The following questions are based on two vignettes based on findings from the PB-LXP project
As you read each vignette, look out for statements illustrating each of the six themes.
Utility and ease of use are key factors in the appreciation of ICT tools provided by the course
. You’re reading through something and you want to work out the output for something and you think, oh I’ll check on that and you can fire it up and within 15 seconds you’re logged on
The relevance of ICT tools to the work context can fuel study commitment
Interviewer: So you thought simulations are quite a good way forward?
Student:Yes definitely … as long as they are kind of realistic such as Netlab is and you know that’s realistic. A lot of simulations I’ve used in the past just don’t really accurately mimic what they are trying to mimic. So I think that element to it is quite important.
ICT elements in courses introduce a practical element into study, which is much valued by students
I think they’re [ICT tools] essential … I was chatting to somebody the other day … and saying how a lot of people I’m sure just read the book and pass the exam but then put a router in front of them and they wouldn’t have the slightest idea
Online study methods are valued where they support students’ feelings of control and being able to make progress
I am much better now with problem solving with the TMA stuff and the labs that they do – they actually are problem solving. Then you often find yourself problem solving for your own configuration.
ICT tool usage can help to connect study with application to practice in the workplace
I probably took some stuff from work to be able to do it and I took some stuff from the exercise in order to develop myself in work.
Students’ different work contexts influence their attitudes towards the ICT in their course.
It’s made me realise that I could use online systems a lot more like that … I would strongly be more open now to doing something like a Netlab-style system or a packet tracer system to study with more, or to work with.
What do these vignettes suggest about the importance of the student’s work when designing courses where ICT plays a key role?
I feel that these examples illustrate that courses which are being designed for adult learners should build on the experiences of the learners and give them the opportunity to learn from each other. From an ICT point of view this can relate to using realistic simulations and situations as making use of communication technology such as forums and blogs so they can learn from each other and build networks.Wk