College Student’s Expectations of Technology- Enhanced Classrooms: Comparing 1996 And 2006

Mary Jo Jackson, Marilyn M. Helms, William T. Jackson

Abstract


Multimedia technology is commonplace in today’s classrooms and the demand for technology-enhanced learning environments is projected to continue its substantial growth. Though it is often assumed students expect this technology in their college classrooms, there is little quantitative evidence to support these assumptions (Snyder & Vaughan, 1998; Snyder & Vaughan, 1996, and Chang, Choi, Moon, Chan, & Chan, 2004). The question becomes, as students are exposed to the use of technology and multimedia both in the classroom in lower levels and in their personal lives, have their expectations of the optimal learning environment changed? This study replicates a 1996 study of expectations of the college student about technology to be used in their college classroom. The 1996 data includes a sample of 714 students at a small southeastern private college. The 2006 data samples 639 students at three institutions (two public and one private) in two southern states. Students reported their prior experience with software as well as their use of computers in high school classes. Additional Likert-scaled questions asked students about their ideal classroom instruction techniques and what technology and computer activities they anticipated professors would use to present college course information. While faculty may perceive today’s students as technologically savvy and demanding of technology applications in all facets of learning, the research results did not support this view. Interestingly, as found ten years earlier, students anticipated lectures, class discussion, and weekly outlines in their college courses. Implications and suggestions for future research are included.

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