THE DIGITAL LEARNER AT BCIT: THE MYTH AND THE REALITY Adnan Qayyum, Mark Bullen, Tannis Morgan, Karen Belfer
Background to Research <ul><li>Collaboration between Concordia PhD candidate & BCIT Learning & Teaching Centre </li></ul><...
Digital Learner Characteristics <ul><li>Digitally literate </li></ul><ul><li>Connected </li></ul><ul><li>Immediate </li></...
Digital Learner Assumptions Assumption Evidence? Use digital technologies extensively Yes Exposure creates sophisticated u...
The Literature Authors Comments Oblinger & Oblinger (2005).  Educating the Net Generation Uneven Howe & Strauss (2000).  M...
Seen this before?
Student Interview Questions <ul><li>Through what channels do you communicate with classmates? </li></ul><ul><li>Name four ...
Interview Sessions <ul><li>also 15 instructors were interviewed (14 sessions) </li></ul>Group size Number of interview ses...
Findings <ul><li>Channels of communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Talking  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>in person  </li><...
Findings <ul><li>Topics of Communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Main topics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>discussing schoo...
Findings <ul><li>Location of communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blend of social and work space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul...
BCIT Methodology <ul><li>Interview transcripts and interview notes </li></ul><ul><li>Use descriptions of millennials to an...
BCIT Findings <ul><li>Guiding question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What do BCIT students and faculty need from technology? </li>...
Findings <ul><li>Not a deep knowledge of technology but have a good understanding of what it can and cannot do for them </...
Student Use <ul><li>Limited toolkit (Facebook, email, MSN, cell phones) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Driven by familiarity, self-...
Findings <ul><li>If basic needs not being met, technology not a focus of their concerns </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Light </li><...
Findings <ul><li>Previous Tek strategy focussed on communication tools, but this is not what is needed by most programs  <...
Major Themes <ul><li>Program schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Cohort </li></ul><ul><li>Trust of peers  </li></ul><ul><li>Relatio...
Central phenomenon <ul><li>Outside of class, students seek access to practical solutions for their course-related issues a...
Discussion <ul><li>Seeking practical solutions were the driving factors for peer interactions outside of class  </li></ul>...
Implications for BCIT <ul><li>Technology investment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How should BCIT allocate resources? </li></ul></...
How Common is This? <ul><li>Further research -survey </li></ul><ul><li>Research questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do stu...
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The Digital Learner: Myth or Reality

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Presentation at the CNIE 2008 conference

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The Digital Learner: Myth or Reality

  1. 1. THE DIGITAL LEARNER AT BCIT: THE MYTH AND THE REALITY Adnan Qayyum, Mark Bullen, Tannis Morgan, Karen Belfer
  2. 2. Background to Research <ul><li>Collaboration between Concordia PhD candidate & BCIT Learning & Teaching Centre </li></ul><ul><li>Guiding research questions (Concordia) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do students interact with peers for course-related purposes, outside of class? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do ICTs affect this dynamic? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Guiding research questions (BCIT) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How are BCIT learners using ICTs? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are there differences in social and educational use? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do BCIT learners fit the “millennial learner” profile? </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Digital Learner Characteristics <ul><li>Digitally literate </li></ul><ul><li>Connected </li></ul><ul><li>Immediate </li></ul><ul><li>Experiential </li></ul><ul><li>Social / Interactive </li></ul><ul><li>Teams </li></ul><ul><li>Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Visual & Kinesthetic </li></ul><ul><li>Socially-conscious </li></ul>
  4. 4. Digital Learner Assumptions Assumption Evidence? Use digital technologies extensively Yes Exposure creates sophisticated users No Use changes learning approaches, even the brain No Need to change the way we teach Maybe, but for different reasons
  5. 5. The Literature Authors Comments Oblinger & Oblinger (2005). Educating the Net Generation Uneven Howe & Strauss (2000). Millenials Rising 200 school teachers, 660 students -Fairfax county Prensky(2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants, Part 1 & 2 Informed speculation Seely Brown (2000). Growing Up Digital Anecdotal observations of 15 yr olds working in Xerox Lab Turkle (1995). Life on The Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet 1995 Frand (2000). The information-age Mindset Informed speculation
  6. 6. Seen this before?
  7. 7. Student Interview Questions <ul><li>Through what channels do you communicate with classmates? </li></ul><ul><li>Name four topics you communicate about? </li></ul><ul><li>Where are you when you communicate with classmates? </li></ul><ul><li>Describe what channels you use to communicate with your instructor? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the instructor require or encourage you to communicate with classmates? </li></ul><ul><li>When you have a problem or issue in your courses what do you do? </li></ul><ul><li>What communication options would help you learn in your courses? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Interview Sessions <ul><li>also 15 instructors were interviewed (14 sessions) </li></ul>Group size Number of interview sessions of this group size Total number of students interviewed 1 9 9 2 11 22 3 4 12 4 2 8 5 1 5 6 1 6 7 1 7 Total 29 69
  9. 9. Findings <ul><li>Channels of communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Talking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>in person </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>via cellphones </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>via chat (e.g. MSN, Yahoo) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>email </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook, MySpace </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>cellphone text messages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>WebCT </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Findings <ul><li>Topics of Communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Main topics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>discussing school projects and assignments </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>discussing general school issues </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>seeking and sharing information about course administrative issues </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>organizing for school work </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other course-related topics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Studying in groups </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Seeking help about course content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Working on assigned group projects </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reviewing each others work </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing resources </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Findings <ul><li>Location of communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blend of social and work space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. cafeterias, Great Hall. lounge spaces </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Designated work spaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. labs, library, learning commons </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social spaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. restaurant, pub </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Off campus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. home </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. BCIT Methodology <ul><li>Interview transcripts and interview notes </li></ul><ul><li>Use descriptions of millennials to analyze interview transcripts </li></ul><ul><li>Generate themes </li></ul><ul><li>Distilling themes </li></ul>
  13. 13. BCIT Findings <ul><li>Guiding question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What do BCIT students and faculty need from technology? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do BCIT students fit the “millenial” profile? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What should an e-learning strategy look like at BCIT? </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Findings <ul><li>Not a deep knowledge of technology but have a good understanding of what it can and cannot do for them </li></ul>
  15. 15. Student Use <ul><li>Limited toolkit (Facebook, email, MSN, cell phones) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Driven by familiarity, self-organizing capabilities, type of communication it provides (distance/proximity), practicality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure, program specific technologies and software </li></ul>
  16. 16. Findings <ul><li>If basic needs not being met, technology not a focus of their concerns </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Light </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lab hours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Windows </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet access in lab </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Library hours </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Findings <ul><li>Previous Tek strategy focussed on communication tools, but this is not what is needed by most programs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students spend 7-8 hours x 5 days/week on campus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5+ courses at a time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication is not the problem </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tools for delivering and presenting content in better ways is what is needed </li></ul>
  18. 18. Major Themes <ul><li>Program schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Cohort </li></ul><ul><li>Trust of peers </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship with instructors </li></ul><ul><li>Course content/ knowledge domain </li></ul><ul><li>Course design </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional supports </li></ul>
  19. 19. Central phenomenon <ul><li>Outside of class, students seek access to practical solutions for their course-related issues and ICTs are often not the most practical solution </li></ul>
  20. 20. Discussion <ul><li>Seeking practical solutions were the driving factors for peer interactions outside of class </li></ul><ul><li>ICTs were not a major reason for peer interaction for course-related purposes, outside of class </li></ul><ul><li>Student use of ICTs for interaction outside of class is not related to their age (i.e. net generation digital learners are a myth) </li></ul><ul><li>Students used standard ICT tools more than institutionally provided ICT tools for peer interaction outside of class </li></ul>
  21. 21. Implications for BCIT <ul><li>Technology investment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How should BCIT allocate resources? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Teaching strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do we need to change the way we teach? </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. How Common is This? <ul><li>Further research -survey </li></ul><ul><li>Research questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do students communicate with peers outside of class for course- related purposes? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the role of ICTs in these interactions? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What factors influence students’ desire to interact with peers outside of class for course-related purposes? </li></ul></ul>

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