Learner perceptions of the motivating role of learning technology in education

Anley, Casey (2015-03)

Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Twenty-first century youth have been privy to regular exposure to digital technology, both in their schools and in the home, which has resulted in a change of both lifestyle and educational practice from that enjoyed by prior generations. Parallel to the technology market trajectory that has arguably influenced the psychological and psycho-social development of contemporary youth is the burgeoning industry of learning technology. Integration of such technology into South African schools is relatively in its infancy when compared to global initiatives, and has sparked debate as to the place of technology within education in a country fraught with divided resources. In consideration of the influence of technology on education, research which investigates the motivating role of technology upon learning, particularly from the perspective of the learners themselves, is amiss. This study aimed to discover the extent to which technology tools used in education motivate the twenty-first century South African learner to learn, and whether the use of such technology would create a more engaging, relevant educational environment. In order to investigate the topic, exploratory qualitative research as underpinned by the constructivist paradigm and within a social constructivist theoretical framework was conducted as a case study. Purposive sampling was employed to select Grade 11 learners in order to gain their perspectives and those of their teachers who bear witness to their learning at one private co-educational high school in the Western Cape. Qualitative content analysis was utilised to interpret the data collected from a semi-structured focus group interview conducted with eight learners, as well as from learner and teacher questionnaires which provided valuable contextualisation for the focus group interview. The research findings from the study indicated that the learner participants could identify the role of intrinsic motivation to learn, and demonstrated awareness of the factors that contributed to the facilitation thereof, of which learning technology played a prominent role. The participants noted the importance of the complementary role of learning technology; a means to an end and not an end in itself. Important considerations were highlighted, such as the potential for distraction, personal learning preferences, and conceptualisations of learning required for technology to be successfully integrated into the twenty-first century learning environment.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In teenstelling met vorige generasies word die jeug van die 21ste eeu gereeld blootgestel aan digitale tegnologie, tuis sowel as in hul skole, wat ‘n verandering in beide hul leefstyl en die onderwyspraktyk tot gevolg het. Parallel aan die baan van ontwikkeling van die tegnologiemarkte, wat ʼn betwisbare invloed het op die sielkundige en psigososiale ontwikkeling van die hedendaagse jeug het, is die ontluikende industrie van leertegnologie. Die integrasie van sulke tegnologie in Suid-Afrikaanse skole is nog in sy kinderskoene as dit vergelyk word met globale inisiatiewe en dit het debat oor die plek van tegnologie in ‘n land met oneweredig verdeelde hulpbronne ontlok. As die invloed van tegnologie op opvoeding in ag geneem word, is navorsing wat die motiverende effek van tegnologie op leer ondersoek, veral vanuit die perpektief van die leerders self, beperk. Die doel van hierdie studie was om vas te stel tot watter mate tegnologiese hulpmiddels in die onderwys die Suid-Afrikaanse leerder van die 21ste eeu motiveer om te leer en of die gebruik van sulke tegnologie ʼn meer deelnemende, relevante onderwysomgewing sal skep. Hierdie verkennende, kwalitatiewe gevallestudie binne die konstruktivistiese paradigma het sosiale konstruktivisme as die onderliggende teoretiese raamwerk gehad. Doelbewuste steekproefneming is uitgevoer om die Graad 11 leerders uit 'n enkele private hoërskool in die Wes-Kaap te selekteer om sodoende hul perspektiewe asook dié van hul onderwysers, wat van hul leerproses kan getuig, te bekom. Data is deur middel van ʼn semi-gestruktureerde fokusgroeponderhoud asook vraelyste aan beide die leerders en onderwysers ingesamel, wat waardevolle kontekstualisering vir die fokusgroeponderhoud voorsien het. Die ontleding van die navorsingsdata is met behulp van kwalitatiewe inhoudsanalise uitgevoer. Die bevindings van hierdie studie het aangedui dat die leerderdeelnemers die rol van intrinsieke motivering om te leer kon identifiseer en hulle het ʼn bewustheid getoon vir die faktore wat dit bevorder. Leertegnologie het ʼn prominente rol gespeel in hierdie faktore. Die deelnemers het gewys op die belangrike komplementêre rol van leertegnologie; ʼn weg tot ʼn doel en nie die doel self nie. Belangrike oorwegings is uitgelig, soos die potensiaal vir aandagafleiding en ook persoonlike leervoorkeure en konseptualiserings van leer benodig vir suksesvolle integrasie van tegnologie in die 21ste eeuse leeromgewing.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96801
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