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UTS Teaching and Learning on the Web 1995 to 2008: achieving the dream? Shirley Alexander (edited for release – post-conference)

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Presentation on theme: "UTS Teaching and Learning on the Web 1995 to 2008: achieving the dream? Shirley Alexander (edited for release – post-conference)"— Presentation transcript:

1 UTS Teaching and Learning on the Web 1995 to 2008: achieving the dream? Shirley Alexander (edited for release – post-conference)

2 UTS Predicting the future “ By 1988, knife cleaning machines will be a major invention to lighten the domestic load” Catherine Helen Spence, in 1888, writing in “A Year in the Future”

3 UTS The success of predicting the future “ Television will never be a serious competitor for radio, because people must sit and keep their eyes glued on a screen; the average American family hasn’t time for it” New York Times, at 1939 World’s Fair

4 UTS Other future predictions In 1899: ‘advances in ‘air-ship’ technology will get people to London in 10 days by 2000’ “As far as sinking a ship with a bomb is concerned, you just can’t do it”

5 UTS Phaedrus, Plato “…When it came to writing, Theuth declared: ‘Here is an accomplishment, my Lord the King, which will improve both the wisdom and the memory of Egyptians. I have discovered a sure receipt for memory and wisdom.

6 UTS Phaedrus, Plato “’Theuth, my paragon of inventors,’ replied the King, ‘the discoverer of an art is not the best judge of the good or harm which will accrue to those who practise it. So it is in this case; you who are the father of writing, have, out of fondness for your offspring attributed to it quite the opposite of its real function…”

7 UTS Years Excitement Technology trigger Peak of inflated expectation Trough of disillusionment Slope of enlightenment Plateau of productivity The hype cycle for evolution of new technologies (Gartner group)

8 UTS Case studies UNext.com Fathom.com UKeU University of Phoenix

9 UTS Thwarted Innovation: What happened to e-learning and Why? Robert Zemsky and William F. Massy June 2004

10 UTS e-learning’s most troubled assumptions If we build it they will come – not so –Viable market for e-learning yet to emerge –Course Management Systems and Powerpoint only are widely employed The kids will take to e-learning like ducks to water – not quite –e-learning at best as a convenience – at worst a distraction.

11 UTS e-learning’s most troubled assumptions e-learning will force a change in the way we teach – not by a long shot –e-learning focus on distributing materials rather than on teaching –e-learning will become pervasive only when faculty change how they teach –e-learning took off before people really knew how to use it

12 UTS Boud & Prosser 2002 We take as our central focus students’ experiences of learning using new technologies. Our view is that learning arises from what students experience, not what teachers or technology does.

13 UTS learning arises through the interactions between a learner and the learning environment and no environment can be guaranteed to generate learning independent of what the learner brings to the encounter and how the learner perceives the situation.

14 UTS Australian University Student Finances % of F/T UGs working an average of 14.8 hrs/ wk 1 in 6 F/T UGs working more than 20hours/ week 4.5% of F/T students also working F/T 40% of F/T UGs believe working is having an adverse effect on their studies 1 in 8 students (12.5) regularly go without food because they cannot afford it (25 % for indigenous students) Universities Australia

15 UTS The Horizon Report “Higher education is facing a growing expectation to deliver services, content and media to mobile and personal devices” Technologies to watch: –User created content – blogs, photostreams, wikibooks etc –Social networking –Mobile phones - gateway to digital lives –Virtual worlds –New scholarship and emerging forms of publication – new tools, new ways to create, critique and publish are influencing –Multiplayer educational gaming

16 UTS ECAR Study of UG Students and IT, 2007 (Educause Centre for Applied Research) 26,000 students surveyed across 99 institutions Increasing levels of ownership of IT Students report spending an average of 18 hours/week online

17 UTS ECAR Study of UG Students and IT, 2007 (Educause Centre for Applied Research) IT as an enabler of learning IT as a barrier to learning Balance between IT and face-to-face interaction –59% of students prefer “moderate” use of IT in courses

18 UTS Castells ”the history of technology is that users are the key producers of the technology, by adapting it to their uses and values, and ultimately transforming the technology itself". We learn about technology by using it and producing - feedback between the diffusion of technology and its enhancement

19 UTS A Vision of Students Today A Vision of Students Today Oct 12th, 2007 by Prof WeschProf Wesch “My average class size is 115.” “18% of my teachers know my name.” I complete 49% of the readings assigned to me. Only 26% … are relative to my life “I will read 8 books this year.” I read “2300 web pages” each day “and 1281 facebook profiles” “I will write 42 pages for class this semester.” “And over 500 pages of ” Source:

20 UTS Some predictions for the future of learning

21 UTS Lectures…..

22 UTS Lectures Experts telling students what they know Focus in on what the teacher is doing Attempts to describe the learning that has resulted shows very different responses eg Bligh’s book – “What’s the use of lectures?” Effectiveness is not as great as many appear to assume

23 UTS Increased student demand for podcasts

24 UTS Use of web-based lecture technologies “staff are concerned that WBLT are exacerbating a trend toward declining lecture attendance, which they are linking to a drop in academic performance” “…there is little evidence of changes to the curriculum to effectively utilise these technologies” Phillips, Gosper et al (2007)

25 UTS Use of web-based lecture technologies Student attendance at lectures is low and decreasing Recognition of pressures on students: –Employment –Lifestyle –Family “…make it harder for students to engage as deeply in the university experience as those from previous decades” Phillips, Gosper et al (2007)

26 UTS Use of web-based lecture technologies “they deliberately organise other commitments knowing that their university commitments can be fulfilled by listening to i- lecture. I am lucky to get 40% attendance at class … what is worse, many of them now work close to full time so the time and energy they have available is limited. There is a clear trend of students just doing what they need to pass the unit, and not really engaging with the subject or me as teacher…” Phillips, Gosper et al (2007)

27 UTS The nature of teaching has to change significantly

28 UTS Enrolment patterns Increased demand and take up of fully online learning Majority of learning will be blended learning

29 UTS Any class that can be replaced by a podcast/ vodcast should be

30 UTS Increased tension between provision of high quality learning experiences and the student experience of learning

31 UTS What is the value of f2f learning? ‘reception of content’ no longer predominant Active engagement with content and other learners? Engagement with teacher? –Motivation? –Value-added by teacher?

32 UTS Teaching no longer the “most private of public activities”

33 UTS Changes to curriculum Increased focus on work readiness of students –More integration of work and learning Embedding of graduate attributes into the curriculum –Increased importance of communication skills Significant changes to what and how we assess students

34 UTS Increased public visibility

35 UTS themes The inventor of a technology does not determine its final uses – the user does Continued efforts to use new technologies to automate existing practices Need to work within the existing framework in which students are experiencing learning Have a short window to make significant changes to content and form of formal award courses

36 UTS references Boud, D. & Prosser, M. (2002) Appraising new technologies for learning: a framework for evaluation and redevelopment. Educational Media International. 39(3). Castells, M. (2001). The Internet Galaxy. Reflections on the Internet, Business and Society. Oxford UP Fisher, C. (1992) America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone University of California Horizon Report. Salaway, G. & Caruso, J. (2007). The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology Student Finances Study. Universities Australia. y/survey/index.htm Zemsky, Robert & Massey, William., "Thwarted Innovation: What Happened to e-Learning and Why. nnovation.pdfThwarted


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