Learning in Digital: An Approach to Digital Learners in the UOC Scenario

Marc Romero [mromerocar@uoc.edu],
Montse Guitert [mguitert@uoc.edu],
Open University of Catalonia, Spain
Mark Bullen [mark_bullen@bcit.ca],
British Columbia Institute of Technology, Canada
Tannis Morgan [tmorgan@jibc.ca],
Justice Institute of British Columbia, Canada

Abstract

The net generation discourse suggests that an entire generation, born roughly between 1980 and 2000, has been profoundly influenced by the advent of digital technologies and immersion in a digital and networked world. Futurists and commentators argue that we need to make radical changes to our educational systems because this “net” generation behaves differently, has different social characteristics, different ways of using and making sense of information, different ways of learning, and different expectations about life and learning, all due to their exposure to digital technology (Howe and Strauss, 2000; Oblinger and Oblinger, 2005; Palfrey and Gasser, 2008; Prensky, 2001, b, 2005; Tapscott, 1998, 2009).

However, as several reviews of the research have shown, few of these key claims about this generation are based on empirical evidence (Bullen et al, 2011; Bennett et al., 2008).

The international research project, Digital Learners in Higher Education seeks to develop an evidence-based understanding of how postsecondary learners in different institutional contexts consider technology and how they use it in their social and educational lives.

This project is led by the British Columbia Institute of Technology and involves the collaboration of the University of Regina and the Open University of Catalonia (UOC).

In this paper, we will explain the first results of this research project as well as its application at UOC.

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Tags

e-learning, distance learning, distance education, online learning, higher education, DE, blended learning, ICT, information and communication technology, internet, collaborative learning, learning management system, MOOC, interaction, LMS,

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