On campus, but out of class: an investigation into students’ experiences of learning technologies in their self-directed study
This paper presents an investigation into how students studying at university engage actively with learning technology in their self-directed study time. The case study surveyed 250 students studying at undergraduate and postgraduate level from a purposive sample of departments within one institution. The study has also conducted focus groups and a number of in-depth follow-up interviews with respondents to the survey. In this article we explore three emerging aspects of the learning experience, namely student expectations of the technology, their lecturers’ engagement with technology and how the technology might support processes of transition in higher education. One key implication is that more academic guidance is needed on what and how to use the technology effectively for independent learning, even where ICT skills levels are high. The study also identifies the significant role that the lecturer plays in facilitating students’ use of technology. The findings of this study will be of interest to those working to incorporate learning technologies more effectively in higher education, in particular for those who are looking to improve the engagement of students in self-directed learning.
Keywords: student experience; learning technologies; self-directed learning; blended learning; case study