Student diaries: using technology to produce alternative forms of feedback
Students at the University of Hertfordshire are increasingly exposed to e-learning through the extensive use of the Managed Learning Environment (MLE), and the heavy investment in various--technologies for classroom learning. This type of learning is disparate to previous generations and for some may be challenging, therefore it is--important to measure how beneficial it is to students learning. Rather than using conventional methods of evaluating students use of elearning, the university has integrated technology into its evaluation--process through the use of video cameras, voice recorders and web logs (blogs). This study is work in progress but follows on from a project conducted during the previous academic year with video diaries. As the study is exploring issues arising from e-learning and using technology in learning, it was thought appropriate to use different media for students--to express their views. Moreover, the institution wanted to use a type of research method which was open and not constrained quantitatively or by the researcher. In this evaluation project, students participation will--involve producing diaries over seven days, given the choice of three media: video cameras, voice recorders and blogs. Students will be asked to comment on various aspects of e-learning around the university, and also teaching and learning in general. The findings of this study will be analysed to explore students views of e-learning and to ensure that students are learning effectively through such methods. In this paper, the method and findings of this study will be presented, and the value of e-learning that students perceived in their studies will--be discussed.