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The impact of technologies in a first year undergraduate course for social scientists

By Jane Secker, Athina Chatzigavriil and Jonathan Leape

Abstract

LSE100 is a new course for LSE undergraduate students. It was piloted in 2009/10 with a cohort of 400 first year students and it will become compulsory for all first year students in the academic year 2010/11. ‘LSE100 The LSE Course: Understanding the causes of things’ looks at broad, current questions and issues across the social sciences. Topics include what caused the financial crisis, can we eradicate poverty and how we should manage climate change. Elements of the course have been designed to integrate technology alongside more traditional teaching practices of lectures and classes. It uses Moodle to provide students and teachers with a range of online resources and support. Other technologies used in this course, to supplement the routine automated lecture capture, are PRS, audio feedback and text messaging. This paper presents an evaluation of results from the pilot year and explores students’ attitudes towards the use of a range of technologies in teaching and learning. The data was collected through a series of focus groups, one to one interviews and surveys to examine how students view technologies and the impact that they have had on their learning. Research from UCL (Rowlands et al, 2008) suggests that undergraduate students might have different attributes to earlier generations and have different approaches to learning. This paper will explore whether LSE students might be considered a ‘Google generation’ or display any characteristics that suggest they might be ‘digital natives’ (Prensky, 2001) in their approach to new technologies. One of the key learning objectives of the course is to equip students with information skills and other transferrable skills which will benefit them both in the rest of their time at LSE and afterwards in their careers. Online resources to support essay writing and to teach students to find, manage and evaluate information have been developed by staff in the Centre for Learning Technology (CLT) and the LSE100 course team. These resources, including an essay writing tutorial which helps student to understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it, will be demonstrated in this session

Topics: H Social Sciences (General), LB Theory and practice of education, LB2300 Higher Education
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:32968
Provided by: LSE Research Online

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Citations

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