An evaluation of students' and lecturers' use of technologies: an engineering case study

Sheriff, Ray E
June 2012
Engineering Education;Jun2012, Vol. 7 Issue 1, p33
Academic Journal
Case Study
The introduction in the early 1990s of the world wide web was a significant factor in the creation of a global information society, allowing new possibilities to work, entertain and communicate, from home, at the workplace or on the move. In recent years, there have been significant advances in information technology (IT), while a new generation of applications that are able to harness the power of the world wide web has been introduced under the banner of Web 2.0. The increased capabilities of IT and the nature of Web 2.0 applications have attracted interest from the academic community as a means of enhancing the delivery of higher education. This paper considers the implications of introducing technology into the higher education sector from the perspectives of academic staff and students, with particular emphasis on the use of technology and Web 2.0 applications, and the relationship between technology and teaching and learning. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies has been adopted. Online questionnaires were completed by 22 members of academic staff and 107 students from the University of Bradford's School of Engineering, Design and Technology. Interviews with university staff and the School's undergraduate students complemented the questionnaires. The results demonstrate a good awareness and usage of technology among academic staff and students alike, with certain Web 2.0 applications (particularly social networking) being widely used by students but less so by academic staff. Overall, technology is largely viewed as a positive contributor to the learning experience.


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