Dr Xuan Huy Nguyen (Lecturer in Marketing: University of Sussex Business School)
Dr. Xuan Huy Nguyen joined University of Sussex as a Lecturer in Marketing in October 2017. He has a PhD in Marketing from The University of New South Wales (Australia).His research interests include consumer choice behavior, role of emotions in consumer decision-making, and services marketing. He is comfortable with analyzing and interpreting large volumes of data by numerous statistical packages. In terms of methodology, he is experienced in choice modelling, market response models, experimental design, and Bayesian statistics. He is also familiar with structural equation modelling (SEM).He is keen on collaborating with researchers and students who share the research interests.
Educational technologies play a critical role in enhancing lecturers’ teaching and students’ learning experiences in higher education. As a result, educational technologies have attracted attention from many researchers and practitioners. From the students’ perspective, educational technology adoption and utilization are among the key aspects making up their holistic learning experiences in higher education. Unsurprisingly, educational technologies, represented as ‘learning resources’, is one of the nine dimensions of the National Student Survey (NSS) Questionnaire in 2022, measuring the overall students’ higher education experience (Canning, 2015).
In recent years, universities in the UK have accelerated their investment in educational technologies to further enhance students’ learning experience and consequently improve their NSS results. One must ask questions about which educational technologies to invest and how to encourage lecturers to use educational technologies (Surry & Land, 2000). In this post, the author argues that only investing in educational technologies might not be enough to improve our students’ perception, e.g., the ‘learning resources’ aspect in the National Student Survey. It is also very important to improve the perceived usefulness of educational technologies, from both students and lecturers, to further improve the NSS results.
Perceived usefulness of educational technologies from a lecturers’ perspective
According to the Technology Acceptance Model, the perceived usefulness of educational technologies has a strong impact on the tendency that one would engage in the technologies and make the best use of them (Granić & Marangunić, 2019). In the context of higher education, the existing literature demonstrates that lecturer-perceived usefulness of technologies extend a significant effect on technology adoption under a wide range of circumstances (Salas, 2016). In addition, lecturer-perceived usefulness of educational technologies may even have the spillover effect, influencing the attitude of the same technologies of other people around them, e.g., other teaching staff (Abuhamdieh & Sehwail, 2008). As a result, to improve the educational technology adoption in higher education, enhancing the lecturer-perceived usefulness of the technologies may be as important as the decision to invest in the technologies.
Perceived usefulness of educational technologies from students’ perspective
Lecturer-perceived usefulness of educational technologies may not always be consistent with students’ perceived usefulness of the same educational technologies. In other words, module convenors and students may not always see an educational technology the same way. One educational technology considered as highly valuable by lecturers may be seen as low value by students.
To improve students’ learning experience, I conducted a personal teaching evaluation in the middle of the semester in a postgraduate module in 2023. I asked students in two workshops to rate the usefulness of the types of tasks in PollEverywhere.com, which is a popular educational technology used to facilitate discussion in class (Laverick, 2015). Students could select one of the five options: multiple choice, word cloud, Q&A, clickable image, open-ended question, and competition. Based on my expertise and experience, I believed that clickable image would be the most useful option. Nonetheless, students’ perceptions in both workshops did not agree with my perception. Indeed, based on students’ perception, clickable image was the least popular. In Workshop 1, only 1 student out of 26 selected clickable image. The most popular were multiple choice (16 out of 26 students) and open-ended question (7 out of 26 students). In workshop 2, the same thing happened. Only 1 student out of 18 students selected clickable image. And the most popular option was still multiple choice (11 out of 18 students).
To improve students’ learning experience, increasingly investing in educational technologies, and shifting to digital education, is a process that all higher education institutions must experience. Nonetheless, many other factors may also play important roles in the process, apart from the decisions on how much to invest and in which educational technologies to invest. In this paper, based on the findings in the existing literature and some exploratory empirical evidence, I demonstrate that universities should also pay attention to the perceived usefulness of educational technologies to improve the perception of technology adoption and subsequently improve their NSS results.
- Universities should pilot a technology in a number of schools or modules before rolling out the technology across the institution.
- Early in the term, lecturers should explore their students’ perceived usefulness of a technology and how to best utilize it. Based on the results, lecturers can either adapt to their students’ perceptions or explain the benefits of their preferred learning technology to improve both teaching and learning experiences.
Abuhamdieh, A., & Sehwail, L. (2008). A comparative study of campus portal user acceptance: Student and faculty perspectives. Journal of STEM Education, 8(3).
Canning, J. (2015). A new measurement and ranking system for the UK National Student Survey. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education, 19(2), 56-65.
Granić, A., & Marangunić, N. (2019). Technology acceptance model in educational context: A systematic literature review. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50(5), 2572-2593.
Laverick, C. (2015). Using Poll Everywhere to Improve the Student Experience: Increasing Confidence and Encouraging. In G. Brewer & R. Hogarth (Eds.), Creative Education, Teaching and Learning: Creativity, Engagement and the Student Experience (pp. 40-50). Palgrave Macmillan UK. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137402141_5
Salas, A. (2016). Literature review of faculty-perceived usefulness of instructional technology in classroom dynamics. Contemporary Educational Technology, 7(2), 174-186.
Surry, D. W., & Land, S. M. (2000). Strategies for motivating higher education faculty to use technology. Innovations in Education and Training International, 37(2), 145-153.
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