Open Access

The Impact of ICTs on Lecturer and Student Interaction in University Education Processes

International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education20129:9020213

https://doi.org/10.7238/rusc.v9i2.1243

Received: 15 June 2011

Accepted: 15 February 2012

Published: 15 July 2012

Abstract

Interaction is a basic element in any educational process, and it is something that needs to be reconsidered in the light of technology. In order to examine the methodological changes that ICTs bring to teaching from an interaction perspective, a study was carried out at the University of Lleida to observe interaction processes in various face-to-face, blended learning and e-learning subjects. The methodological design was based on three data collection techniques: documentary analysis of subject curricula, lecturer and student questionnaires, and lecturer interviews. The data showed that, as the online component of subjects increased, the lecturers and students used more technological tools to communicate (e-mail, forums, chats, social networks, etc.). Furthermore, we found that the lecturers and students basically communicated for academic purposes. While they hardly ever communicated for personal reasons (guidance, support, etc.), they claimed that closer contact with a non-academic focus would be preferable. We also observed that the students’ work was more individual in e-learning subjects. Although there is still a considerable way to go in ICT-mediated lecturer-student interaction, both the lecturers and students recognise the potential of such technologies, even though they still do not use them as they feel they should.

Keywords

higher education e-learning interaction information and communication technologies