From email to Twitter, blogs to word processors, computer programs provide countless communications opportunities. While social applications have dominated the development of the participatory web for users and programmers alike, this era of Web 2.0 is applicable to more than just networking opportunities: it impacts education.
The integration of increasingly sophisticated information and communication tools (ICTs) is sweeping university classrooms. Understanding how learners and instructors perceive the effectiveness of these tools in the classroom is critical to the success or failure of their integration higher education settings. A new study led by Concordia University shows that when it comes to pedagogy, students prefer an engaging lecture rather than a targeted tweet.
Twelve universities across Quebec recently signed up to be a part of the first cross-provincial study of perceptions of ICT integration and course effectiveness on higher learning. This represented the first pan-provincial study to assess how professors are making the leap from lectures to LinkedIn – and whether students are up for the change to the traditional educational model.
At the forefront of this study was Concordia’s own Vivek Venkatesh. As associate dean of academic programs and development within the School of Graduate Studies, he has a particular interest in how education is evolving within post-secondary institutions. To conduct the study, Venkatesh partnered with Magda Fusaro from UQAM’s Department of Management and Technology. Together, they conducted a pilot project at UQAM before rolling the project out to universities across the province.
“We hit the ground running and received an overwhelmingly positive response with 15,020 students and 2,640 instructors responding to our electronic questionnaires in February and March of 2011,” recalls Venkatesh. The 120-item surveys gauged course structure preferences, perceptions of the usefulness of teaching methods, and the level of technology knowledge of both students and teachers.
The surprising results showed that students were more appreciative of the literally “old school” approach of lectures and were less enthusiastic than teachers about using ICTs in classes. Instructors were more fluent with the use of emails than with social media, while the opposite was true for students.
“Our analysis showed that teachers think that their students feel more positive about their classroom learning experience if there are more interactive, discussion-oriented activities. In reality, engaging and stimulating lectures, regardless of how technologies are used, are what really predict students’ appreciation of a given university course,” explains Fusaro.
The researchers hope these results will have a broad impact, especially in terms of curriculum design and professional development. For Venkatesh, “this project represents a true success story of collaboration across Québec universities that could definitely have an effect outside the province.” Indeed, the large number of participants involved means this research is applicable to populations of learners across North America and Europe with similar educational and information technology infrastructures. An electronic revolution could soon sweep post-secondary classrooms around the world, thanks to this brand new research from Quebec.
Partners in research: This study was supported by CREPUQ – the Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec, with seed funding from the office of Concordia’s Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies. Venkatesh, Fusaro and their graduate research assistants, Jihan Rabah and Annie Couture will present these findings on October 9, 2012, as part of the E-LEARN 2012 World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare & Higher Education.Related links:
Clea Desjardins | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
25.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
25.04.2017 | Life Sciences
25.04.2017 | Earth Sciences