Just read this very interesting report on what students expect in terms of ICT provision when they arrive at university. I did think the methodology was a little questionable in that an on line survey and discussion groups is, by default, going to pick up on students who are inherently more enthusiastic about IT, but bearing that in mind there were some intriguing findings. Not least that
- Students are fine with Web 2.0 tools as long as they are in control of the environment – they don’t in general want lecturers leading their use of these tools.
- Students generally are very comfortable with VLEs which do pretty much what is expected of them.
- There is not much apparent interest in mobile learning
- Students place very little value on virtual worlds (so my trip to Nottingham last week might have been a bit of a waste of time!)
- There seems to be a desire for universities to provide training in thinking about the implications of different technologies, than just providing access to different technologies, and training in how to use them.
None of which is all that surprising I suppose. In some ways I think the first finding is the most interesting because it raises some issues about control of the learning environment. When you think about it it fits with the way of thinking that argues that learning is better when the students produce their own learning, rather than consume it. Although another interesting finding was that relatively few students knew what a wiki was, let alone how to use it, which rather supports the argument that there is a need to think about what you do with information, rather than just how to retrieve it. Haven’t got time to write a longer post about this now, but I might well return to this topic – For the time being the full report is at