HomeThe Asia-Pacific Education Researchervol. 20 no. 1 (2011)

Student Experiences of Learning Technologies across the Asia Pacific Region

Robert A. Ellis | Brendan F.D Barrett | Christina Higa | Ana-maria Bliuc

Discipline: Education, Technology



This study explored the ways by which students across the Asia Pacific learn through video-conferencing and online learning. In particular, it focused on how they reported thinking about learning through these technologies, what approaches they adopted, and why they did the things they did. Seventy-six students completed an open-ended survey about their experience of the learning technologies in their course in sufficient detail to warrant analysis. It was clear from the student responses that there was considerable variation in their conceptualization about the learning technologies. Deep approaches to video-conferencing involved the learner participating in discussions as a way to make connections between facts and real life issues. Surface approaches involved predominately passive participation, sometimes asking questions. Deep approaches to online learning involved the learner pursuing key ideas through new inquiry in order to develop a more comprehensive knowledge on a topic. Surface approaches resorted to capturing information through downloading and printing primarily as a collecting exercise. Results suggested that student misconceptions about the technologies often undermine most of the learning benefits afforded by them. For teachers, this meant that some significant orientation at the beginning of courses needs to occur to reveal to the students what the learning technologies are for, and how students can benefit from a reflective and more strategic approach to their use.