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Conference Proceeding

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A Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is a system, usually self-constructed, that enables learners to manage their own learning and may include tools, services, online resources and communities. The aim of the project: to determine which technologies students use when they prepare, complete and submit assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations.

The participants (n=39): 24 students from Edith Cowan University in WA and 15 students from Avondale in NSW. All students were undergraduate, on-campus students from Education and Arts courses, mainly female, most were aged between 20-24 years.

Previous research has defined PLEs (Dabbagh & Kitsantas, (2012), especially in social constructivist contexts using learner-centred pedagogies (van Harmelen, 2008; Wild, Mdritscher, & Sigurdarson, 2008). Gosper et al. (2013; 2014) have outlined the use of technologies for learning in higher education in general. The methodology of the project used a mixed methods approach using a modification of Clark et al.’s (2009) methods:

1) online questionnaire;

2) focus group; and

3) mapping exercise.

Students used a moderate range of formal (provided by the institution) and informal (student-selected) technologies that were used in social and individual contexts, but most technology use was informal. The range of locations in which technologies were used was wide, and reflected a high value placed on mobility and Wi-Fi connectivity.


This conference proceeding was originally published as:

Lounsbury, L., Bolton, D., Mildenhall, P., & Northcote, M. (2015, November). What offline and online technologies do higher education students use to complete assessment tasks? Poster session presented at the annual meeting of Sciences and Technologies of Learning (STL) Research Festival 2015, University of Sydney, Australia.

Used by permission: CoCo - Centre for Research on Computer Supported Learning and Cognition and the authors