Are online learning resources effectively reaching today’s tech-savvy students? 

 Today, instructors are relying on technology to support their teaching initiatives more than ever. According to a study conducted by HESA, “57% of classes involve some online component beyond simple email communication with the instructor” (Kaznowska, Rogers & Usher, 2011, p. 4).  This number is growing as instructors strive to connect course content with students in more convenient and effective ways. As students continue to spend more of their time using technology in everyday activities, it is reasonable for instructors to be exploring this media for educational purposes.

To date, instructors have been reaching out to their students through a number of different methods. They have tried everything from static resources such as online textbooks, to highly interactive class discussion forums and yet the students still aren’t satisfied. Despite instructors’ efforts to integrate technology into their classrooms, many students feel that the wrong approach is being taken. The HESA study also found that “students gave a lower satisfaction rating to classes with higher levels of e-resources” (Kaznowska, Rogers& Usher, 2011, p. 18). This might sound contradictory to common perceptions of the younger generation that is often labelled as very tech savvy and open to innovation. However, the research raises questions about the types of available learning resources and their implementation in the classroom.

Are students ready to embrace innovative learning resources? Are they only looking for alternatives to traditional methods—as convenient substitutes for the in-class experience? Are they looking for tools to supplement and enhance their learning?   Share your thoughts!

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