Price, Linda and Kirkwood, Adrian (2013). Using technology for teaching and learning in higher education: a critical review of the role of evidence in informing practice. Higher Education Research and Development (in press).
The use of technology for teaching and learning is now widespread, but its educational effectiveness is still open to question. This mixed-method study explores educational practices with technology in higher education. It examines what forms of evidence (if any) have influenced teachers’ practices. It comprises a literature review, a questionnaire and interviews. A framework was used to analyse a wide range of literature. The questionnaires were analysed using content analysis and the interviews were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Findings suggest that evidence has partial influence upon practice with practitioners preferring to consult colleagues and academic developers. The study underscored the difficulty in defining and evaluating evidence, highlighting ontological and epistemological issues. The academic developer’s role appears to be key in mediating evidence for practitioners.
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Jef C. Verhoeven & Dirk Heerwegh & Kurt De Wit (2010) First year university students’ self-perception of ICT skills: Do learning styles matter?, Education and Information Technologies, Volume 17, Number 1
Do ICT skills of freshmen change in 6 months at the university? What is the contribution of learning styles (or patterns) to the explanation of the variance in self-perceived ICT skills and the possible change in these skills? And what is the contribution of learning styles and of gender, social class, and ICT course attendance to the explanation of the variance in these skills? To answer these questions, data were collected in a panel research project that recruited 714 freshmen at a large Belgian university. The data show that the ability of the students to maintain a computer and to develop a website improves at the university but not the ability to use the Internet or to apply basic ICT skills. The analyses show that there is a link, albeit weak, between learning styles and self-perceived ICT skills. Learning styles can partially explain differences between groups of students with different characteristics. The data show that having a certain learning style might influence the perception of students of their ICT skill, but learning styles do not allow one to predict the change in the self-perceived ICT skills of the students.
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Smeets, E. (2005) Does ICT contribute to powerful learning environments in primary education? Computers & Education Volume: 44, Issue: 3, Pages: 343-355
In powerful learning environments, rich contexts and authentic tasks are presented to pupils. Active, autonomous and co-operative learning is stimulated, and the curriculum is adapted to the needs and capabilities of individual pupils. In this study, the characteristics of learning environments and the contribution of ICT to learning environments were investigated. A questionnaire was completed by 331 teachers in the highest grade of primary education. Results show that many teachers apply several elements of powerful learning environments in their classes. This especially goes for the presentation of authentic tasks and the fostering of active and autonomous learning. However, the methods employed by teachers to adapt education to the needs and abilities of individual pupils proved quite limited. The use of ICT in general merely showed characteristics of traditional approaches to learning. Chances of using open-ended ICT applications, which are expected to contribute to the power of learning environments, were greater with teachers who created powerful learning environments for their pupils, and when there were more computers available to pupils. In addition, teachers’ views with regard to the contribution of ICT to active and autonomous learning, teachers’ skills in using ICT, and the teacher’s gender appeared to be relevant background variables in this respect.
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