Universidad de Granada (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 6378-6388
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
New information and communication technologies (ICTs), and particularly the World Wide Web, provide educators and learners with an innovative learning environment to stimulate and enhance the teaching and learning process. In recent years, the use of ICTs in higher education has increased considerably. In Spain, according to data published by the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE, 2009) 71.8% of university teaching and research staff make use of the institutional virtual teaching platform, and 92.5% of students take advantage of this teaching instrument. Clearly, thus, the future of higher education is linked to advances in technology.
In this scenario, development is currently taking place in concepts such as blended learning. This has been defined as an integration of traditional face-to-face and online approaches to instruction (Macdonald, 2008), and is proposed as a solution addressing the needs both of students and of higher education organization. According to the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) (2005), blended learning courses are gaining in prominence globally as ICTs are deployed to complement rather than replace traditional forms of higher education.
The use of blended instruction is growing rapidly because instructors see that the use of diverse teachings methods can significantly enhance learning outcomes. Nevertheless, the role of technology in students achievements has not been sufficiently contrasted from an empirical point of view. In fact, previous literature has reported inconsistent or even contradictory results regarding the effect of use of technology on the student outcomes. In some cases use of technology has been measured by students' satisfaction from the learning experience (Lopez-Perez et al., 2010), but the use of objective data can allow to analyze the impact on the outcomes of a more determinant way.
In this paper, we contribute to current knowledge, revealing the results of an experiment in blended learning carried out at the University of Granada. This experiment took place in the Basic Accounting subject, which is taught in first year of four different degree related to economic and business science, to a total of 17 groups and 1813 students registered for the 2009-2010 academic year. These students have the option of using an on line platform for voluntary activities to complement the face to face classes. According to data obtained from the use of ICT for a set of 1126 students (62% of students registered made use of this tool), this paper had two main aims. Firstly, we want to determine the impact of the use of ICT in student outcomes (measured by the final mark achieved in the subject). Secondly, we also analysed the possible influence of other variables that are often taken into consideration in this field of research, namely age, gender, background and rate of class attendance.

CERI (2005). E-learning in tertiary education: Where do we stand?. Paris: OCDE Publishing.
CRUE (2009). Las TIC en el Sistema Universitario Español (2009): UNIVERSITIC 2009. CRUE: Madrid.
López-Pérez, M.V.; Pérez-López, M.C. & Rodríguez-Ariza, L. (2010): “Blended learning in higher education: Students’ perceptions and their relation to outcomes”, Computers & Education, (DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2010.10.023).
Macdonald, J. (2008). Blended learning and online tutoring (2nd ed.). Hampshire, UK: Gower.
Technology, Education, Blended learning.