Six key themes could be identified from the data available from several courses:
- Utility and ease of use are key factors in the appreciation of ICT tools provided by the course
- The relevance of ICT tools to the work context can fuel study commitment
- ICT elements in courses introduce a practical element into study, which is much valued by students
- Online study methods are valued where they support students’ feelings of control and being able to make progress
- ICT tool usage can help to connect study with application to practice in the workplace
- Students’ different work contexts influence their attitudes towards the ICT in their course.
- As you read each vignette, look out for statements illustrating each of the six themes.
- Pay attention to how ICT relates to work experience and vice versa, how (if at all) applying learning to work influences the study process, and so on.What do these vignettes suggest about the importance of the student’s work when designing courses where ICT plays a key role?
This vignette was really interesting as last year I studied Cisco CCNA and therefore can corelate myself with many of the comments put forward by this student.
Online studying at his own pace should let him pass in just 6 months instead of the usual 2 years associated with this certification.
Online labs are ‘simulating’ the configuration of equipment like routers where the studying being done is quite similar to the ‘real thing’. Therefore the student is committed in actually doing these online labs as they are relevant to his work context.
Tools available: Packet tracer, online quizzes.
“build up of hands-on skill was seen as both enjoyable and essential to his learning.”
He “used ICT tools to supprt achieving the learning outcomes on the course…use of Google in searches to check out relevant solutions that others have developed.”
Here the student feels ‘stressed by the time commitment across al her studies’. ICT exercises conflicted with the student’s approach to learning. She has to deal with acquiring ICT skills whilst knowing that the primary focus is the Socail Work course.
At the same time the student has used a flash drive and Outlook calendar in order to move on in her studies. Even the idea of having the course available online give her the advantage of accessing it from home or work.
Maybe here the student is finding that the use of ICT tools in this course are not futile for the work context she is working in. Before this course she already has been using ICT skills that seemed good enough for her context. Therefore the ‘extra’ skills being learned here are perceived as time consuming. Her perception of what her work environment entails is influencing her attitude towards the ECDL skills included in the OU course.