How we live now students' attitudes to technology and learning Helen Beetham Dr Neil Witt
Background: the digital literacies challenge (10 mins) Activity: 'what do you know about your learners'? (5 mins) Methods: investigating students' use of technology for learning (5 mins) Activity: practising a card-sort interview in pairs (5 mins) Findings: what learners are saying at Plymouth (10 mins) Final discussion: how should institutions respond? (10 mins) Structure of the workshop
The Digital Literacies challenge LLiDA study (JISC 2009) Ideas of employability, citizenship and graduate identity are being re-interpreted for a digital age, in which knowledge is ubiquitously available and relationships are increasingly managed online. Institutions must position themselves to respond quickly and flexibly to the need for new kinds of capability, and to recognise and represent graduate capabilities in new ways.
The challenge at Plymouth: Graduate destinations Loss of traditional professional jobs: more associate professional, technical Emerging ('modern' and 'new') professions dominated by ICT and digital media More graduates go on to be self-employed; rise of the 'portfolio; career Changing career patterns and employment opportunities >90% of all jobs require ICT competence This is not real data from the University of Plymouth but an image released by flickr user bitchcakesny under CC by-nc-sa
The challenge at Plymouth: TEL as the norm Technology-enhanced is the norm ('embedding of TEL and associated pedagogies') Institutional technologies are not the only show in town Multiply-located, discontinuous, multi-media, interdisciplinary experiences Only 'digitally literate staff and students' can knit it all together
<ul><li>Read through the questions on sheet 1 </li></ul><ul><li>In pairs/threes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose a section </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share the information you know already </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think about how you would find out more </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(optional) edit tinyurl.com/digilearners </li></ul>Activity: how well do you know your learners?
<ul><li>Feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Take away and read through sheet 2: from the literature </li></ul><ul><li>Bear in mind that local research is best: ideas for getting quick feedback from students </li></ul>Activity: how well do you know your learners?
<ul><li>Review of best practice and sector recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>Focus groups of institutional decision makers </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional audit of all strategic documentation, policies, processes etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Cross faculty student focus groups </li></ul><ul><li>Cross institutional survey of students’ attitudes, experience, confidence and needs related to the use and ownership of technology </li></ul>What we did
The focus groups <ul><li>Students across faculties (x3) plus sixth form students (x1) </li></ul><ul><li>Card sorts, open ended questions </li></ul><ul><li>Exploring tech ownership, use, and practice </li></ul><ul><li>Exploring expectations and ambitions for university study </li></ul>
Activity – card sort <ul><li>Working in pairs/threes </li></ul><ul><li>Sort the cards into piles according to how valuable students might find them for study </li></ul><ul><li>It's up to you how you label the piles </li></ul>
Finding information Essential Google (highly valued by all) Google Scholar Athens/online journals Valued lecture notes, textbooks, Tulip, Metalib, Voyager (all 'official' course materials) Google Books citation software (highly valued by the few who used it) e-portfolio (highly valued by the few who used it) Background use assignment criteria, module overview facebook, chat, email, wikipedia, mobile phone (text, voice) (all for contacting other students or, occasionally, former colleagues and tutors) Not valued podcasts, iTunesU, skype, twitter, MySites, old assignments/feedback
Finding information <ul><li>If I don't know a subject, or maybe a term...I'll look at it through wikipedia first so that I have a general idea about it. But then of course I don't rely on wikipedia, so maybe I check the endnotes to see if I can find some other more reliable sources. But if I actually know what to look for I go to Metalib, to the journals there. </li></ul>
Finding information <ul><li>I mean I like the idea of using online journals but I actually don't think I've ever put one into my assignment unless I've read it in like an appendix or had it in a lecture or something. </li></ul><ul><li>I'll get to a certain point and then I just get really confused. I can't find where the journals have gone, I can only see some of it. </li></ul>
Finding information <ul><li>If you don't get it right the first time, Google will suggest a different way of searching for something. It's certainly a lot easier to use than Uni systems [yeah, agreement all round]. And you don't have to log in 500 times before you get something [yeah, laughter]. </li></ul>
Finding information <ul><li>Google scholar is more up to date, so if you're looking at articles you're looking at something that's been produced in the last three to five years. If you're looking at a book, by the time it's been published it's ten years out of date already, generally. </li></ul>
Using social media <ul><li>I remember when we first started on our course i'd be on MSN talking to my friends all the time, 'what's the answer to this, quick quick quick', and it was really useful, incredibly useful. Like mini conferences but online and not face to face. </li></ul><ul><li>I use all of these [social media], but when I'm with someone I find out what they prefer. Some people prefer skype, some people prefer facebook, or MSN. </li></ul>
Using capture media <ul><li>I always take pictures of, like, this is what it looked like before, this is what it looked like afterwards, and then I can put them in my report or just refer back to them for revision. </li></ul><ul><li>We took pictures at each stage of the design. It's a quick document of what you've done in that day. </li></ul><ul><li>In lectures loads of people [have recording devices]. Some people find it goes in really well when they hear something. </li></ul>
Expectations of technology at University <ul><li>Students want 24/7 access to course info & learning materials, on the devices they use </li></ul><ul><li>Personal devices are often not up-to-date, portable or robust </li></ul><ul><li>They have diverse preferences for social and communicational media: some like to separate personal / study spaces </li></ul><ul><li>They need opportunities to reflect on and develop their own strategies for using TEL: induction, skills sessions, e-portfolios help </li></ul><ul><li>There is a need for consistency from tutors, and clarity about digital practices at course level </li></ul><ul><li>'Light bulb' technologies are introduced by teaching staff through specific exercises e.g. library catalogue, Excel, design software </li></ul><ul><li>Students expect the use of technology at University to enhance their employability, confidence, and subject know-how. </li></ul>
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