Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Spanish Study Finds Generation is Irrelevant

To date the published results from the international research project, Digital Learners in Higher Education, have been based on data from one North American post secondary institution. Now we have the first results from one of our European partners, the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). In Do UOC Students Fit the Net Generation Profile: An Approach to Their Habits in ICT Use, Marc Romero and colleagues sought to determine whether or not UOC students fit the popular Net Generation or Digital Native profile and whether there were any generational differences in how they perceived their social, academic and professional uses of ICT. Their results add to the growing body of evidence which is increasaingly showing that generation is not relevant in trying to understand the impact of digital technology in higher education. Romero et al. conclude: 
"Taking into account the difference between the UOC’s Net Generation students and non-Net Generation ones regarding their use of ICT in academic and social activities, our findings seem to support the irrelevance of the age factor: We could not find any general and significant difference between the two groups in the vast majority of items...The analysis of the data gathered demonstrates that the difference among our students is produced more by their use of ICT than by their age."

Read the full article in the International Review of Research in Open & Distance Learning.

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