Rajabalee, Mohammad Issack Santally, Frank Rennie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


The concept of online learning has witnessed an increase in the higher education sector, where enrolment rates in online courses have significantly grown in recent years. According to the literature, one of the critical components of quality online education is to ensure learner engagement. In short, the need to effectively measure learner engagement is imperative to determine the performances and the successful achievements of learners. In this research, the aim was to understand the relationship between students’ engagement in an online module with their overall performances by analysing students’ learning activities in an online module. Three measurable indicators were identified and considered relevant within the current research context and based on the available data, and from research literature for assessing learner engagement within the module. These were (i) the number of completed learning activities; (ii) importance level (as per course outcomes) of completed learning activities; and (iii) activities requiring platform presence. It was found that there is a significant but weak positive correlation between the engagement of students in the online module and their performances in the final learning activity. It was further observed that when continuous learning activities were considered, there was a very strong positive correlation between engagement and performances. In general, the average engagement level of students was significantly higher for good performers as compared to low performers. Similarly the mean performance of highly engaged students was significantly better than those with low engagement levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalE-Learning and Digital Media
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • educational data mining
  • learner engagement
  • learning analytics
  • Online learning
  • online presence
  • regularity status


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