The project, which is based at the University of Melbourne has investigated how "commencing first year students and their teachers use traditional and emerging technology-based tools in their everyday lives and to support student learning and drawn on the expertise of teachers and the results of this investigation to develop and implement pedagogically sound, technology-based tools to enhance student learning in local learning environments."
One of the outputs of the project is a handbook, Educating the Net Generation: A Handbook of Findings for Practice and Policy which is available for download. The researchers have also published a number of articles and made several presentations at academic conferences.
Key findings of this research project:
- The rhetoric that university students are Digital Natives and university staff are Digital Immigrants is not supported.
- There is great diversity in students’ and staff experiences with technology, and their preferences for the use of technology in higher education.
- Emerging technologies afford a range of learning activities that can improve student learning processes, outcomes, and assessment practices.
- Managing and aligning pedagogical, technical and administrative issues is a necessary condition of success when using emerging technologies for learning.
- Innovation with learning technologies typically requires the development of new learning and teaching and technology-based skills, which is effortful for both students and staff.
- The use of emerging technologies for learning and teaching can challenge current university policies in learning and teaching and IT.