Integrating Personal Experiences and Course Materials to Promote Net Generation Student Learning in an Online Health Communication Course

Integrating Personal Experiences and Course Materials to Promote Net Generation Student Learning in an Online Health Communication Course

Rukhsana Ahmed (University of Ottawa, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-347-8.ch022
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The Net Generation And Experiential Learning: Connecting Self With Subject-Matter

The rapidly emerging digital media and web technologies, such as blogs (Ferdig & Trammell, 2004; Kerawalla, Minocha, Kirkup, & Conole, 2008), podcasts (King & Gura, 2008), wikis (Parker & Chao, 2007), instant messengers (IM) (Lu, Chiou, Day, Ong, & Hsu, 2006), social bookmarks (Abbitt, 2009), are creating mediated learning environments cultivating new approaches, novel applications, and increased flexibility to foster student learning (Beldarrain, 2006; Lansari, Tubaishat, & Al-Rawi, 2010). While these emerging web technologies are changing the way people communicate and access information, and the educational uses of these tools is on the rise, it is important to probe their potential in creating engaging learning environments and providing experiential learning opportunities to help students achieve personal growth and development. This humanistic orientation to learning (Maslow, 1970, Rogers & Freiberg, 1994) becomes crucial in the context of today’s Net Generation who grew up with digital technology (Tapscott, 1998) and to whom “computers, the Internet, online resources, and instantaneous access are simply the way things are done” (Oblinger & Oblinger, 2005, pp. 2.1 -2.2.). How can learning be incorporated into every day practice to help Net Generation learners connect self with subject-matter in today’s digital era? To explore how the application of technology-enhanced experiential learning contributes to advancing Net Generation student learning, this study examines undergraduate and graduate students’ evaluations of an online health communication course.

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