Keynote 2: Supporting learners' use of technology in educational contexts

  • Keynote: Supporting learners' use of technology in educational contexts

    Dr Rhona Sharpe and Dr Greg Benfield, Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development (OCSLD), Oxford Brookes University

    Keynote presentation slides (PDF, 15KB)

    In this keynote, Rhona Sharpe and Greg Benfield will review the influence of learner experience research to the practice of supporting learners' use of technology in education. We show that despite learners increasing familiarity with technology, tutors and courses still exert a considerable influence on learners' purposeful use of technology. The field of learner experience research has progressed rapidly in recent years, and now shows that most learners will not develop sophisticated uses of technology for learning unless we help them to do so. The most sophisticated uses of technology are highly personal, may be specific to the discipline and show learners' agility in making use of emerging technologies in creative ways. A current challenge is to define what specific digital and information literacy we expect to see in our future graduates.

    Whose responsibility is it to support the development of learners technology skills and practices? We report on initiatives to engage staff in designing for technology enhanced learning, recognising the design has traditionally been a largely tacit activity, conducted in private. We show that design should be understood as a highly contextualised activity, influenced by the people involved, the discipline and both local and institutional demands. Whereas models of curriculum design for e-learning have focussed on the technology and its affordances, we argue that new models of course design are needed that take account of context. Finally, we show through examples, how institution wide responses can enable the creation of opportunities that promote the development of effective learning for a digital age.