Experience and beliefs of technology users at an Australian university: Keys to maximising e-learning potential

Gerry Kregor, Monique Breslin, Wendy Fountain


This  article  reports  on  a  survey  of  more  than  2,300  students  and  250  staff  members conducted  at  the  University  of  Tasmania  as  part  of  a  wider  review  of  e-learning practice, demand and capacity which aims to improve planning, decision-making and the quality of the online experience of students and staff.  Data was collected on access to  technology,  technology  usage  patterns,  and  experiences  with  technology  at university.  Respondents  were  also  asked  for  comments  on  their  experiences.  Results from the quantitative component are in line with findings from similar recent surveys:high  penetration  of  laptops,  wide  access  to  broadband  Internet  at  home,  and  usage patterns  concentrated  strongly  around  common  web  activities.  Differences  in  usage profiles  of  some  applications  can  be  explained  by  the  difference  in  lifestyles  of students and staff. The two cohorts also exhibit different attitudes towards technologyas  a  result  of  their  different  relationship  with  it  in  the  context  of  their  use  of  it  atuniversity.  Many  indicated  pathways  and  solutions  to  imbalances  in  demand  and supply  are  straightforward  and  pragmatic.  Support  of  teaching  staff  is  considered crucially important to advancing broader and more effective use of technology at the university.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.777