E-learning environments for digitally-minded students
Andone, D., Dron, J., Pemberton, L. and Boyne, C.W. (2007) E-learning environments for digitally-minded students Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 18 (1). pp. 41-53. ISSN 1093-023X
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While most existing online learning environments cater for needs identified during the 1990s, a new generation of digital students has emerged in the developed world. Digital students are young adults who have grown up with digital technologies integrated as an everyday feature of their lives. Digital students use technology differently, fluidly (and often simultaneously) using instant messengers, mobile phones, the web, MP3 players, online games and more. If their use of technology is different, the kind of learning environment they will require is likely to be equally different. To identify these differences we ran an online survey in universities from the UK, Romania, Finland and Hungary, followed by focus groups, interviews and observations of students in traditional and online learning environments. As a result we have refined our initial definition of digital students, we identified the digitally-minded students, most notably to include recognition of such students’ need for control over their digital environment. From this analysis we have more clearly identified how a learning environment for these students should be constructed and used; an environment that contains a blend of Internet and mobile technologies which enhance student-tutor and student-student communication through multiple media channels, providing responsiveness, customizability and flexibility to adapt and be adapted to the students’ needs.
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