Public Group active 5 years, 6 months ago
This student led project examines students’ current use and understanding of learning technologies and solicits their advice for our future development of technologically based teaching and learning tools at Abertay University. A new teaching learning and assessment strategy and major IT investment signalled the ideal time to review our past practice and plan our future implementation of learning technologies. We have chosen to collect data from our end users – students – and to make them active researchers rather than passive participants. A student research team is in the process of designing, running and reporting on this project. The team has the support and guidance of a Psychologist and two Learning Technologists throughout. Six students at various stages of study have been appointed as Research Assistants. Student participants have been recruited and have attended a half-day workshop conducted by our Learning Technology support team at which they were introduced to the range and scope of learning technology currently available. The workshop presented an overview of the Blackboard VLE, Communication and Collaboration Tools (e.g. wikis, webinar software, and discussion forums), Blackboard Mobile App, Recording Achievement with e-portfolios, Assessment and Feedback, and Multi-media Learning Objects. During small group discussions at the workshop the student research team began gathering student feedback on the various technologies. They are now in the process of building onto those informal discussions to devise a basic topic structure for use with focus groups. Our data are derived from six focus groups, 10 individual interviews and 50 surveys from students of various levels and disciplines of study. Their discussions will be submitted to qualitative investigation by thematic analysis (Braun and Clark,2006). Pairs of researchers identify and describe recurrent discussion themes, check their observations with their colleagues and refer back to participantsfor confirmation. The themes are collated, interpreted and counted so frequency data can be analysed quantitatively. Individual interviews will solicit more focused personal responses about the themes. Survey data will be explicit answers to factual questions about student opinions on their use of learning technology. We intend to triangulate all three types of data in order to formulate a picture of current status and future needs in learning technology. At this proposed 15 minute talk we will bring a member of the student research team to help present the key findings of the study and we will discuss how we plan on addressing issues that have arisen and how we can use the findings for better evaluation of the use of Learning technologies. We feel this study is of interest to the participants of ALT-C, especially from those in the field who have responsibility for analysing their institution’s choice of learning management systems or setting policy on minimum presence and content templates, or indeed anyone interested in the student voice regarding institutional learning technology provision. Braun, V.,& Clarke, V. (2006) Using Thematic Analysis in Psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3,77-101.