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Elucido Higher Education Student Survey

December 5, 2011

Survey Design & Planning: Supriya Srivastav 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 students will easily accept and adapt to new methods and if it will help them learn better and faster.

 

The survey was conducted amongst those people who will essentially be the main users of our Elucido Learning &Collaboration System, students who are between the ages of 18 – 24.

 

The student survey was conducted between the 21st of September 2011 and the 22nd of October2011. The following is the analysis and summation of the survey questions and answers provided by students.

 

The focus group consisted of 65 students. They are all between the age group of 18 – 24 and all of them are currently pursuing graduate or higher level studies in a metro city. From the 65 students in the focus group 46.2% are female students and 53.8% are male students.

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 The survey questionnaire consisted of 8 multiple choice questions with the option of elaborating answers further. The questions were designed to understand the students’ perspective on interactive sessions, digital classrooms, their comfort with technology in the classroom and if learning without a teacher physically present in the classroom would affect their education.

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A detailed analysis of the questions and the responses to them follow:

 Almost one third of the survey group strongly believes that learning in a classroom without a teacher physically present is impossible. 38.5% are open to the benefits of an expert teacher who is located remotely and 29.2% of students only concern is the immediate clarification of their doubts regardless whether the teacher is physically present or not.

Students from the group elaborated further by saying;

 Irrespective of the physical presence of the teacher, I would always expect the content to be delivered in a form which I can be interpret”

“I am comfortable taking classes through youtube videos and podcasts and prefer a lecture format to any sort of ‘teaching’ “

 “I think the personal connection is important to learn anything. Teaching goes beyond just delivering a lesson; half of my learning experience comes from a personal connection with the teacher”

“If the professor explains my doubts, it really doesn’t matter whether I am sitting in a class or attending a lecture online”

In regard to which method of learning students like best, 32.3% prefer group discussions and brainstorming, 10.8% learn better by the use of interactive media, an almost negligible percentage rely on notes given by the teacher and just over half of the survey group believe a combination of all these methods is the best way to learn.

Students from the group elaborated further by saying;

Interactive media always help as it makes you understand better. Especially if the visuals are eye-catching”

 “I believe the method of explaining makes the distinction… it can happen with just a piece of chalk and a blackboard. The teacher makes all the difference”

“Students have their own views and sharing them in a group discussion help in learning” 

 44.6% of the student survey group prefers the method of group study as a testing tool. The rest of the 55.4% are almost equally divided on the methods of written exams, oral quizzes at the end of each class by the teacher and written tests in the multiple choice format at the end of each class.

Students from the group elaborated further by saying;

Oral Q & A sessions which also allow for discussion and brainstorming”

“Self study and through presentations”

 1 in every 2 graduate level students from the focus group is exposed to integrated media in their classroom sessions on an everyday basis. 36.9% of students experience it occasionally and 12.3% have never attended a class where the teacher has used integrated media in the session.

Students from the group elaborated further by saying;

Power point and video is included in the teaching. It’s very effective in explaining things by a real example”

 Most of the case studies and marketing content is shown in the form of videos from youtube” 

Education technology has obviously had a significant amount of penetration in the higher education segment of Indian education as 44.6% of the survey group, have experienced a smart classroom. 32.3% have heard of it but never experienced it first hand and 23.1% have no idea what a smart classroom or IWB is.

Students from the group elaborated further by saying;

All the lectures are delivered this way”

 “I have experienced a live digital teaching session but with single way interaction only”

 The biggest concerns or shortcomings of a digital classroom that over half of the survey group expressed were loss of the person connection with the teacher and lack of concentration and discipline in the classroom when there is no teacher physically present. Some students also have reservations as to whether the delivery process will be smooth over the internet. Others in the survey group take a niche stance when being concerned if the teachers themselves could keep up with the technology.

Students from the group elaborated further by saying;

 The atmosphere and energy that a regular classroom provides will be missing”

 “Some one should be there to maintain discipline amongst the students”

 “Lack of a personal touch”

 “The teacher’s voice keeps breaking over the LAN. There is a huge distraction in the audio /video”

 “The speed and accuracy of content delivery maybe of concern over an IP Network”

“The teachers themselves are not used to the latest technology and so they are constantly distracted while they are teaching”

 The rest of the survey group took a more positive stance on the question. Some of them realize that they could benefit from being exposed to experts who might be locates across the world while others don’t really see a difference as since most teaching sessions are verbally lecture intensive.

Students from the group elaborated further by saying;

“I don’t see any shortcomings. It’s all in the mind. It’s the Indian way of thinking, as we are used to classroom coaching right from childhood”

“It can be good as we students get to learn from a lot of good faculty around the world”

“Could be more efficient as it saves time and money”

 “The professor is verbally explaining the problem/case, even when he is in the classroom so basically both the methods are effective”

“With digital classrooms knowledge is more accessible, no matter which part of the globe one is seated in”

 73.8% of the survey group of students said that they would be comfortable with learning in a digital classroom but stated that it would take some getting used to. 16.9% were not positive about learning in digital classrooms.

Students from the group elaborated further by saying;

I have only been in a traditional classroom so it might take me a while to get used to a digital classroom”

“I’d like to learn in a digital classroom as it’s interactive and content taught can be more visually appealing”

“I would have initial reluctance and doubts, but if the class is good and I learn better, then I will probably get comfortable with it”

“I would be comfortable learning in a digital classroom if I was in my own home. If I am physically going to a classroom, I expect a teacher to physically be there”

“I would not be comfortable as I still feel that there will be some content loss in delivery due to internet connectivity short comings”

 78.5% of the surveyed students would be open to learning in a remote or connected class where the teacher is not physically present but is teaching and interacting with them in real time. The other 21.5% are opposed to learning remotely.

Students from the group who were positive to remote learning elaborated further by saying;

I believe everyone deserves good quality education, so if you can’t go there…get your teacher here”

“As long as the concepts are explained clearly and doubts clarified, with good interaction, it is good enough for me”

“I like the idea of connecting with students from across the world and getting their perspectives, which is not possible in a regular classroom”

 “Yes, because it would give me access to the best teachers in the world”

“I think it’s great as it would mean broader syllabus, difference in opinions, global debates and working in multicultural groups”

Students from the group who were not in favor elaborated further by saying;

 “I wouldn’t be comfortable learning in a group where I can’t discuss topics with other members physically”

“I am not too comfortable with it because I personally prefer the teacher to be present physically”

The whole idea of remote teaching is not effective according to me as there would be no personal attention and lack of face to face interaction”

“No as there would be no student and teacher bond. I would feel cut off”

Based on the answers provided by the student group we can conclude the following; for graduate level students, the most important aspect is the quality of the lesson and that is defined by the amount of integrated media in the lesson plan. They also learn better by group discussion and interaction with their peers. Students are open to digital classrooms and learning remotely as they see it as an opportunity to broaden their cultural horizons and interact with students from across the world.

The main point of contention for almost half the students in the survey is not having a teacher physically present in the classroom. Many of them believe it would not be conducive to their learning experience and that they would not have a ‘connection’ with the teacher. Yet at the same time, the highest value, which for some students outweighs the discomfort of not having a teacher physically present, is the exposure to subject experts from across the world.

Overall, students want more engaging ways to learn and are open to technology in their classrooms as it seems like a natural progression. The ‘wow’ factor also plays a role in their willingness to learn in a digital class. The Elucido Learning & Collaboration System stands to be most beneficially utilized in the Higher education segment as graduate students see more value in learning from experts, interacting with other students and learning through crowd sourcing and collaboration.

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