The Impact Of Technology On Student Learning – The high-profile, racially motivated murders of Ahmed Arbari, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd Jr. in 2020 have given new urgency to the fight against deep-seated, institutionalized racism, including in higher education. There is also a growing movement for research-supported institutional change in postsecondary education to address racism and inequality and increase equitable educational opportunities for traditional minority students.
It is in this spirit that the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technology Development (DETA) and the WCET – WICHE Educational Technology Cooperative reviewed research that shows whether digital learning technologies can produce positive outcomes for specific populations.
- 1 The Impact Of Technology On Student Learning
- 2 The New Education Policy & Its Impact: How To Prepare Your Students
- 3 Benefits Of Technology In The Classroom
- 4 Benefits Of Technology In The Classroom
The Impact Of Technology On Student Learning
, were looking for disaggregated data on students who identify as racially or ethnically traditionally underrepresented groups, such as black, Latino, or Native American.
Community Learning Model
Finding information was not easy. Although decades of research have shown that digital learning benefits “all students,” a recent review identified only 17 high-quality studies that provided disaggregated data for these specific groups.
It’s important to consider the limitations of the current body of research, said Dr. Tanya Justen, senior scientist and director of digital learning research and development at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and DETA, co-author of the review. point
“I think when it comes to educational technology or digital learning in general, we know nothing when it comes to our students of color,” she says. “Because of the way the research system is set up, most of our efforts focus on all students, not just students of color.”
Another limitation is that most studies confound how tools are used. For example, there are many studies of open educational resources, but OER itself is not an intervention. The authors of the study found that the element of the solution (eg OER, adaptive learning, etc.)
Putting The Power Of Learning In Students’ Hands
While Jowston admits it’s frustrating to find so few studies that show “something that has a positive effect on students of color and shows promise for improving student outcomes,” the good news is that even those limited numbers have some college and university measures. support from administrators, faculty, and staff. It can be used by staff and students to reduce barriers, create new opportunities, and expand student success.
The authors of the review identified several opportunities provided by educational technology to support student engagement and success.
Students seek opportunities to express their identity through their experiences. Tasks and texts that include culture can be an excellent starting point, starting with introductory modules that allow students to talk about themselves or their culture.
And, as the study’s authors note, “curriculum, whether relevant to media studies or not, can be revised across universities to ensure it is culturally inclusive.”
The New Education Policy & Its Impact: How To Prepare Your Students
Under certain circumstances, students may be more successful in blended classes rather than face-to-face. Students typically make greater progress in blended and online courses in upper-level online courses related to their degree program than in lower-level or elective online courses. For entry-level or elective students, blended courses may yield positive results, but the case for online courses is less clear.
One study in the review looked at STEM courses at an urban community college and found that “highly structured, blended lower-level courses in STEM-related subjects may lead to better student outcomes,” says Juston. “I’m really glad to see evidence backed by research.”
Course methodology, or delivery mode, constitutes what the report calls a “black box” — the complexity of teaching, learning, or design affects how effective a particular instructional technology is.
“We have decades of research and meta-analyses that tell us that the Internet is not harmful and that it is just as good as face-to-face,” says Justen. “But what’s in the black box? How do you deliver your content? How do you relate to your students? How do they relate to each other? How would you rate them? This is what is important. “
The Impact Of Technology On Student Motivation
Research in the review found that neutral, collaborative online courses can reduce competition and create supportive, encouraging environments that allow students to progress at their own pace.
In addition, students need to interact with instructors and peers to achieve better results. It includes clarification of expectations and clear instructions and examples, as well as important, timely feedback for correspondence and evaluations.
Among the improved outcomes are interventions that prepare students for online learning, including educational technology courses, summer classes to prepare for adaptive learning, and improved access to technology.
One study in the review showed the extent to which familiarity with an instructional technology and past success influence future success. The takeaway, says Joosten, is finding ways to support students in accessing and using digital solutions for better educational experiences.
Benefits Of Technology In The Classroom
When students struggle, she says, “Many times administrators think students need to be on campus and build learning communities. Sometimes that’s not possible. If you have family at home, whether it’s children or elderly family members, or work responsibilities, Being on campus during designated days and times is not necessarily beneficial, so we must be careful not to turn students of color away from technology because of access issues.
Ultimately, the goal of the DETA and WCET report is to identify research-based practices so that educators can begin using instructional technologies to create equitable learning environments for Black, Latino, Aboriginal, Pacific Islander, and poverty-stricken students. Below is a sample of the report’s recommendations.
One of the key recommendations was to provide opportunities to create online learning that builds academic skills and self-efficacy.
Image credit: From Research Review: Educational Technologies and Their Impact on Student Success for Certain Racial and Ethnic Groups National Research Center for Distance Education and Technology Development (DETA) and WCET – WICHE Educational Technology Cooperative
Benefits Of Technology In The Classroom
To achieve this, the authors do not recommend providing more student support services. Juston suggests rethinking the current structure, focusing on retention strategies, removing barriers to learning, and looking at creating an overall supportive environment for distance education.
Also, faculty must work to provide students with the skills and resources to use and access technology. It includes an assessment of digital literacy (ie, communication, productivity, and collaboration tools) and readiness for online learning.
Faculty should strategically plan and organize courses around objectives, assessments, and activities, using more structure in hybrid or blended courses.
Students should challenge the myth that online courses are necessarily easy. They should choose online or hybrid courses that take advantage of support services offered by the college or university, including preparatory courses that support technology access, learning, and learning.
How Does Technology Impact Student Learning?
The report’s authors include several other specific recommendations, along with a call for research into the factors that influence minority student success.
Although more funding is important for this research, Joos is more immediately affected by other structural barriers, such as public funding sources that do not need subgroup-disaggregated data and journals that are not interested in publishing it.
“It’s really unfortunate that we don’t have the flexibility to almost require, let alone include, data that shows that this intervention is working for the students of interest,” says Justen.
“We often say we need more funding, but there are other things people can do now. Journals and the government may say that you need to prove that your intervention works not only for all students, but also for students of color and other minority groups.
How Does Technology Impact Student Learning?
To see the full findings and additional recommendations, download the research review Educational Technologies and Their Effects on Student Success for Certain Racial and Ethnic Groups from DETA and WCET.
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