Changing student learning preferences: what does this mean for the future of universities?

Andrews, Trish and Tynan, Belinda (2011). Changing student learning preferences: what does this mean for the future of universities? In: Ascilite 2011: Changing Demands, Changing Directions, 4-7 Dec 2011, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, pp. 118–122.

URL: http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/hobart11/do...

Abstract

Learner preferences appear to be changing and there is some evidence that students are seeking a different kind of learning experience than currently commonly available. This paper provides a brief discussion of changing student learning preferences and suggests that these are being driven by the accessibility and characteristics of available and emerging technologies, rather than by technological determinism. The paper also suggests that, in many ways, the majority of higher education institutions are ill-prepared for these changes and that a gap is emerging between student expectations and student experience. It is proposed that students are looking for more connected and mobile learning opportunities and that ‘loose networks’ are playing an increasingly important role in supporting learning. The paper discusses the implications these changes have for institutions and suggests that while universities face challenges they also have choices.

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