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This research explores students’ views on the impact and transformations that technology has brought to the learning experience of students in higher education. The students who kindly participated in this study are from: The School of Computer Science and Statistics, Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics and Science, Trinity College Dublin and The Faculty of Business, Dublin Institute of Technology, both based in Dublin City, Ireland. The use of technologies in third level education facilitates flexible learning environments. The pedagogic approach employed by e-learning development officers or lecturers when designing e-learning platforms or learning management systems has the capability to transform student learning. From experience and cases studied there is ample evidence to suggest that the use of technology does not always necessarily meet user requirements. Students are the end users of the technologies educators use to enhance the learning experience. This study was undertaken in two separate third level educational establishments to compare students’ views on the impact that technology was having on learning. The first set of students surveyed in 2009 were studying in the College of Business, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), the second set of students surveyed were studying in the School of computer Science and Statistics (SCSS), Trinity College Dublin (TCD) in 2010. By analysing students views (as the end users) on educators uses of technologies, feedback is now available to learning designers and educators for the purpose of improving the pedagogical design of e-learning platforms and the use of technologies in higher education. The responses received from students clearly indicate they are of the opinion that the use of technologies in higher education beneficially transforms learning but will never replace lecturers. In essence, the benefits that can be achieved through the use of technologies are totally dependent on the ways they are employed pedagogically by lecturers.
Eileen O' Donnell and Mary Sharp, Students' Overview: The impact of technology on learning in higher education. Poster Presentation. NAIRTL / LIN Annual Conference, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 6-7 October, 2010