Students' use of technology and their perceptions of its usefulness in higher education: International comparison

Anat Cohen, Tal Soffer, Michael Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The rapid globalization along with the growing trend of openness and sharing approach enabled widespread of digital technologies all over the world. However, we can still find differences between countries in technology use and perceptions of usefulness for learning. Understanding students' use of educational technology and their perceptions of its usefulness is especially significant today, given the rapid penetration of online learning into higher education as a response to Covid-19. Objectives: This research aimed to understand students' actual experiences with digital technologies during their academic studies and their perceptions of technology usefulness across institutional and international contexts (Israel and Australia). Methods: This quantitative study used data from a large-scale bi-national online survey of 3003 students in both countries. Comparative analyses were conducted. In addition, factor analysis was used to identify latent factors from 16 variables of students' perceptions of the usefulness of digital resources usefulness. Results and conclusion: The results revealed significant differences in technology usage and its perceived usefulness between students in the two countries. They confirmed the predominance of ‘official’ digital resources, such as learning management systems and online library resources. However, large percentages also reported the use of ‘non-official’ digital resources, including academic search services; subject-related videos and audio recordings on content-sharing websites such as YouTube and Wikipedia; and communication and/or collaboration with other students through social networks. Thus, universities need to consider the potential use of incorporating these resources for improving teaching and learning. Moreover, understanding the differences will assist in implementing tailored techno-pedagogical solutions to the students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1321-1331
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Learning
Volume38
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • digital resources and practices
  • higher education
  • international comparison
  • open educational resources
  • technology use
  • technology usefulness

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