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The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology The Net generation encountering e-learning at university Chris Jones Ruslan Ramanau, Anesa Hosein,

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Presentation on theme: "The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology The Net generation encountering e-learning at university Chris Jones Ruslan Ramanau, Anesa Hosein,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology The Net generation encountering e-learning at university Chris Jones Ruslan Ramanau, Anesa Hosein, Graham Healing and Simon Cross c.r.jones@open.ac.uk © Dr C, Jones. Some rights reserved. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

2 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology New kinds of learners? In education they [the Net generation] are forcing a change in the model of pedagogy, from a teacher-focused approach based on instruction to a student-focused model based on collaboration. (Tapscott 2009 p 11). In order for schools to adapt to the habits of Digital Natives and how they are processing information, educators need to accept that the mode of learning is changing rapidly in a digital age… (Palfrey and Gasser 2008 p239) Most of our students, moreover, are part of what we now describe as the Net Generation. This is a generation who think IM, text and Google are verbs not applications! (Brenda Gourley VC Open University, Council address Sept 2008)

3 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Another example… Image from Wired magazine 2006

4 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Claims about Natives Prensky claims that if youve done any of these, youre a Digital Immigrant: Printed out your email (or had your administrative assistant print it out for you–even worse) You need to print out a document written on the computer in order to edit it (rather than just editing on the screen) Youve brought people physically into your office to see an interesting web site (rather than just sending them the URL). The Did you get my email? phone call (my emphasis)

5 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology The generational metaphor Howe and Strauss have a long standing argument about US generations A four stage historical cycle Different forces in other countries? E.g. China, or RSA https://sites.google.com/site/sjlewisprojects/the-ascent-of-man

6 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology The brain and plasticity Baroness Greenfield the Director of the Royal Institution in the United Kingdom told the House of Lords that children's experiences on social networking sites: "are devoid of cohesive narrative and long-term significance. As a consequence, the mid-21st century mind might almost be infantilised, characterised by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity". 24th of February 2009 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/feb/24/social-networking-site-changing-childrens-brains )http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/feb/24/social-networking-site-changing-childrens-brains Claims by Prensky Neuroplasticity Stimultation changes brain structure and the way people think Malleability The way people think changes with experience Attention span and reflection Attention in bursts Reflection – this needs translating into digital native language The consistency of the human condition Relative biological stability Socio-cultural and historical adaptability

7 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology The project - methods and methodology ESRC project began January 2008 Mixed methodology to achieve a broad empirical description and a close observational approach to small samples 5 English universities selected for type Urban Red brick, 1960s New University, Large Metropolitan post 92, Recent University (ex-University college), Distance University. 1 st year courses selected for range of disciplines/subject Included Net Generation and older students Three kinds of intervention Survey Interviews Cultural probes (Day experience method)

8 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Universities and courses Table 1: University types.and courses University AUniversity BUniversity CUniversity DUniversity E FoundedFounded 19 th Century Founded 1970s (Polytechnic) university status in 1992 Founded 1960sFounded 1964Founded 21 st Century from university college LocationLarge urban metropolitan Large scale distance Mid size campus outside small city Mid size with multi-site, small towns Course unitsEnglishSociology (Survey1)/ Social Science Key Skills (Survey 2&3) ScienceModern Languages Journalism Bio-scienceInformation and Communication Health and Social Care (Survey1) /Social Science (Survey 2&3) ComputingPsychology Veterinary scienceThe ArtsAccounting and Finance Social Work

9 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Surveys Survey 1 (April 2008) – snapshot Whole course survey (14 courses n = 596, response rate average 30%) Survey 2 and 3 – longitudinal Survey 2 – Autumn 2008, 5 universities completed (14 courses n= 1098 response rate 42%) Survey 3 – end of year 1 Spring 2009 completed (Same 14 courses as Survey 2, n= 713 response rate 28%)

10 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Interviews Staff Face to face (n=12) Conversational style with the aim of gathering information about: The university, course and programme Staff conceptions of the student cohort Students Volunteers from survey 10 from phase 1, 58 from phase 2 Telephone interviews Conversational style with the aim of: Understanding the reasons for use of technology Attitudes towards university provision of e-learning

11 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Cultural probes Participants recruited from interviewees (n=18 + 1, not able to receive SMS) Initial briefing and equipment delivery (Video camera and notebook) SMS prompts over 24 hours What time is it? Where are you now? Are you using any technology? If so what are you using? Who are you with? How do you feel about it? Focus group feedback Based on: Riddle, M.D. and Arnold, M.V. (2007) The Day Experience Method: A Resource Kit. http://dtl.unimelb.edu.au/dtl_publish/12/67585.html http://dtl.unimelb.edu.au/dtl_publish/12/67585.html

12 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Computer ownership 77.4 % of students owned a laptop and 38.1 owned a desktop computer In Survey 2 the ownership of laptops was 75.2% By Survey 3 the ownership was 88% and 43% had bought a laptop during their first year at university The differences across age and gender groups (Survey 1) were at significant levels e.g. female students (χ² =13.87, d.f. = 1, p =.003) and students 25 years of age and younger were more likely to own a laptop (χ² =26.52, d.f. = 1, p <.001) and male students (χ² =18.94, d.f. = 1, p <.001), and those age 26 years of age and over (χ² =31.03, d.f. = 1, p <.001) were more likely to own a desktop

13 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Other devices Survey 1 Survey 3 Owned (%)Shared access (%) No access (%) Mobile phone97.8 (97%)1.1 MP3/iPOD/82.45.312.2 Memory stick/card 87.9 (91%)4.27.9 Games console 38.422.139.5 Data on ownership echoes empirical data from other studies, e.g. Kennedy et al. (2008) reported 97.3 % of medical students at a major university in Australia owning a mobile phone; 85.9 % owning a memory stick, but 85.3 % had access to a desktop computer (compared to 38.1 % in our survey 1, 63.4 % in survey 2) ECAR Annual survey (Salaway et al., 2008) on the undergraduate use of IT in the USA found similar patterns to ours – 80.5 % of students owned laptops, 51.3 – desktops; no significant gender differences in laptop ownership and minor in desktop ownership

14 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Choice of Technologies (Survey 1) Students tended to use the same technologies for study as they did for social life and leisure (Pearsons correlation coefficient, p <.001 for all the survey items) Students chose to use the same technologies for study as those they were required to use on their courses In general used them more than they are required to Blogs, Wikis and Virtual Worlds little used. The most used technologies allowed: access to resources and personal communication Students aged 25 years of age and under tended to use communication technology (text and instant messaging, social networking sites and Internet telephony) more frequently than older students (p <.001, one- way ANOVA) Gender effects were not as pronounced: female students tended to use text messaging and social networking sites more often (p <.001, one-way ANOVA)

15 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Use of Social Networking (Survey 1) 68.3 % of the respondents in the sample participated in online social networks (e.g. Facebook, Bebo, MySpace) at least on a daily basis or more frequently Variation in terms of frequency of use between Age of students - 25 years of age and under and older students (F(1, 587) = 332.23, p < 0.001) Net generation age students (25 and under) 81.7 % used social networking on at least a daily basis, whilst only 5.1 % never participated in online social networks. 55.7 % of students aged 26 years of age and older never participated in social networking sites and only 24.3 % of them reported daily use. 4.3 % of those aged 20 and younger never used this technology compared to 78.5 % of those aged 35 years of age and older.

16 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Intra-generational difference (Survey 1) Item Means and F values on Self-Reported Frequency of Technology Tasks among Net Generation Students (5-Point Scale, One-way ANOVA, d.f. = 1 ). 20 and under21-25 Read and send e-mail4.334.34 Use mobile phone messaging4.81*4.66* Instant messaging3.75*3.36* Participate in online social networks4.32*4.06* Read and write blogs1.571.58 Use Wikis2.762.69 Play games2.292.51 Download/ stream music2.972.80 Download/ stream TV/ video2.81**2.29** Upload audio, images or video to social networks 2.47**2.32** * p <.05 ** p <.001

17 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Expected use of ICT (Survey 2) < 1 hr1 to 2 hr2 to 3 hrs>= 3 hrsTotal NetGen Leisure357 (38%)245 (26%)167 (18%)177 (19%)946 Study274 (29%)311 (33%)190 (20%)167 (18%)942 Non-NetGen Leisure68 (53%)25 (19%)11 (9%)25 (19%)129 Study41 (32%)45 (35%)18 (14%)25 (19%)129 Total Leisure425 (40%)270 (25%)178 (17%)202 (19%)1075 Study315 (29%)356 (33%)208 (19%)192 (18%)1071

18 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Actual use of ICT (Survey 3) < 1 hr1 to 2 hr2 to 3 hrs>= 3 hrsTotal NetGen Leisure107 (18%)121 (20%)136 (22%)245 (40%)609 Study116 (19%)184 (30%)137 (22%)174 (29%)611 Non-NetGen Leisure42 (43%)29 (30%)10 (10%)17 (17%)98 Study20 (20%)31 (31%)18 (18%)30 (30%)99 Total Leisure149 (21%)150 (21%)146 (21%)262 (37%)707 Study136 (19%)215 (30%)155 (22%)204 (29%)710

19 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Expected and actual use of ICT (Surveys 2&3) < 1 hr1 to 2 hr2 to 3 hrs>= 3 hrsTotal NetGen Expected Leisure357 (38%)245 (26%)167 (18%)177 (19%)946 Actual Leisure107 (18%)121 (20%)136 (22%)245 (40%)609 Expected Study274 (29%)311 (33%)190 (20%)167 (18%)942 Actual Study116 (19%)184 (30%)137 (22%)174 (29%)611 Non-NetGen Expected Leisure68 (53%)25 (19%)11 (9%)25 (19%)129 Actual Leisure42 (43%)29 (30%)10 (10%)17 (17%)98 Expected Study41 (32%)45 (35%)18 (14%)25 (19%)129 Actual Study20 (20%)31 (31%)18 (18%)30 (30%)99

20 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Mode of study (place-based or distance) FrequencyPlace basedDistance Learning p Sent MMS messages3.202.700.01 Sent or responded to an e-mail4.644.490.10 Used an instant messenger3.622.950.00 Participated in a text-based chat room1.881.790.52 Visited virtual world1.271.100.06 Used conferencing via the Web1.561.260.02 Looked at messages on SNS3.963.040.00 Sent messages on SNS3.802.930.00 Edited my profile on SNS3.282.490.00 Table 4: Frequency of ICT use for university types (5 – very often – 1- never) Students entering place based and distance-learning universities show different ICT usage. Students who chose to the distance-learning courses use ICT less frequently.

21 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Reading and printing Table (Survey3): Reading on screen or printing out preference NB Figures rounded up so they dont add to 100% Survey 1 56% (similar in Survey 3) reported mostly or always reading on screen, around one third of students (similar in Survey 3) reported mostly or always printing out downloaded written materials). Over two thirds (68.3%) reported that they save/download materials when accessing them online.

22 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Describing first year students What follows is work in progress We have begun to try and abstract some features from our data using factor analysis This has then been used to develop some provisional clusters of students The slides that follow are based on initial work using 2 step cluster analysis Caution has to be taken because this type of cluster analysis tends to force membership amongst students e.g. all females or all males grouping together. Further analysis of our data will examine how other clustering techniques may affect group membership and the categories derived in this initial analysis.

23 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Cluster characteristics (Survey 2)

24 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Cluster membership (Survey 2)

25 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Characteristics & membership (Survey 2) UK Males 20 UK Females 20 Distance Learning Intnal

26 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Describing the variations Place based whole time vs distance learning part-time Mode of study seems to have a significant effect Distance students - Lower use of ICT than place based students Lower use affects both Net gen aged and older students Less likely to be social interactive or web interactive Other clusters Gender Females show greater social interactivity and lower web interactivity than males International students Show lower social interactivity but higher web interactivity

27 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Student spaces and places Changes in the past 10 years – the rise of mobile technologies The persistent importance of the study bedroom Charles Crook - Learning Nests Nardi and ODay – local habitations The use of informal spaces: Library Multi-media Labs Little evidence of the adoption of a mobile culture

28 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Learning Nests (Day Experience) Example 1. Study area in a permanent home address As you can see Im in my spare bedroom, which has got washing, place where I keep my washing, my exercise bike which usually just sits in the corner, my desk which has my laptop and all the current things Im working on at the minute, my ironing board and a couple of bookcases. At the moment Ive only got two bookshelves that I use for my work and this is basically where I spend most of my evenings. Usually two to three hours an evening, depends on what Ive got to do. And then some of the, Ive got a normal computer downstairs which is attached to a printer, which I print everything off but this is basically at the moment where all my work gets done. (Non-Net Generation, female, Social Work University E) Example 2 Study bedroom (the most common situation) Im still doing my homework, its a different homework this time but Im using my laptop again, on Facebook and also using MSN to talk to my friends. Ive also got like an on-line dictionary in here which is helping me rather than using the book cos its much quicker, like a proper dictionary cos its much quicker. Im in my room so Im surrounded by all my stuff which I like. (Net generation female, German University D) Example 3 In a public area using mobile device(s) I am currently in the MRL [Multi-Media Resource Laboratory] and the technology I am using as you can see Microsoft OneNote for note taking, Microsoft word and WebCT which Im currently downloading some assignments off. Im on my own doing work and the environment I am sitting in is comfortable as you can see, [view of sofa seating with more formal area in the rear of the shot] which is fairly busy as well. I am currently using my laptop for doing my studies and mobile phone for communicating with other students. (Net Generation Male Information and Communications University B)

29 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Life on screen (Interviews/Day Experience) The students we engaged with using the Day Experience method integrated their lives on screen. In this sense there was no distinction between the location of work and play Many applications open at once, seamlessly moving between them Right, Ive just flicked on to the internet and Im just checking my Tiscali e-mails which is the first thing I usually do and see whether anybody interesting has bothered to contact me. Usually there are only Facebook notifications - looks as though there is one from my football team which means I probably will actually go on to Facebook which is never a good idea to see what all thats about. I usually follow the same thing each day, I log on to my Tiscali e-mail see whether anything interesting is on there, usually there isnt. Then I go on to BBC sport because Im a bit of a sport addict and see whats happening there. Then I check my [University] student e-mails because theres usually a lot more going on there. That could be if there is any lecture changes or exam results out that I need to be aware off. Then I log into [local VLE] and the lecture writing up begins. (Net Generation female studying Veterinary Science University A)

30 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Distraction (Interviews) Nick Carr The human brain like any animal brain is attuned to distraction… the internet bombards us with stimuli… it creates in a sense an environment of information that plays to our desire to our need to be distracted… it becomes very difficult to keep a focus on anything (http://www.bbc.co.uk/virtualrevolution/interviews.shtml )http://www.bbc.co.uk/virtualrevolution/interviews.shtml One of the key themes from our interviews …if Im doing some work and Ive got Facebook open then I get a message or Ill see pictures that my friends posted from a party and I get distracted and Ill loose where I was in my work and then its a bit like Ive lost my place and its hard to get back in and you know, all from that one little message.. (Net Generation Male, Information and Communications University B)

31 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Responses to distraction (Interviews) 1.Removing the sources of distraction by switching them off to be honest you just turn it all off and then you just dont stick with it otherwise as soon as you turn it on, youre losing time and youre wasting your own time really. (Net Generation Male, Modern Languages University D) 2.Physically removing themselves from the distractions …and the computer is, is you know, todays distraction, yesterday it was the TV now its the internet (laughs) so it, it has quite a serious downside…I tend to use the Library to get away from technology. (Older Female Veterinary Science University A) 3.Interspersing study with breaks …its just a matter of the person and whether they can not get distracted by it [technology], but I do think its just good to have those things there so that you can have a break and chill out and stuff, while you are trying to work. (Net Generation Female English University A) 4.Working under pressure Personally I tend to work best under pressure so Ill sort of leave it until the last minute... Ill tend to close everything down or at least have it minimised at the bottom of the screen and ignore it, set myself to appear offline on MSN messenger and leave everything, mainly to stop distractions from people talking to you, and try to ignore everything else. (Net Generation Female Bio-Sciences University A)

32 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Discussion and concluding points Digital and networked technologies infuse most students lives and the material context claimed for a Net Generation exist There are age related differences but no single identifiable generational set of changes Social Networking and communication technologies are at the centre of age related differences The Net Generation age group is itself divided by age internally There are other significant factors including, institutional mode and gender apart from age Students are often physically alone but usually digitally connected SNS e.g. Facebook and Mobile (Cell) phones Digital networks help maintain distant links (eg. Home from university/university friends from home)

33 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Implications for teaching? The Net Generation/Digital Natives and determinism Hard forms - In education they [the Net generation] are forcing a change in the model of pedagogy, from a teacher-focused approach based on instruction to a student-focused model based on collaboration. (Tapscott 2009 p 11). Softer forms - In order for schools to adapt to the habits of Digital Natives and how they are processing information, educators need to accept that the mode of learning is changing rapidly in a digital age… (Palfrey and Gasser 2008 p239) Are there things we will just have to accept? If so what are they? What will we have to do?

34 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Choices not necessity Students seem to use new technologies that allow (afford) – Communication Access Students (in general) are not currently using many of the most talked about new technologies Blogs, Wikis, Virtual Worlds If students tend to use the technologies that they are required to use… I would choose to include these new technologies in my courses Because … I would choose to avoid these new technologies in my courses Because…

35 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Engaging with university Digital Natives as Digital phrenology? Association between known features and presumed characteristics Two related claims The ubiquitous nature of certain technologies, specifically gaming (Oblinger 2004, Prensky 2001, 2001a) and the Web, have affected the outlook of an entire age cohort in advanced economies The new technologies emerging with this generation, most recently Web 2.0, have particular characteristics that afford certain types of social engagement. What is the relationship between student activity and university context?

36 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology References Jones, C., Ramanau, R., Cross, S.J., and Healing, G. (2009) Net generation or digital natives: Is there a distinct new generation entering university? Computers & Education. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2009.09.022 http://oro.open.ac.uk/18700/ Jones, C., and Cross, S.J. (2009) Is there a Net generation coming to university? Association for Learning Technology Conference, Manchester 2009. Available from: http://oro.open.ac.uk/18468/ http://repository.alt.ac.uk/view/year/2009.html Jones, C., and Ramanau, R. (2009) The Net Generation enters university: What are the implications for Technology Enhanced Learning? M-2009: Proceedings of the 23rd ICDE World Conference on Open Learning and Distance Education including the 2009 EADTU Annual Conference, 7-10 June 2009, Maastricht NL. http://oro.open.ac.uk/18690/ http://www.ou.nl/Docs/Campagnes/ICDE2009/Papers/Final_paper_088jones.pdf Jones, C., and Ramanau, R. (2009) Collaboration and the Net generation: The changing characteristics of first year university students. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning: CSCL2009: CSCL Practices. http://oro.open.ac.uk/18689 Kennedy, G., Gray, K. and Tse, J. (2008) 'Net Generation' medical students: technological experiences of pre-clinical and clinical students, Medical Teacher, 30:1, 10-16 Salaway, G. and Caruso, J. B., with Mark R. Nelson (2008). The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2008 (Research Study, Vol. 8). Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, 2008, available from http://www.educause.edu/ecar. http://www.educause.edu/ecar Project web sites: http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/netgeneration/ http://kn.open.ac.uk/public/workspace.cfm?wpid=8354

37 The Open University's Institute of Educational Technology Acknowledgement We would also like to acknowledge the assistance of our collaborators at the five participating universities, in particular Susan Armitage, Martin Jenkins, Sheila French, Ann Qualter and Tunde Varga-Atkins. We would like to thank all the student volunteers who have helped us throughout our research.


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