ICT in Higher Education: Evaluative Views of Teachers and Students

ICT in Higher Education: Evaluative Views of Teachers and Students

Yang Yang (University of Tasmania, Australia), Hoang Boi Nguyen (University of Tasmania, Australia) and Sun Hee Jang (University of Tasmania, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-074-3.ch025

Abstract

Over the past decades, there has been an intensive drive to implement information and communications technology (ICT) in diverse contexts. In education, ICT has produced significant benefits to research, teaching and learning. Enhanced learning outcomes and effective teaching practices, for example, are reported as positive impacts of ICT integration, particularly in higher educational contexts. However, in order to examine how ICT influences tertiary teaching and learning, it is important to look at the main stakeholders’ perspective. This chapter reports a case study about the perceptions of ICT among university lecturers and students on key aspects of ICT in an Australian university context. Data was collected through questionnaires and interviews. The major findings revealed that there were wide variations in respondents’ perceptions of ICT’s impact, which may partly affect the effectiveness of ICT implementation in this context.
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Background

ICT can be seen as an overarching term and its applications encompass all technology-related practices people engage in, such as computer gaming, Internet accessing, blogging, instant messaging, video-sharing or podcasting. While mainly used for communication and entertainment purposes, these ICT applications are also harnessed in education to enhance the learning process of all forms, including exploratory, experiential, inventive or reflective learning, especially its potential to enhance self-directed learning in virtual learning environments has positioned ICT as a catalyst for educational advancement (Yang, 2009). A recent study conducted at the University of Melbourne (Kennedy, Krause, Churchward, Judd & Gray, 2006) has demonstrated a significant positive relationship between effective use of ICT and success in tertiary studies. The researchers particularly reported that many students were motivated by the use of a number of technology-based tools in their university studies. According to Oliver (2006), the affordances of ICT, which enable numerous new learning modes and flexible ways for communication, have opened an opportunity for students to be more self-directed in their learning. In addition, research in Australia (e.g. Pelliccione, 2001) demonstrates that there is an increasing commitment among many lecturers at Australian universities to the adoption of ICT in their teaching practice. ICT innovations such as Web 2.0 tools and mobile devices are being modeled at various institutions. Such enthusiasm among students as well as teachers has triggered an interest of the Australian government in boosting ICT implementation in higher educational settings.

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