The corridor of uncertainty: If students are digital natives why don’t they like our e-learning?

See on Scoop.itBusiness and Economics: E-Learning and Blended Learning

“A new report has been published by Toronto-based Higher Education Strategy Associates with the superb title The State of E-Learning in Canadian Universities, 2011: If Students Are Digital Natives, Why Don’t They Like E-Learning? It’s a study of Canadian students’ attitudes to e-learning and finds, not surprisingly that today’s students are not so enthusiastic towards universities’ net-based courses as we would expect. Despite growing up with the net and labelled as “digital natives” by generalising parents, they are not automatically attracted to the e-learning on offer.

It’s easy to draw the conclusion that traditional classroom education is, after all, best since the students in the survey seem to prefer it to net-based studies. The best online resources in their opinion are recorded lectures and they prefer printed books to e-books on the whole. Traditionalists will heave a sigh of relief and say “I told you so” and we can all get back behind the lectern and keep lecturing.

However the report ends with some very relevant thoughts. Maybe students’ lukewarm attitude to e-learning is because the e-learning on offer is simply not very compelling or well designed? What if the e-learning of today is simply a pale electronic version of traditional teaching and therefore is always compared to the “real thing.” Maybe we haven’t actually changed anything, we’ve just put the classroom on the net without much thought of why we might want to do that…”
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