Today’s students have a rich choice of technologies, applications and social media at their disposal. Inevitably, these broader experiences influence their approaches to learning. This presentation will describe and analyse a number of evidence-driven curriculum interventions alongside the rationale for, and findings of, a large-scale study of students’ approaches to learning. The study incorporates specific evaluation of the background and approaches of students who are experiencing the transition to Higher Education from non-UK backgrounds. UK analyses of students’ approaches to learning in a digital context are well established e.g. the influential JISC funded LLIDA project (Beetham et al., 2009), work on digital residents and visitors (White and Le Cornu, 2011) and subsequent projects concerned with the ‘digital student’. Other relevant research focuses on specific technology areas and applications including mobile learning, formalised learning in virtual and managed learning environments, informal learning and personal learning environments.
Institutions craft ‘digital’ strategies in response to many factors ( ). Today all of these perspectives are of interest to institutions faced with the task of planning educational provision and developing useful and sustainable infrastructure to support learning ( ) . institutions can usefully augment established findings with insights from their student population including students’ learning approaches and digital literacies development.
The has established a program of student digital champions alongside taught modules designed to develop digital literacies, each supports digital skill development and enhances the educational experience. Besides enabling change, these activities serve to provide insights into the skill-sets that students might possess or develop. Gathering data on current and previous experiences of the student cohort is a natural complement to these activities. The work reported in this extended presentation builds upon an earlier study (2011-12) and covers the current academic year. It will be of interest to practitioners, researchers and policy makers. Building on a pilot study and desk surveys, the research takes a mixed methods approach, combining surveys to gather baseline quantitative data and short qualitative commentary with richer data gathered through group discussion and individual interviews. These different data sources are designed to help paint a rounded picture of students’ behaviours, expectations and potential needs, all of which are being incorporated into the on-going planning cycle for campus-wide educational innovation. At the same time, growing understandings of students’ approaches to and experiences of digital and learning are feeding into transition modules and educational interventions for international students.
Beetham, H., McGill, L., & Littlejohn, A. H. (2009) Thriving in the 21st century: Learning literacies for the digital age (LLiDA project).
White, D. S. & Le Cornu, A. (2011) Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9), pp. 1–16.
|Name||Waleed Al Eisa|
|Affiliation||University of Southampton|