Using digital learning technologies to enhance students’ learning experiences in the first year of university
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The introduction of a common first year among all health science students at Curtin University in 2011 presented a challenge to engage large classes of students from diverse health disciplines and entry pathways to university. A range of digital learning technologies were trialled in one core compulsory unit of the common first year to increase engagement and collaboration among interprofessional groups of students. Students enrolled in Evidence Informed Health Practice 100 were invited to complete an online survey to evaluate the technologies trialled. Students’ opinions of the technologies trialled were mixed. Audience response devices were highly valued as a tool that engaged students in a large class environment; provided formative feedback, and allowed individuals to share opinions without being identified. Students reported contributing to the student-authored wiki summary of weekly learning concepts did not assist them in understanding the learning concepts. Successful application of learning technologies can be enhanced by supporting teaching staff to confidently use the technology, and ensuring the physical learning space including internet connectivity, can support the technologies.
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