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Blended learning a key factor for students selecting a University

Less than half are currently experiencing blended learning at university, study finds

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — 8 February 2016 — Canvas, the open-source online learning management system (LMS) from Instructure that makes teaching and learning easier, has just conducted an exciting new study. The research revealed that blended learning is the most desired teaching style students want to receive at university. The study drew from 100 high school students and 501 university students in Australia, and revealed the key factors influencing choice of university and the experience of students once at university.

The findings show that 40 per cent of high school students want to receive a blend of traditional and online learning, while only 11 per cent want traditional lecture style teaching. Additionally, over a quarter (26 per cent) would be prepared to pay extra to receive a learning experience that has a blend of face-to-face and online learning, and 40 per cent believe universities should provide tools to enable them to learn their own way and at any time as part of the standard fee.

When compared to what university students are currently experiencing, less than half (48 per cent) reported they are offered blended learning. Similarly, only 36 per cent are provided with an 'always on' learning experience that enables them to access materials anywhere and anytime. This is partially the result of outdated technology - around one in six undergraduates say that the technology available at their university doesn't allow them access to 'always on' education.

"Digital technology is transforming the educational system as we continue to experience a shift from traditional facilitation towards more active learning approaches," said Troy Martin, Vice President of APAC for Canvas. "Australian universities increasingly recognise the need to adapt to the changing needs of not only millennials, but also the wider student cohort, who are looking for more flexible, interactive and real-world learning opportunities to best prepare them for the modern workplace."

'Style of teaching' was revealed to be the second highest consideration for high school students when selecting a university (18 per cent), with quality of teaching staff being considered the most important (20). In addition, 38 per cent of those surveyed said it is essential to have an 'always on' learning experience that allows access to learning materials anytime, on any device. Technologies like virtual learning environments are also important to high school students - almost half (48 per cent) expect this to be available as standard at university in order to help them learn.

Again, the contrast between what is desired by students and what they're offered was highlighted by the research. Only half of university students surveyed (53 per cent) have virtual learning environments as standard, making it difficult for many to access materials to aid their learning - this concurrently limits an academics' ability to access student data, so they can adapt their teaching styles. Meanwhile, almost a quarter (23 per cent) of undergraduates also specify that academic staff could improve their skills by using modern technology.

"These statistics indicate a clear mismatch between student expectation and experience. Universities need to identify the opportunity cost of not adapting to the needs of students, as well as capturing data about learning behaviour and outcomes," explained Troy Martin, Vice President of APAC for Canvas. "Insights and analytics on performance, as well as real-time feedback, can help empower both academics and students. Blended learning has undoubtedly broadened our notion of what is possible in the classroom and through the right tools, local universities can harness the power to build the capacity of their academics and in turn, student potential."

To keep learning, visit http://www.canvaslms.com.au/.

About Instructure
Instructure, Inc. is a leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology company that makes software that makes people smarter. With a vision to help maximise the potential of people through technology, Instructure created Canvas and Bridge to enable educational institutions and organisations everywhere to easily develop, deliver and manage engaging face-to-face and online learning experiences. To date, Instructure has connected millions of instructors and learners at more than 2,000 educational institutions and corporations throughout the world. Learn more about Canvas for higher education and K-12, and Bridge for the corporate market, at www.Instructure.com.

1 Notes to Editors: The research was conducted online by Atomic Market Research. It was conducted in Australia among 100 high school students and 501 university students in October 2016. The respondents are representative of gender, age and location.

Copyright © 2016, Instructure, Inc. All rights reserved. Instructure, Canvas, and the Bridge logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Instructure, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other brands and names may be claimed as the property of others.