Wednesday, April 19, 2006

UNIVERSITY STUDENTS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: . “Our institutions of higher learning might become places where digital natives come to mature.”

The following is drawn from the ECAR Study of Students and Information Technology, 2005: Convenience, Connection, Control, and Learning (ID: ERS0506))

Tendencies: a hypothesis (The study draws from 18,000 students surveyed)

1. “Our institutions of higher learning might become places where digital natives come to mature. Such a suggestion should not be considered preposterous, since young adults come to us for many other aspects of their social and intellectual development. Viewed in a context that includes findings of the Pew study of teenagers and the Internet, it is tempting to surmise that freshman students arrive at our institutions with a set of electronic core skills. . . Despite these skills, the freshmen in our survey express a lower interest in technology in their course activity and report lower skill levels in course-related technologies. One is tempted to conclude that these young people can make technology work but cannot place these technologies in the service of (academic) work.”

2. “A second thread . . . is the hypothetical birth of the media generation. . . . What did change [between 2004 and 2005] was the number of respondents claiming knowledge of presentation software, along with knowledge of software for creating or editing video/audio and Web sites.

Key Findings:
1. Information technology in the higher education experience adds convenience, connection, and control for students.
2. Students believe that IT in courses enhances their learning.
3. Ownership levels of laptop computers and cell phones among surveyed students rose from 2004.
4. While nearly half (49%) of students surveyed in 2004 obtained broadband access through the university, 39.8 percent of those surveyed did so in 2005.
5. The curriculum continues to be a prime motivator of student IT skill acquisition.
6. The percentage of students using media-intensive applications rose in 2005, although reported skill levels in these applications remained unchanged.
7. Surveyed students continue to prefer a ‘moderate’ amount of IT in their course experience.
8. Students appear to like course management systems.

Students arrive with good IT skills, gained largely outside their courses. They need little further training in the use of IT. That is, in the use of technology. The use of information is another matter. This survey found “a significant need for further training in the use of IT in support of learning and problem-solving skills.”

Students expect:
—tech and online resources readily available
--Fast response time
--Tech, services, resources available anytime and anywhere
--converged devices
--Networds and tech support available at all times
--Mobile electronic connections
--Multiple devices and media that are personal, customizable, and portable
--always neworked for communications
--Members of their communities reachable anywhere and anytime
--Social—work in teams
--Focused on grades and performance
--Manage the undergraduate experience
--Control the when and where of social interaction
--Rich media and visual imagery, including the ability to integrate virtual and physical
--Inductive discovery—experiential and participatory
--Real-time engagement

“Students see IT in courses not as transformational but rather as supplemental. Students prefer face-to-face interaction with their instructors and with other students.”

• Students prefer traditional classroom encounters and so do faculty.
• At Berkeley,” only 16 % of students were willing to watch lecture Webcasts entirely online instead of going to the lecture hall, and 84 % of the students indicated that they preferred to attend the fact-to-face encounters.”
• Younger students like IT in their classes LESS than older students.
IT and CMS (at the UO, Blackboard) improve communications most of all, between faculty and students, and between students


At 8:09 PM, Blogger Tanya McLaughlin said...

Thank you for posting this!!! This is wonderful support for my thesis. :)


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