Posted by: MandyS | June 27, 2013

Students’ frustrations

Block 3, Week 17, Activity 2: Hara and Kling (1999)

1. What kinds of distress do the authors report students experiencing?

Lack of prompt feedback, ambiguous instructions and technical problems. Nothing new there then, given the complaints on the W201 student café.

2. Have you had this experience yourself – including on H800! – or do you know of others who have had it?

Technical problems for me, but the whole lot for W201 students.

3. Is this a ‘taboo topic’ as Hara and Kling claim?

I am not sure it is taboo but I am sure that most faculties would argue that the students maybe exaggerate the problems. For W201, the students sit there waiting for the 10 working days to elapse and on the stroke of midnight, complain the tutor has failed in the required turnaround time. The next favourite complaint is the inaccuracies in the module and TMA materials, although the errors are generally minor, they are not to the student. In reality, they pay a lot of money so their expectations are going to be high.

4. What do you think of their recommendations for addressing the problems they identified?

I do wonder what further research is realistically going to achieve. W201 students complain about the same things each year and the situation doesn’t alter.

I think the link between Noble, Hara & King and the video is simply that technology has not had the desired impact on learning that was originally intended. It is not the ‘be-all-and-end-all’ and probalby raises as many issues as it solves. But, do we really want to go back to the days of sitting in the crowded lecture hall either taking copious notes or falling asleep. I think striving towards some sort of utopia of learning is just too much of a tall order as it fails to take account of the human element of learning.

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