Success in learning is personal for every student, and to be successful students need a way to reach out, to ask questions, to engage with others in discussion, create content, setup meetings, conduct presentations, co-author work in groups and work in teams. Teachers need to do similar things in order to teach and while we have focused on providing technology to teachers to do these things we generall haven't handed control directly to students. It is on the shoulders of teachers to enable add forums, virtual rooms etc for students to learn, but this doesn't leave much of an opportunity for students to take control of their learning.
- learning management system
- lecture capture system
- virtual classroom
- reading list tool
- exam delivery and proctoring systems
- badge management system
Having access to tools that support your connection to peers for learning and engagement that are easy to use and well integrated with the rest of the learning environment is great, but autonomy and choice can also increase motivation (Schneider, et.al), and the role of intrinsic motivation to student success cannot be understated.
Provisioning TEL for communication and collaboration that is student driven is very important for a good student experience, especially in cases where learners are more autonomous and value connecting with others for their learning. In my own context there is exciting potential to roll out collaboration tools to students that would enable them to connect and study with each other in very meaningful ways and take control of when and how. Synchronous and asynchronous chat, once the domain of the teacher to create opportunities for in a learning management environment, can be made available to students by the institution. Hopefully we can avoid the issues associated with students using external platforms.
Consider the students you support and what kind of measures they are having to resort to (using external social media platforms for study for example) and what this experience is like for them. Perhaps you already host tools like MSTeams or Zoom or other tools for students to socialise and study with? If you do feel free to share.
Schneider, S., Nebel, S., Beege, M., & Rey, D. G. (2018). The autonomy-enhancing effects of choice on cognitive load, motivation and learning with digital media. Learning and Instruction, 58, 16–172. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959475218300574.
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