Examining the impact of digital technologies on students’ higher education outcomes: the case of the virtual learning environment and social media

Ewelina Lacka, Tse Chiu Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Digital natives is a term used to describe current Higher Education (HE) students, whose lives are proliferated by digital technologies. To cater to needs of this new generation of students, HE institutions increasingly adopt digital tools such as Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) and Social Media (SM). Little is known, however, about the impact of these digital technologies on students’ HE outcomes. Drawing from service productivity theories, this study aims to address this gap. Through exploratory sequential mixed research methods, we identify five HE outcomes and reveal that Learning-Oriented Outcomes are the most important in HE even when digital technologies are not used; and these outcomes are further enhanced when students use VLE. Learning-Oriented Outcomes, however, are the least important when SM is used in HE; students tend to prioritise outcomes related to Knowledge Transfer instead. Our research findings derive theoretical and practical contributions, and open up avenues for future research.
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages33
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 24 Nov 2019

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social media
learning environment
Education
Students
education
student
knowledge transfer
learning
research method
Productivity
productivity

Keywords

  • social media
  • virtual learning environment
  • higher education
  • productivity
  • digital natives

Cite this

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title = "Examining the impact of digital technologies on students’ higher education outcomes: the case of the virtual learning environment and social media",
abstract = "Digital natives is a term used to describe current Higher Education (HE) students, whose lives are proliferated by digital technologies. To cater to needs of this new generation of students, HE institutions increasingly adopt digital tools such as Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) and Social Media (SM). Little is known, however, about the impact of these digital technologies on students’ HE outcomes. Drawing from service productivity theories, this study aims to address this gap. Through exploratory sequential mixed research methods, we identify five HE outcomes and reveal that Learning-Oriented Outcomes are the most important in HE even when digital technologies are not used; and these outcomes are further enhanced when students use VLE. Learning-Oriented Outcomes, however, are the least important when SM is used in HE; students tend to prioritise outcomes related to Knowledge Transfer instead. Our research findings derive theoretical and practical contributions, and open up avenues for future research.",
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AB - Digital natives is a term used to describe current Higher Education (HE) students, whose lives are proliferated by digital technologies. To cater to needs of this new generation of students, HE institutions increasingly adopt digital tools such as Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) and Social Media (SM). Little is known, however, about the impact of these digital technologies on students’ HE outcomes. Drawing from service productivity theories, this study aims to address this gap. Through exploratory sequential mixed research methods, we identify five HE outcomes and reveal that Learning-Oriented Outcomes are the most important in HE even when digital technologies are not used; and these outcomes are further enhanced when students use VLE. Learning-Oriented Outcomes, however, are the least important when SM is used in HE; students tend to prioritise outcomes related to Knowledge Transfer instead. Our research findings derive theoretical and practical contributions, and open up avenues for future research.

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