Exploration of technology-enhanced techniques is needed to understand their effectiveness and impact on learning outcomes and teaching efficiency in the higher education setting. There is a lack of empirical evidence to determine whether the implementation and use of technology-initiated methods are beneficial for learning and teaching in different contexts and with different student cohorts. Comparison between undergraduate maritime engineering and nursing students’ use of technology-enhanced learning and teaching methods revealed general and discipline-specific strategies used by students to support and optimise their learning experience.
The purpose of the study was to explore how undergraduate students use Echo360 generated materials for study purposes. Reported use of Echo360 generated materials by students in maritime engineering and nursing disciplines was compared to establish whether there were differences in study approaches by these cohorts in their use of this technology-enhanced learning and teaching method.
This cross-sectional study invited 841 students enrolled in seven units across maritime engineering (4) and nursing (3) disciplines to complete a web-based survey seeking information about their use of Echo360 generated materials. The ethics approved questionnaire used five-point Likert scale and open-ended questions to collect information about student use of Echo360 generated materials available in each unit. Data within each cohort was pooled and analysed using SPSS (Version 21). Descriptive and 2-sided Chi-squared analysis was undertaken to determine any differences between the maritime engineering and nursing cohorts. All tests were conducted using a two-sided alpha level of 0.05. Also, focus group interviews with 36 students drawn from the original population of 841 students were undertaken. This feedback provided detailed textual data which was subjected to thematic analysis to further explain the findings made from the web-based survey.
Although gender, age and English as first language were different between the cohorts, their use of Echo360 generated materials showed no difference in their reasons for using Echo360 generated materials. These reasons included revision of notes that were made in class; replay and revision of key concepts that were too difficult to grasp during classes; cover-up for missed lectures due to other commitments; collecting feedback from lecturers; learning presentation skills and gaining classroom experience. There were differences between the engineering and nursing cohorts in using Echo360 generated materials as an alternative to physical lecture attendance; revision and preparation for examinations and to gather information for assignments.
This study shows there are general and discipline-specific behaviours exhibited by students that use Echo360 generated materials in maritime engineering and nursing disciplines. The implications of this study are to enable improvement in design and development of curriculum to better suit the needs of these cohorts of students. Improved performance and learning outcomes can be achieved when the learning experience for students is optimised through the salient use of technology-enhanced learning resources.
Echo360, technology-enhanced learning and teaching, student learning experience