Faculty Learning Community — Student Perceptions of Technology

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On September 10, 2010

Presented by: Matt Shaner, Manager of IT Relationship & Asset Management

Data comes from EDUCAUSE.

Two stereotypes of students/professors. One stereotype that students have about professors is that professors don’t like technology–Matt showed a video of a professor who destroys a laptop with liquid nitrogen and yells at students not to bring laptops to class.

Another stereotype that professors have about students is that they are over-reliant on technology, as illustrated with a video about two people stuck on an escalator that suddenly loses power.

The data presented comes from a combination of EDUCAUSE and S&T student data. EDUCAUSE data includes 25,000 students nationwide, and about 180 students from S&T.

Why should you care? Almost 92% of incoming freshman say technology is important or very important when choosing a college. Also, about 50% of students nationwide said that IT classroom experiences should prepare them for the workplace.

How much time is spent on the Internet? Missouri S&T: 37% for 26-40+ hours. National average: 25%.

Virtual worlds such as Second Life are not being used much by students. Only 28-30 universities have a presence in Second Life.

Multiplayer Online Computer Games: 72% of S&T students log on at least once a month. About 10% log on once a day. If World of Warcraft were a country, it would rank 75th in population (ahead of Greece and behind Zimbabwe).

46% of S&T students are among the first adopters of new technology. Only 10% are among the late adopters of new technology. 36% of students nationwide are first adopters.

How many instructors at S&T use IT effectively? 45% of students say most/almost all instructors use it effectively, which is on par with the national average.

37% of S&T students get more actively involved in courses that use IT resources. Again on par with the national average (36%).

48% of S&T students strongly agree that use of IT in courses improves their learning.

Only 17% of students said they would skip class if the course materials are online, which 56% said they would not.

Discussion findings — Any of it surprising? One professor pointed out a disconnect between the 92% who said technology was important in choosing a college and those who actually use technology when they get here, at least for instructional purposes.

Another comment — What technologies are being used in the private sector now that could be used in the college setting to prepare students better for that world. For instance, collaborative tools such as wikis or virtual communication tools such as Skype. Some tools such as clickers and texting should only be used to enhance the learning experience and don’t translate well to the workplace environment.

Another comment — Comp Sci students seem to like professors who use chalk. However, they may really be responding to the effectiveness of the use of the tool, rather than the tool itself. A professor who is very proficient in PowerPoint could receive the same favorable perception for PowerPoint slides as another professor who likes to use chalk. Counterpoint — we should still be preparing students for the workforce because they will be forced to use the tools such as PowerPoint. Showing students how to do that *right* is important.

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On September 10, 2010. Posted in Faculty Learning Community