There is need for primary research to investigate experiences and expectations from learners in FE. In a mixed method study, learners completed a survey about their ownership, use and expectations of technology and then participated in focus groups using a card sort methodology. Following a pilot of the research tools, visits were made to six FE colleges, where 12 focus groups were conducted with a total of 220 learners. The scope of the research covered general further education colleges in England, Scotland and Wales. Preliminary thematic analysis of the focus group transcripts has been presented through a series of national workshops (Jisc, 2015). This workshop will report on a subsequent analysis which includes the data from the surveys and from the focus groups where learners discussed the technology they expected their college to provide and the skills they expected to develop.
Workshop activities will include
- Introduction to the study (10 mins)
- Pop quiz: challenging assumptions about our learners using results from the survey (10 mins)
- Try out the card sort followed by discussion of the findings (30 mins)
- Next steps: using the research tools available from the project blog in your own context. (10 mins)
The discussion will explore the complex relationship between expectations of technology use and actual use. Drawing on established concepts from technology acceptance research, the analysis considers what the data can tell us about determinants and moderators of technology use in the research population. The analysis examines learner views in relation to performance expectancy (beliefs about usefulness for personal or learning gain), effort expectancy (beliefs about the degree of difficulty of use), facility conditions (beliefs about the organisational infrastructure) and social influences (influence of belief of others) (after Venkatesh et al, 2003).
Association of Colleges & Association for Learning Technology (2014). A summary discussion of the use of learning technologies in further education: AoC/ALT position paper. London: AoC/ALT
Jisc (2014) Digital student final consultation Report. Available from http://digitalstudent.jiscinvolve.org/wp/outcomes/ (26 March 2015)
Jisc (2015) FE digital student consultation events. http://digitalstudent.jiscinvolve.org/wp/fe-and-skills-digital-student-study/fe-and-skills-study-staff-consultation-events/ (26 March 2015)
Pavlakou, M. & Sharpe, R. (2014) Learners’ expectations and experiences of the digital environment in the Further Education and Skills Sector. Available from http://digitalstudent.jiscinvolve.org/wp/fe-and-skills-digital-student-study/desk-study/ (26 March 2015)
Venkatesh, V., Morris, M., Davis, G.B. & Davis, F.D (2003) User acceptance of information technology: towards a unified view. MIS Quarterly, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 425-478.
White, D. & Wild, J. (2014). Incoming expectations of the digital environment at school. Jisc.