Improving the Use of Technology Enhanced Learning Environments in Higher Education in the UK: A Qualitative Visualization of Students’ Views

 

In recent years, the use of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) has risen exponentially throughout higher education in the UK. Whilst TEL is an umbrella term for a range of technologies, evidence suggests that in the UK, TEL is usually delivered via the medium of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) for the provision of lecture materials and additional content. An emerging literature has established both the pedagogical potential and students’ perceived usefulness of TEL. However, researchers have yet to establish how the use of TEL via VLEs can be improved – a core requirement of establishing best practice. The current study sought to address this in a sample of 487 predominately undergraduate students. Content analysis revealed that views were overwhelmingly positive, but that students had clear views on what they wanted to see improved. Students expressed clear desires for the more consistent and more frequent use of TEL within lectures. Further, they felt that the potential of TEL to encourage and facilitate interactions, both within their University and with external stakeholders, has thus far gone unexploited. Implications for teaching practice and future research are discussed.