This paper will address the question regarding the student experience of learning spaces, specifically spaces that are a blend involving some uses of interactive technologies and a physical presentation, but also spaces that are managed mostly online. These latter spaces may be managed via the institution’s VLE or via third party software. The remit of this paper is to explore how students negotiate these spaces and whether these spaces are necessarily fulfilling their much-heralded promise. Following the results of a student survey and several focus group sessions, conclusions and suggestions are offered to how these spaces may be better managed (Green, 2017).
This session will examine some of the key findings from a survey of student experiences of TEL. These findings will be explored through relating them to the broad themes from the follow-up focus group sessions. In particular, competing tensions were discovered between the desire for lecture capture technologies and the overwhelming preference for traditional physical spaces for learning and the transmission of knowledge. However, it was also discovered that these traditional spaces were seen to be significantly enhanced through the use of interactive technologies that utilised the students’ own devices or via supplied devices from the institution. Further still, the much-vaunted collaborative potential of technologies was brought into question, in line with research by Henderson, Selwyn and Aston (2015).
Other notable themes from the analysis concerning learning spaces, included ‘opportunities’, that is, affordances provided by the technology; ‘collaboration’, in which pedagogical design was key to effective group work; ‘purposive’, the technology was more effective when it was seen as functional; ‘integration’ was another key concern for students – the need for technologies to be deployed effectively and in a time-appropriate manner; related to this ‘employability’ was a pressing concern for the students in regard to be work ready.
Data will be presented in the session and discussion invited surrounding these core themes. Relevant pedagogical designs will be explored to see how these might maximise any potential affordances from the technology within the learning spaces. And finally, the results will be contextualised around the contentious issue of ‘digital natives’ (Jones and Shao, 2011).
Green (2017) ‘The Student Experience of Technology Enhanced Learning in the Faculty of Business and Law: A Mixed-Methods Approach’, unpublished.
Henderson, M., Selwyn, N, & Aston, R. ‘What works and why? Student perceptions of ‘useful’ digital technology in university teaching and learning’, Journal Studies in Higher Education, Vol. 42 , Iss. 8, 2017.
Jones, C. & Shao, B. (2011) ‘Digital Natives and the Net Generation: Implications for Higher Education’, Higher Education Academy, York.