Posted by: MandyS | June 27, 2013

Listening to the Student Voice

Block 2, Weeks 13 & 14

The module now turns to looking at the way in which the learner influences how technology might be used to enhance their learning i.e. how they are ‘using technology’ and their ‘perceptions’ of it. Module teams can introduce whatever technology they like to deliver a module but if the students can’t or won’t use it, it will be something of a white elephant. Understanding why students can’t or won’t use technology has to be key.

The LXP project (Conole et al.) identifies that the web is their first port of call – no surprises there, but what the project highlights as being surprising is the ‘extent to which it is commonplace’ and the ‘sophisticated ways students use it to find and synthesise information’. So students use technology to communicate and develop their own communities, again no surprises – I only have to look at my daughter with her phone to understand that. But what students are doing is ‘appropriating technology to meet their own needs’.

The project highlights 8 factors which will determine whether technology is useful:

1. Persuasive and integrated – can be used to support study

2. Social – used to form a community of peers

3. Interactive – high quality and byte sized

4. Changing skills set- can harness the potential

5. Transferability – with the PC as the control learning tool

6. Time – information and results on demand

7. Changing work patterns – develop new practices

Basically, if it is ‘just another tool’ it won’t ‘cut the mustard’ so for students to endorse technology it has to have a ‘clear purpose and benefit’. I would argue that this ‘benefit’ is completing the task with the least amount of effort and within the shortest time.

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