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Why Technology?

“Learners of this era are accustomed to using technology, and their learning environments should reflect that,” (Smith & Benedict, February 2015).

Technology is an integral part of our lives and our teaching and learning.

Technology Empowers Teachers to...

  • Provide greater student access to our courses and learning opportunities (24/7)
      • Students can engage in learning when it best suits their schedules
      • Reduces and removes limitations for learning
  • Provide greater course flexibility
      • Better adapt to the needs of the learners
  • Embrace and support a greater diversity of learning preferences
      • Provide choice
      • Learning support tools
      • Increases the adaptability of the course information, content, resources, etc.
  • Enhances the quality of research
      • Greater access to more tools, associated research, colleagues, etc.
  • Provide more opportunities for innovation and creativity
      • Ways to engage
      • Ways to complete tasks and assignments
      • Ways to assess learning
      • Ways to re-imagine learning
  • Increase the authenticity and meaningfulness
  • Diversify the opportunities to engage students
  • Support a broader range of learner needs
      • More strategies and opportunities for communication
  • Embrace cultural trends, interests and needs
  • Be more creative in how they teach
  • Provide a learning environment that maximizes all learners aptitudes, interests, and capabilities
  • Offer personalized opportunities:
      • To engage with, explore and influence the world
      • For bold experimentation
      • To interrogate learning
  • Weatherize your courses
      • Never cancel your course learning opportunities

Educational Advantages of Technology

(Guze, 2015, Table 3)

  • Safe, controlled environments that eliminate risk to patients
  • Enhanced, realistic visualization
  • Authentic contexts for learning and assessment
  • Documentation of learner behavior and outcomes
  • Instruction tailored to individual or group needs
  • Learner control of the educational experience
  • Repetition and deliberate practice
  • Enhance perceptual variation and improve skill coordination
  • Standardization of instruction and assessment

For technology or any other teaching approach to be effective, it needs to be meaningfully integrated into the learning experiences of the course. Thoughtful course design increases the likelihood that technology, or any other strategy, will be effective and result in significant learning. Research indicates most “faculty members have adapted to the technological revolution. Educational technology is also being used for all types of learning in the curriculum,” (Beebe, Gurenlian, & Rogo, 2014).

References and Resources

Employer Surveys

  • 2017 - Career Readiness Competencies (NACE)
  • 2015 and 2013 - Association of American College and Universities – Hart Research Associates (below)

2015 Employer and College Student Survey - Data Highlights

  • n = 400 executives from profit and non-profit organizations
  • n = 613 college students (455 four-year college seniors and 158 community college associates degree)

Employers

*(student perspectives data in brackets)

  • Learning Authenticity (real-world applications)
      • 88% important that all students have the skills and knowledge to complete an applied learning project
      • 73% important that all students complete a significant applied learning project to improve their career preparation
      • Most would prioritize a job candidate who has participated in: 
          • 94% an internship (95%)
          • 87% senior project/thesis (89%)
          • 81% multiple courses involving significant writing (76%)
          • 80% collaborative research project (82%)
          • 69% a community-based project (85%)
          • 66% field-based project in a diverse community setting (87%)
          • 51% study abroad program (71%)
  • Knowledge and Skills
      • 60% stated having both field specific knowledge and skills along with a broad range of skills and knowledge is more important for recent college graduates (63%)
      • 15% stated having specific career knowledge and skills is more important (15%)
  • Agree/strongly agree that all students should:
      • 96% have educational experiences that teach them to solve problems with people whose views are different from their own (94%)
      • 87% gain an understanding of democratic institutions and values (85%)
      • 86% take courses that build civic knowledge, skills and judgment essential for contributing to a democratic society (86%)
      • 78% acquire a broad knowledge in liberal arts and sciences (83%)
      • 78% gain intercultural skills and an understanding of societies and countries outside of the US (87%)

Learning Outcomes Rated Very Important by Employers

  • 85% effective oral communication
  • 83% work effectively with others in teams
  • 82% effective written communication
  • 81% ethical judgment and decision-making
  • 81% critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills
  • 80% knowledge and skill application in real-world settings
  • 70% analyze and solve complex problems
  • 68% locating, organizing and evaluating information from multiple sources
  • 65% creativity and innovation 
  • 60% stay current with changing technologies and workplace applications

Other Significant Data

  • 80% state E-Portfolios are very or fairly useful in evaluating applicants
      • 45% college transcripts are very or fairly useful in evaluating applicants
  • There is a significant difference between Employers and Students in regard to preparedness across learning outcomes

Why Technology?

Workplace preparedness graphic (AACU, 2015)

2015 Employer Survey - Data Highlights

  • n = 318 executives from profit and non-profit organizations

Employers

  • 95% prioritize individuals with intellectual and interpersonal skills for workplace innovation
  • 93% believe critical thinking, clear communication and the ability to solve complex problems are more important than undergraduate degree
  • 92% identify innovation as critical to their organization's continued success
  • 55% stated having both field specific knowledge and skills along with a broad range of skills and knowledge is more important for recent college graduates
      • 16% stated having specific career knowledge and skills

More emphasis needed on:

  • 82% critical thinking skills
  • 81% complex problem solving and analysis
  • 80% written and oral communication
  • 78% knowledge and skill application in real-world settings
  • 72% locating, organizing and evaluating information from multiple sources
  • 71% creativity and innovation
  • 67% teamwork and collaboration

Potential of different approaches to learning to help students succeed:

  • 83% expecting students to develop the skills to research questions in their field and develop evidence-based analysis 
  • 79% expecting students to complete a significant project before graduation that demonstrates their depth of knowledge in their major AND their acquisition of analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills
  • 74% expecting students to develop the skills to conduct research collaboratively with their peers
  • 59% using new approaches that deemphasize lectures in the classroom and instead have students listen to lectures online and devote classroom time to dialogue, debate, and problem solving in groups or alone, and with guidance from the instructor
  • 83% state E-Portfolios are very or fairly useful in evaluating applicants
  • 90% important that those they hire demonstrate ethical judgment and integrity; intercultural skills; and the
    capacity for continued new learning
  • 94% state it is fairly or very important to have a liberal education

Last Published: Mar 12, 2021