Technology Enhanced Higher Education: Student Perceptions

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In line with the trend in many industries, universities are using technology to deliver more and more of the components of education. The primary aim of many university administrators seems to be to use the technology to maximise operational efficiency; this project explored whether increasing use of technology has affected students’ perception of the value they are getting from their time at university, and ultimately how that impacts on the university’s image and reputation.
Focus groups and a survey were used to gather data on the perceived value of several technologies commonly used in the tertiary sector, both overall and from the point of view of various sub-groups of students.
Student sub-groups varied to some extent in the value placed on some technologies and on some potential benefits. Overall, use of online technology was seen as adding considerable value to the university experience. Provision of resources was the most highly valued feature, and reduced interaction with instructors and fellow students were the consequences that most reduced its value. Our study suggests that more work is needed to identify how we can achieve positive engagement via technology and reduce the potential sense of isolation. Our results also suggest a need for caution in introducing new technology, and that we need to work to ensure that its introduction does not cause real or perceived decreases in the value of our offerings to students and the community.

Keywords: E-learning, Higher Education, Technology, Benefits, Costs, Value
Stream: Technology in Learning; Maths, Science and Technology Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Christine Bruff

Lecturer, Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle
Callaghan, NSW, Australia

Professor Alison Dean

Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle
Callaghan, NSW, Australia

Bruce Cheek

Faculty of Science and IT, The University of Newcastle
Callaghan, NSW, Australia

John Nolan

Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle
Callaghan, NSW, Australia

Ref: L09P1696