Interactivity and learning: Connecting multimodal student experiences in first year undergraduate courses

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Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 39: The Shape of Higher Education

July, 2016, 391 pages
Published by
Melissa Davis & Allan Goody

New learning design models and technologies offer powerful solutions to the problem of interactivity in higher education. While increasing innovative use of interactive digital technologies has been a hallmark of recent changes to higher education practice, the thoughtful/careful/well-considered integration of traditional delivery modes and innovative digital techniques in learning and teaching design and practice remains a crucial issue for university educators. There has been a tendency for new technologies to be added to existing curriculum design and learning and teaching practice in an ad hoc, isolated manner, rather than as part of an overarching learning design which incorporates new technologies, traditional techniques and understanding of pedagogic principles and practice. The need to integrate these elements is evident at RMIT University Vietnam which has a 100% campus-based experience for all undergraduate programs yet has a strategic goal to graduate students with digital capabilities. A learning pathway was designed and implemented in eight core first year courses in a Bachelor of Commerce program and included moving away from a single textbook to digitally rich resources, establishing expectations around students engaging outside of class in online learning activities, and in class experiences aimed to draw connections between in and out of class activities. Pre and post surveys were administered to students and data collected using the Student Engagement and Learning Inventory. This part of the study focuses on the constructs of Facilitating, Experience and Connectivity which are part of the Technology Enhancing Learning Experiences. Results indicate positive effects of the implementation of the learning pathways initiative.

Keywords: Interactivity, student engagement, student outcomes