Student Learning and Information Technology Nexus

Student Learning and Information Technology Nexus

Neeta Baporikar (HP-GSB, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia)
DOI: 10.4018/IJSSMET.2016040103
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Abstract

The evidence illustrating enhancement in student learning through information technology (IT) is still questioned in many disciplines, yet education institutions world over are adopting IT with a hope of enhancing the learning effectiveness. Through exhaustive literature review and grounded theory approach this paper investigates the learning – IT nexus in knowledge society and reflects on the use of IT to augment and enhance student learning. It explores what evidence exists to illustrate that IT enhances learning, and how this changes the practice of teaching. The findings indicate that there is a strong nexus between teaching and IT in current scenario. The paper also proposes a framework for augmenting learning through IT which is crucial for the knowledge management and development.
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Literature Review

A number of projects and studies have employed information technology to aid the process of transition into university by helping students to settle in and adjust, to reduce anxiety, deal with change and develop generic skills (Laing et al 2005). The work is frequently justified by and aimed at addressing key transition issues and facilitating retention (Chalk et al n.d.) by enhancing the transition experience and offering support before study begins. Initiatives in this area regularly involve online resources, activities and the opportunity to communicate with staff and other students prior to arrival, often from when students are offered/accept a place. Anagnostopoulou and Parmar (2008) suggest that using information technology may assist in easing transition by linking students to support and managing expectations. A number projects focus in part on bringing expectations in line with the reality of academic study (Laing et al 2005) and to help students know what to expect, see what university life will be like and to understand what it means to be a student (Hills 2006). Keenan (2009b) notes that offering information and resources before students arrive, in students’ own space and time, spreads the load, helps them to absorb information, gain confidence and can help develop early commitment, engagement and perseverance. Students can find induction week overwhelming and therefore such ‘transition mechanisms’ (Keenan 2006) are important and access prior to induction – to other students, to the course and to the university – is seen as a key step towards providing a successful student transitional experience.

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