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Student Experience of E-Learning (SEEL)

Student Experience of E-Learning (SEEL)

Tainsh, Yana and Headington, Rita (2008) Student Experience of E-Learning (SEEL). In: ALT-C 2008 Conference: Rethinking the digital divide 15th International conference, 9-11 Sep 2008, Leeds, UK. (Unpublished)

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The Student Experience of E-Learning project (SEEL) was an institutional response to the university’s HEA/JISC Benchmarking exercise (Ryan and Kandler, 2007). The study had a social constructivist approach which recognised the importance of listening to the student voice (JISC 2007) within the University of Greenwich context, to interpret the student experience of e-learning.

Nearly 1000 students responded to an online survey on their approaches to, and their use of, learning technology. The quantitative and qualitative questions used included identifying study patterns, using specific online tools, within the context of learning and beyond, and student’s attitudes towards using e-learning in their studies. Initially, individual responses to questions were analysed in depth, giving a general indication of the student experience. Further depth was applied through a filtering mechanism, beginning with a cross-slicing of individual student responses to produce cameos. Audio logs and individual interviews were drawn from these cameos.

Analysis of the cameos is in progress but has already revealed some unexpected results. There was a mismatch between students’ expectations of the university’s use of technology and their experiences and awareness of its possible use in other contexts. Students recognised the importance of social interaction as a vehicle for learning (Vygotsky 1978, Bruner 2006) but expressed polarised views on the use of social networking sites such as Facebook for e-learning. Their experiences in commercial contexts led them to see the university VLE as unimaginative and the tutors’ use of it as lacking in vision.

Whereas analysis of the individual questions provided a limited picture, the cameos gave a truer reflection of the students lived experiences and identified a gulf between the university’s provision and the students’ expectation of e-learning and their customary use of technology. However it is recognised that the very nature of an online survey necessarily excludes students who chose not to engage, either through lack of skills or through disillusionment and this would constitute a separate area for study.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Additional Information: Presented at ALT-C 2008 Conference: Rethinking the digital divide 15th International conference. Leeds, UK. 9-11 September 2008.
Uncontrolled Keywords: student experience, e-learning, VLE
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Education
School of Education > Department of Primary Education
School of Education > Department of Professional Learning & Development
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Last Modified: 10 Feb 2020 13:18

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