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Elucido Higher Education Teacher Survey

December 2, 2011

Survey Design & Planning: Pearlene Rodrigues and Aparna Rao

Survey Execution: Aparna Rao

Analysis & Report creation: Aina Barker

Elucido conducted a survey to ascertain the value and effectiveness of introducing technology in the Higher Education segment of the Indian education sector. The aim was to find out whether our education solution has a place in the current education scenario, whether it will be accepted and integrated in everyday teaching sessions by lecturers and whether students will learn better and faster. The survey was conducted amongst higher education level teachers, who will essentially be the main propagators of our Elucido Learning & Collaboration System.

The survey was conducted between the 4th and 12th of October 2011. The following is the analysis and summation of the answers provided by teachers.

The focus group consisted of 7 lecturers who all teach at the graduate level in a metro city. Members of the focus group are all between 40 to 55 years of age and have an average of 20 years of experience each. The responses come from 3 female teachers and 4 male teachers.

The survey questionnaire consisted of 10 multiple choice questions with the option of elaborating answers further. The questions were designed to understand the current teaching methodologies employed, the awareness of education technology available and the comfort level of today’s teachers when presented with a new way of imparting education.

A detailed analysis of the questions and their responses follow:

Though education institutes do offer their faculty guidelines, a majority of teachers as represented by 57.1% of the focus group, merely takes the guidelines into account whilst using their own methodology.

Members of the group elaborated further by saying;

I use my industry experience to shape my teaching”

 “The basic curriculum is approved as well as the teaching and evaluation plan and then it is left to me as a teacher to ensure the learning objectives are met”

As shown by the 71.4% majority, teachers believe that dynamic activities and implementation of technology in lesson dissemination can keep students better engaged and provide a richer learning experience for them.

Members of the group elaborated further by saying;

I do try to engage, entertain, and enlighten my students during the time I spend with them, in class or outside”

“Attention spans are short. Fun activities help”

A majority of educators (as represented by 85.7% of the focus group) believe that additional and relevant information related to their subject will benefit their students. Teachers themselves are open to new sources of information that they can supplement their lesson plans with.

Members of the group elaborated further by saying;

I am always looking for material that will make my class more interesting for my students”

“We need material created by practitioners”

100% of teachers believe that interaction with their students during a lecture session will lead to better learning and higher retention for the class.

Members of the group elaborated further by saying;

“It is important to address doubts immediately. The lessons are topic wise and therefore questions if asked at the end may not be relevant. It also keeps the class interactive”

Teachers are beginning to see the value of collaborative learning that can take place in today’s digital age. Many of them (71.4% of focus group) are embracing the possibilities that forums and chat rooms on the internet can offer by way of crowd sourcing and knowledge sharing amongst students.

Members of the group elaborated further by saying;

We do interact extensively on Facebook”

Teachers in graduate level institutions in India are aware of IWB’s (though have never used them) and are also positive about them.  Many teachers (42.9% of focus group) have actually used IWB’s and think that they are the way forward.

Members of the group elaborated further by saying;

Anything to enliven the proceedings”

“Am working with an agency to introduce this to schools and colleges – this is a great  idea” 

2 out of every 3 teachers would embrace technology and switch to IWB’s so that they could create dynamic lessons, record full sessions and instantly assess their students. It is interesting to note that 1 in every 3 teachers would give up their chalk and blackboards and use IWB’s for the sole benefit of being able to use digital content… is it because they are unaware of the further features and benefits an IWB can provide?

Members of the group elaborated further by saying;

Extremely important that this switch takes place”

In regard to remote or distance teaching enabled by technology, a little over half of the focus group believes that  it is a good concept (57.1%). Almost a third of the focus group has never experienced it.

Members of the group elaborated further by saying;

Especially as my time is scarce”

Answers from the focus group:

By trying to be youthful and engaging to that age group, I tend to reach out far more than trying to be a ‘teacher’ “

“I try to provide, as far as possible, a real-world experience.”

 “Games, Experiential Training, Live Case Studies”

“I give them the bandwidth to interact with me on email and be linked on social websites. They open up better this way.”

“I use PowerPoint slides”

“I like to give application oriented assignments, to be done in groups and presented, rather than conventional, theoretical written tests”

100% of teachers would like to have the ability to instantly test subject matter comprehension among their students.

Members of the group elaborated further by saying;

Absorption levels have to be understood and monitored and tracked”

From the survey we can draw the following conclusions; teachers in the higher education segment are open and welcoming to technology. Their teaching methodology already extends to the practice of use cases, group discussions, dynamic content presentation such as power point and the integration of external resource material for their lessons. Expert teachers are struggling to cope with too many students or too many classes and they want to extend themselves out to more students. The teachers themselves are fairly abreast of the power of collaborative learning over the internet and networking sites and chat rooms. And finally and most importantly, teachers are now recognizing the need to constantly keep their students engaged.

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