Lessons Learnt from Listening to the Learners’ Voices in HE- how do Students Reflect on Their use of Technology for Learning?
The importance of the Learner’s Voice and thus of listening to students’ views has been evidenced in various high profile initiatives in the UK. The work presented here is from the JISC funded Learners’ Experiences of E-Learning programme Phase 2 Learners Journeys STROLL project. Theses projects were set up in 2007 to investigate inter alia the changing views of students in their use of technology to support their learning. The STROLL (STudent Reflections on Lifelong e-Learning) project recruited a range of students from both Higher and Further Education backgrounds with the aim of researching the students’ experiences of learning in a technology rich environment and their progression in their use of learning technologies over two years. STROLL has been a largely qualitative study with students participating from across the University of Hertfordshire (UH) and Hertford Regional College (HRC) by recording their own video and audio diaries of their learning experiences. Using the students’ choice of camcorder, web camera, or digital voice recorder they recorded their daily learning experiences of using technology. The project started in March 2007 and completed in March 2009. The project’s aim was to research and document the students’ answers to the following questions: • How do learners experience change through their learning journey? • How do students use and make choices about their time? • How do students use e-learning tools to support their learning? • How do students use their personal technologies? This paper presents the findings in terms of the students’ answers to the above research questions, including the key themes discovered through the project. The discussion includes the following findings; reliance on technologies, especially multiple types of technology as a ubiquitous part of the students’ lives both study and leisure, importance of the Managed Learning Environment (MLE) to their studies, and the importance of access to the MLE (StudyNet) when off campus.