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Project Overview

In the summer of 2002, the School of Nursing (SON) and the Center for Instructional Development and Research (CIDR) began a three-quarter collaboration to explore the SONís uses of instructional technology in enhancing student learning. The collaboration between the SON and CIDR was intended to:
  • Identify what aspects of instructional technologies enhance students learning
  • Identify what aspects of instructional technologies detract from student learning
  • Develop best practices for students and faculty using instructional technologies
Students were asked to be reflective about their own learning in response to a few very general questions. Here is an example of these questions: To give you an opportunity to be reflective about your learning and to give us feedback on whatís working and what could be changed in this course, please answer these questions:†
  • What aspects of instructional technology enhanced your learning?† How?†
  •   What aspects of instructional technology detracted from your learning?† How?
  • How have your study and/or learning habits changed because of the technologies used in your classes?
  • What strategies have helped you be successful in using instructional technologies?
  • What advice do you have for other students in classes taught wholly or partially online?

General Conclusions
This study has produced a number of very interesting results. Generally, students reported fewer technical difficulties and improved learning outcomes when their instructors were knowledgeable about the technologies used and flexible about resolving problems.† This project suggests that the SONís uses of instructional technologies are affecting student learning in the following ways.

Instructional technologies are helping students:

  •   be more efficient
  • feel more connected with peers and instructors
  • access information more easily
  • consult varied resources (e.g., databases and web research) more often
Instructional technologies are detracting from student learning when:
  • technologies fail (e.g., computer crashes or disk failure)
  • instructors do not update materials in a timely manner
  • online reading or research adds too much additional workload
Overall, the information provided by students suggests that instructional technologies are no longer totally unfamiliar or strange to them.† Instead, students have begun to develop new learning strategies in response to the demands of online and asynchronous environments.† While this report highlights what is currently helping students in the SON develop as learners, it also provides a roadmap for future projects and inquiries into the role(s) of technology in teaching and learning. Details of the report can be found by clicking on the buttons to the left.
 
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