A Literature Review of the Factors Influencing E‑Learning and Blended Learning in Relation to Learning Outcome, Student Satisfaction and Engagement


  • Anne-Mette Nortvig
  • Anne Kristine Petersen
  • Søren Hattesen Balle


e-learning, online learning, blended learning, hybrid learning, learning outcome, student satisfaction, collaboration


In higher education, e‑learning is gaining more and more impact, especially in the format of blended learning, and this new kind of traditional teaching and learning can be practiced in many ways. Several studies have compared face‑to‑face teaching to online learning and/or blended learning in order to try to define which of the formats provides, e.g., the highest learning outcome, creates the most satisfied students or has the highest rate of course completion. However, these studies often show that teaching and learning are influenced by more than teaching format alone. Many factors play significant roles, and this literature review will look further into some of them.The review has a special interest in professional bachelor education and teacher training, and it focusses on factors that influence learning experiences in e‑learning, online learning and blended learning. Thus, the research question of the review is as follows: Which factors are found to influence e‑learning and blended learning in relation to learning outcome, student satisfaction and engagement in collaboration in higher education and particularly in professional education? The findings from the research papers included in the review show that among the many factors some seem to dominate more: educator presence in online settings, interactions between students, teachers and content, and designed connections between online and offline activities as well as between campus‑related and practice‑related activities. The article thus points in the direction of some significant factors, but it also discusses and questions the relevance of research focusing on comparisons between individual formats of e‑learning, online learning, blended learning or "traditional" face‑to‑face teaching and learning. Teaching and learning are complex and are influenced by more than just the teaching format. The review is based on systematic database searches conducted in January 2017, and it includes 44 peer reviewed articles and papers published between 2014 and 2017.



1 Feb 2018