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How can educational technology improves student learning outcomes for RMIT Foundation Studies Students

  • Category:
    Education
  • Document type:
    Research Paper
  • Level:
    High School
  • Page:
    5
  • Words:
    3047

НОW САN ЕDUСАTIОNАL TЕСHNОLОGY IMРRОVЕ STUDЕNT LЕАRNING ОUTСОMЕS FОR RМIТ FОUNDАTIОN STUDIЕS STUDЕNTS?

Table of Contents

3INTRODUCTION 1

4RESEARCH QUESTION 1.2

4SIGNIFICANCE OF RESEARCH 1.3

5LIMITATIONS 2.0

5LIMITATIONS OF RESEARCH 2.1

5METHODOLOGY 3.

5RESEARCH OUTLINE 3.1

5PRIMARY RESEARCH 3.2

5Observation 3.2.1

6Interview 3.2.3

6SECONDARY RESEARCH 3.3

6Secondary Research Methods Used 3.3.1

6The Process Used to Gather the Secondary Information 3.3.2.

6QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH DATA 3.4

6Qualitative Data Used 3.4.1

7Reasons for Use of Qualitative Data 3.4.2.

7Quantitative Data Used 3.5.1

7Reasons for Use of Quantitative Data 3.5.2.

8ANALYSIS OF FINDINGS 4.

144.1 Outcomes

154.2 Recommendations

15CONCLUSION 5.

16References

18Appendices

18Appendix A

19Appendix B

19Appendix C

20Appendix D

21Appendix E

22PROFESSIONAL REFLECTION

22Self Evaluation

22Individual Skills

22Research Skills and Procedure

23Organizational Skills

1 INTRODUCTION

This study shows the impact of using technology in education at the RMIT. The study was conducted through a group survey. The population of the study consisted of students of the university. 33 randomly selected individual were the participants of the research survey. The general survey result indicates that the students at the RMIT take significant interest in the use of educational technology and that the use of the same has had considerable positive effects.

1.1 AIM

  1. To underscore the importance of technology in education for foundation studies students at the RMIT.

  2. To explore the significance of using technology in education at the university level (specifically for foundation studies students of RMIT).

  3. To determine the impact of educational technology on the mental capacity of foundation studies students at the RMIT.

  4. To understand how much technology in education assists in the betterment of the learning process of foundation studies students of RMIT.

  5. To determine whether educational technology improves the ability of foundation studies students at the RMIT to get better grades.

  6. To evaluate the proficiency of foundation studies students at the RMIT to use various educational technology platforms.

1.2 RESEARCH QUESTION

How can educational technology improve student learning outcomes for RМIТ foundation studies students?

In the survey that we conducted, the key thing that we were trying to determine was how educational technology positively impacts the ability of students taking foundation studies at the RMIT to learn.

1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF RESEARCH

The RMIT has had ambitions to increase the educational attainment of all students within its realm, as do other institutions of learning. To help achieve the said ambitions, schools, including the RMIT have invested in the use of educational technology among other things. The significance of this report is therefore to make a positive contribution to the huge volumes of empirical research surveys that have been conducted over the years on the impact of using technology in education. Specifically, this brief survey aims at contributing to the appreciation of how educational technology has increased the learning ability of students.

2.0 LIMITATIONS

Various challenges were encountered during the survey. The following section outlines the challenges briefly.

2.1 LIMITATIONS OF RESEARCH

  1. The smallness of the size of our sample population. Due to the small numbers of the respondents that were the subject of our research, it is not possible to conclusively rely on the findings for a determinate conclusion.

  2. The unwillingness and lack of seriousness of the respondents. Under this challenge, some of the interviewees were either unwilling to participate in the survey or insensitive to the significance of the survey. This, again, hampers the ability to rely on the conclusiveness of the survey.

3. METHODOLOGY

3.1 RESEARCH OUTLINE

The survey was conducted over six weeks including the time taken in the field study to the time spent in compiling.

3.2 PRIMARY RESEARCH

Our survey group used a simple observation and interview approach in the collection of primary data.

3.2.1 Observation

In this primary tool, we apportioned ourselves into groups of two and took the role of walking around the institution’s various places of learning, including lecture halls, laboratories and libraries. We then met later on and recorded our findings.

3.2.3 Interview

Our survey group mostly relied on this methodology to collect the data. We divided ourselves into groups of two and designated each with the responsibility of one interviewing while the other recording.

3.3 SECONDARY RESEARCH

We relied heavily on internet sources to come up with this report.

3.3.1 Secondary Research Methods Used

Among the sources that our group used are Academic Journals, Reports, Surveys and the Google Scholar database.

3.3.2. The Process Used to Gather the Secondary Information

The information that we gathered from the Google Scholar database was accessed using key words, such as “technology in education” and “effects of modern educational technology on students”. Furthermore, while reading some of the online journals, we came across referenced surveys and names of authors, which information we utilized on the Google Scholar database to access the surveys. In addition, we utilized reports, journals and surveys to understand deeply the impact of technology on education.

3.4 QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH DATA

3.4.1 Qualitative Data Used

  1. Observations

  2. Individual Interviews

  3. Focus groups

3.4.2. Reasons for Use of Qualitative Data

Due to the smallness of the size of our survey in general, the use of qualitative data was of utmost importance since it provided the easiest way to reach the respondents and get feedback.

3.5.1 Quantitative Data Used

  1. Simple mean method

  2. Simple percentage method

3.5.2. Reasons for Use of Quantitative Data

The major reason why we utilized the above-mentioned methods was again due to the size of our population. The small size of the survey could not allow for the use of complex methodologies.

4. ANALYSIS OF FINDINGS

Table 1 represents the effect of modern educational technology on grades, personal skills and ability to learn faster.
How can educational technology improves student learning outcomes for RMIT Foundation Studies Students

The table above illustrates the primary data collected by our group through observation and survey responses. We asked respondents the question of whether modern educational technology (MET) has an impact on their grades, personal skills and ability to learn faster. As represented in the table above, no person responded that MET had never influenced their grades. Four people said that MET has rarely affected their grades. Eighteen people said that MET has sometimes affected their grades. Six people said that MET often affected their grades while four people said that it always affected their grades. Under the effect of MET on personal skills, one person said it never had an effect, two people said rarely, 15 people sometimes, 10 people often and five said often. Nobody responded that MET had never affected his or her ability to learn faster while six people said rarely and 13 sometimes. Ten people said often and four said always. From the empirical data represented in our findings, it is clear that most responses fell under the “sometimes” and often “category”. The lowest responses were received in the “never” category. Accordingly, the effect of modern educational technology was felt oftentimes and sometimes out of the 33 people, we interviewed while very few people, next to none, had never felt the impact of MET.

The findings of this section prove to be in line with Neuman (1996). In his survey, it was found that the use of technology has general positive impact on the ability of students to learn faster. According to Long (2008), the use of technology in education helps improve student grades by a huge margin. Mbuva (2014), in his research, found that the traditional classroom setup presents a linear teacher-student relationship. This in essence means that the teacher owns all the knowledge and the student remains to be a passive listener. Under this particular model, the teacher, owning all the information, does not regard the importance of giving feedback to students on their effort and progress in their work (Cui, 2010). The students, therefore, face challenges in understanding the teacher and the consequence of this is that their thinking ability is not prone to development. The students also on their part do not give their feedback to the teacher and the teacher, therefore, does not get to know the impact of his teaching on them (which is an important component in the learning process in and out of a classroom setup). With the advent of technology, technology has been added as an aid to the learning process (Mann, 1999). The teacher is able to receive student feedback and vice versa. The ultimate outcome of technology in this regard is that it improves the ability of students to learn faster. The use of modern educational technology has, therefore, transformed greatly the ability of students to learn.

Table 2 represents the various responses of our respondents to the question of how they would rate their overall skills in using educational technology platforms, such as Turnitin and online libraries.

How can educational technology improves student learning outcomes for RMIT Foundation Studies Students  1

From the data represented in the table above, 31 out of 33 respondents had basic to proficient overall skills in their use of educational technology platforms, such as Turnitin or online libraries. This means that 94% of the students we interviewed had basic to proficient skills; 67% representative of basic and 27% of proficient. It is, however, clear that the least responses fell under the categories of “below basic” and “advanced”. This means that very few people have a below basic understanding of using online platforms and on the extreme end very few people have an advanced skill set. Most people, therefore, have an average skill set in their use of online platforms.

Dwyer (1994), in one of the biggest empirical studies of any time in the realm of MET, found that the ability of students to understand the use of technology in the classroom is important for success. This was the same finding in three other major surveys by Mann (1999), Wenglinsky (1998) and Cohen et al. (1982).

Table 3 represents the empirical information collected form respondents to the question of which of several educational technologies (software) we provided were currently being used in learning.

How can educational technology improves student learning outcomes for RMIT Foundation Studies Students  2

How can educational technology improves student learning outcomes for RMIT Foundation Studies Students  3

Out of the 33 respondents, only seven collectively used email, Google Docs, Google Earth, Maps, Translator and other subject specific software. Fourteen people collectively used RMIT Online Library, Social Networking and Wikipedia. The single category that recorded the highest positive responses was Word, Excel and Power Point. From the findings of this particular category, it seems that most students utilize writing software followed by the university’s online platform and Wikipedia but shy away from broader online platforms. Information technology (e-learning) presents a powerful tool in its ability to cultivate a dynamic and interactive learning environment (Cui, 2010). According to the foregoing empirical survey, Cui (2010) argues that although teaching has had major benefits, the incorporation of internet, computers and multimedia cannot be neglected.

Table 4 represents the responses from students to the question of whether they agreed that modern educational technologies are useful these days for learning at university.

How can educational technology improves student learning outcomes for RMIT Foundation Studies Students  4

How can educational technology improves student learning outcomes for RMIT Foundation Studies Students  5

Most people either strongly agreed or just agreed to the query of whether MET was relevant and useful to learning in these days at the university level. A few people either strongly disagreed or just disagreed, while fewer people were indifferent to the question. This appears to be slightly in line with the survey by the Scottish Government in November 2015 on the impact of digital technology on learning and teaching. On page 45 of the report, it is argued that by taking the whole body of research collectively, there can be no conclusive evidence on the impact of technology (digital) on educational attainment (longer term). However, the survey submits that there is compelling evidence that using digital technology offers resources and tools that can assist learning and the ability of students to learn.

Most people, therefore, agreed that modern educational technology is of great importance to learning at the university, even though a few people had reservations. Shakil (2013) concludes that according to numerous pieces of research, attractive teaching methods have shown the ability to have long-lasting impacts on students’ minds. The survey concludes that one of such methods is the use of technology in education. According to the findings of the study, it was shown that the use of modern educational technology has had a positive impact on students in its ability to increase their curiosity towards learning.

How can educational technology improves student learning outcomes for RMIT Foundation Studies Students  6

Table 5 is representative of the answers to the question of how often students used RMIT Blackboard on personal time

Generally, from the data, students were regular users of Blackboard on their personal time. According to James (2015), the use of Blackboard has several advantages. Among these advantages include enhanced communication in terms of email, announcements, discussions, virtual classroom, time management and skill building. The other advantages of using the Blackboard platform include quick feedback and increased availability. However, against this background, the survey noted several drawbacks to the use of Blackboard (Mbuva, 2015). Some of the most notable drawbacks include the difficulty to understand the Blackboard software than anticipated. Secondly, is the restriction of certain options on particular operating systems. Thirdly is the challenge of using bandwidth whenever students have to download material from the internet and lastly is the challenge of cost.

4.1 Outcomes

From the above findings, it is imperative to make few comments. First, there is an average outcome to the question of whether students consider the effect of MET on their skills and ability to learn faster as positive. Most of them seem to attribute these to inputs also from other different sources. Secondly, students seem to have basic to proficient skills in their use of technology in education. This fact may be attributable to many factors, which go beyond the scope of this survey. Few to none of them seem to have any advanced skills set on using educational technology. Third, most of the students are more familiar with RMIT online resources and the Blackboard but seem to be disinterested in other equally important online platforms. This particular fact may be because the students have no choice but to embrace these platforms since most of the varsity’s correspondences are on the Backboard. The RMIT online library may also be utilized more due to its familiarity and availability. Fourth, a good number of students are convinced of the usefulness of modern educational technology at the university level, while another considerable lot thinks otherwise.

4.2 Recommendations

  1. We recommend that awareness campaigns be conducted in order to enlighten the students on the importance of using technology generally in education.

  2. We recommend the introduction of a basic unit in the curriculum that teaches the students how to use the various platforms, which are available and at their disposal (especially Google and other subject specific platforms).

  3. We recommend the enhancement of the Blackboard to include a lot of academic material for the time being before the implementation of the above since most of the students use the platform.

5. CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the survey found that the online or internet based delivery of education has a positive impact on education at the varsity level. Also, we found that most people appreciate the positive impact of technology in education. The research found that the use of technology has helped students improve their ability to learn faster, grades and personal skills.

References

Cohen, P.A., Kulik, J.A. and Kulik, C.L.C1982, Educational outcomes of tutoring: A meta-analysis of findings. American educational research journal, Vol 19(2), pp.237-248.

Cui, Z 2010, On the applications of modern educational technology in maritime English teaching from the perspective of constructivism. English Language Teaching, Vol 3(3), p.244.

Dwyer, D.C., Ringstaff, C., Haymore, J. and Sandholtz, P.D 1994, Apple classrooms of tomorrow. Educational leadership, Vol 51(7), pp.4-10.

Long, L., Zhaohui, L., Gengsheng, W. and Xiaoqin, Y 2008, Modern education Technology with Creativity of Continuing Education.

Mann, D., Shakeshaft, C., Becker, J. and Kottkamp, R 1999, West Virginia’s basic skills/computer education program: An analysis of student achievement. Santa Monica, CA: Milken Family Foundation.

Mbuva, J.M., 2014. ONLINE EDUCATION: PROGRESS AND PROSPECTS. Journal of Business and Educational Leadership, Vol 5(1), p.91.

Mbuva, J.M 2015, Examining the Effectiveness of Online Educational Technological Tools for Teaching and Learning and the Challenges Ahead. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, Vol 15(2), p.113.

Neuman, D., Bialo, E.R. and Sivin-Kachala, J 1996, Current Research-The Effectiveness of Technology in Schools: A Summary of Recent Research. School Library Media Quarterly, Vol 25, pp.51-57.

Shakil, A.F 2013, The Effects of Using Educational Technology in Private Secondary Schools of Karachi, Pakistan. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Vol 3(4), p.163.

Wenglinsky, H 1998, Does it compute? The relationship between educational technology and student achievement in mathematics.

Appendices

Appendix A

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Appendix B

How can educational technology improves student learning outcomes for RMIT Foundation Studies Students  8

Appendix C

How can educational technology improves student learning outcomes for RMIT Foundation Studies Students  9

How can educational technology improves student learning outcomes for RMIT Foundation Studies Students  10

Appendix D

How can educational technology improves student learning outcomes for RMIT Foundation Studies Students  11

Appendix E

How can educational technology improves student learning outcomes for RMIT Foundation Studies Students  12

PROFESSIONAL REFLECTION

Self Evaluation

Individual Skills

In my individual capacity, the whole DTRP process was interesting, exciting and quite educative. The interactions between me and the respondents in the study have proven to be an experiential asset for future surveys. No major problems were encountered on my part, save for the few unserious and unwilling respondents; but this is an obvious and expected challenge in all researches. With regard to expectations, I had expected a higher volume of respondents, which would have widened the scope of the research and improved the outcomes, but overall there was an average satisfaction of my expectations. I have learnt that in order to achieve outcomes in the research time keeping and discipline are very essential commodities. The next time I undertake a similar task, I would improve my communication skills and my ability to target the most appropriate people for a survey. What I learnt to be the most vital asset in the process is the ability to target the most appropriate respondents as this would increase the accurateness of the findings. A general assessment of the effectiveness of my group would be “efficient”.

Research Skills and Procedure

Choice of the topic and the research questions was a group effort. Each member made their contributions and then the group engaged in a series of deliberations and discussions in order to refine the focus of the research topic and questions. We utilized several resources in achieving the above but principally, the internet tops our list. The reason for the choice of the internet is because of its richness in almost any and everything.

Organizational Skills

As mentioned above, the group’s management and organization was efficient. There were very few to no hiccups at all in the whole process. Timelines were met, research recorded appropriately and correctly and the resources were managed aptly.