Students 'let down' by the academic Luddites

Survey finds that academy is failing to capitalise on new technology. Sarah Cunnane reports

Research from the US Department of Education suggests that students studying online tend to outperform those receiving face-to-face tuition; The Open University in the UK has topped 20 million downloads on iTunes U; and, worldwide, social media has overtaken pornography as the number one activity on the web.

However, recent statistics from the US show that the academy may be failing to capitalise on the potential offered by new technology.

The Faculty Survey of Student Engagement, conducted annually by academics at Indiana University, Bloomington, last year included questions on the use of technology by lecturers for the first time.

The results show that while 72 per cent of respondents used course- management systems such as Blackboard, many did not use any other technology in their academic lives.

Some 70 per cent did not use plagiarism-detection software and 84 per cent did not use blogs. In each case, a small percentage claimed not to know that such things existed.

Read full story in Times Higher Ed.

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