As a team we’re often asked to attend sessions and give an overview of Educational Technology and how it can be used to support teaching within higher education. Instead of diving straight in with gadgets and apps a good introduction to ed tech is to look at the learners themselves and their experiences. Students coming from FE and other educational pathways bring with them their own expectations of digital technologies; these need to be recognised if our institutions are to fully support the students who come to study at University level.
Jisc is currently working on a project which focuses in this area; The Digital Student Project commenced in October 2013 and aims to explore and develop students digital journey through FE, HE and beyond. The project is due to be completed at the end of this year, although there are already some published outputs available, including a literature review and two reports; “Students’ expectations and experiences of the digital environment” and “Incoming expectations of the digital environment formed at school”.
Compiled by Helen Beetham, David White and Joanna Wild the report “Students’ expectations and experiences of the digital environment” is one resource we’ve highlighted in introductory staff sessions. Taking into consideration expectations of connectivity, technical support and resource availability is something we encourage of teaching staff and so to have a national project addressing these themes is encouraging for future educational policy making.