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Nursing Education School of Nursing Faculty of Community and Health Sciences UNIVERSITY OF THE WESTERNCAPE



Technology is slowly changing what and how students should be learning. Will students need to attend university in the future to receive knowledge from experts? Using information from your readings, explain and argue for the increased use of technology in teaching and learning in higher education.

Presented by Ferdinand MUKUMBANG CHEMUNGHA STUDENT No: 3105114


Technology is slowly changing what and how students should be learning. Will students need to attend university in the future to receive knowledge from experts? Using information from your readings, explain and argue for the increased use of technology in teaching and learning in higher education.


Ferdin nd C M K MBANG 3105114

As part of the req ire e ts fulfille for course NUR 823:

Course Facilitator: Dr Felicity DANIELS


eachin , learnin and assess ent

rese e by


Will technology make the role of university experts obsolete? Introduction.. 1 Body. 1 Conclusion 4 The Increased use of Technology in Higher Education Introduction.. 5 Body. 5 Conclusion 7 References 8




Technology, no doubt, has been at the forefront of human development and progress in all aspects of lifeacross generations. Major breaks in technology such as the invention of computers, the discovery of internet services and the World Wide Web (WWW), have plunged humanity into a fast-paced and easily-accomplished way of life. As time goes by, man becomesbound to the use of technology and in the process, manstraditional ways of doing things are being forsaken to be replaced by technology. Thisreplacementoccurs mainly because most tasks which were usually long,tiresome and cumbersomebecomesimple to do and easy to accomplish with the assistance of technology. The educational system is no exception to the positivetransformation that technology brings to mankind, especially in the teaching-learning process.Because of the fascinating innovations that technology is contributing to the educational world, some thoughts have started emergingas to whether technology will one day take over completely the role of educators (experts) in the educational system, especiallyat the tertiarylevel.These thoughts probably crept in because the role of teachers is thought to befading awayas more students areresorting to the use of computers, the internet and the WWWto advance in their studies quicker than when compared with the traditional classroom learning methods. Other technology proactive individuals say that in very large class attendances, technology will be a cheaper and more reliable substitute for a teacher. With the above points,it therefore becomesobvious that technology is slowly changing what, where and how students should be learning. This phenomenon makesinnovative minds to wonder: Will students need to attend university in the future to receive knowledge from experts? Irrefutable is the fact that technology has been of tremendous help in enhancing sound education.Both students and teachers make use of technology in the learning and teaching processes respectively, therefore it enhances the teaching-learning processes.When this fact was empirically established, somescientists started working on better performing, sophisticated and user friendly technological innovationswith the goal that they can cause teachers to become obsolete and take their place. But irrespective of how sophisticated and user friendly the technology employed might be; enhancement is as far as it can go in contributing in education.As for replacing teachers or experts in the universityit is a far-fetchedreality. That said,below are some arguments as towhy attending university to receive knowledge from experts rather than just sticking to the use of technology for learning is indispensable. In the learning process, the experts guide and mentor students as they interact with each other. These mentoring, support and guidance is especially critical for students in the university because of the

plethora of opportunities that they are confronted with. The students might be unsure of which direction to take and so would require the skills of an expert in the capacity of a mentor to orientate them. These mentoring, supporting and guidance roles of the experts are not roles that can be replacedor even placed by any Instructional Technology (IT). Learning is not only about content alone but also the social aspect that goes with it. Students cannotcommunicate, socialisenorinteract with ITs in any way and so they easily get bored with using technology for learning. Because of the social component of learning, the process can only be complete if social interaction is present.If we can capture the magic of social interaction and andragogy, what makes social interaction so effective as a vehicle for learning, we may be able to embody some of those tricks in machines, including computer agents, automatic tutors, and robots,Meltzoffsaid when interviewed in the Life Sciences Magazine (Lloyd, 2009). Unfortunately, these wonderful and unique human characteristics cannot be instilled into the machines making experts irreplaceable and definitely indispensible in the proper training of university students. Motivation is the key to success in anything we do. By nature,humans tend to lose interest or become discouraged at one stage or another, therefore if the teachers/experts were not there to provide the motivation that is needed for higher learning then there is going to be an increased school dropout ratio amongst university students. Sometimes students can get discouraged and fed-up with learning no matter the extent to which theIT can facilitate the learning process. They become tired and worn-out at some point during the programme, but through their interactions with experts, they might receive motivation which will enable them to carry on till the end of the program, but technology will not be able to this.Teachers therefore provide motivation which caters for their students needs so they can reach the goals and academics achievements that they have set out for themselves. Also, because the students have already been familiarised with the concept of teachers guiding, facilitating and providing the extra push to students who need to get motivated and participate in the classrooms so that they achieve higher learning and develop the skills needed to be successful in their school work, it becomes a little bit difficult for them to leave the teacher-student traditional experience and rely only on technology alone for their academic success without the assistance of the experts. Neither the magnificence nor the efficiency of technology can wipe out the face-to-face tradition of education. For example it was observed thattechnology has taken medical school teaching tools to a new level. Students can listen to lectures on their iPods and practice on virtual reality patients. But a new study conducted by a researcher at the Medical School found that technology has not been able to create a robotic replacement for the real-life student-teacher experience(Iordanov, 2006).

Most importantly, teachers can sense when students are losing interest in the teaching-learning process and can introduce some changes in the process of teaching/learning to revive their interest. Sometimes the teacher might introduce other exciting learning methods such as Role Play (RP), Group Discussions (GD), Problem Based Learning (PBL) or Case Based Learning (CBL) methods so as to revive the learning vibe. The variation of teaching methods creates multiple senses being triggered and the more senses we use to learn something, the more pathways we create for recalling and understanding.This is in accordance withGardners theory of multiple intelligences (1984) whichsuggests that there are multiple kinds of intelligence that people can possess. A computer will not be aware of when the students are losing interest to make a change in the teaching strategy so that it suits the needs of the students. This aspect makes the services of an expert in university studies irreplaceable by technological advancements. The role of a teacher is always crucial in education. Not only is he an educationist, he is also a facilitatorand a tutor. They also cater for the individual needs of every single student that is in their classrooms, taking into consideration their weaknesses and trying to address them so that they are not left behind in the programme. For example when the teacher notices that some students are weak in mathematics, he will create some extra lessons and tries to understand the difficulties that the students are facing, then tries to address them. This aspect of the educator (expert) cannot be replicated by technology. Aside that,technology will never teach students the intuitive critical thinking skills,it also cannot teach students how to be for example good scientists, journalists, businesspeople, etc. Technology simply allows people who have already developed their job and life skills to access information faster and compute quicker. A good scientist is a good scientist, whether or not he has access to technology or not, and likewise with almost all other professions but technology can simply fortify their skills. According to some social psychologists such as John Dewey and Albert Bandura, learning is a social process which involves both the teachers and students and the environment. John Dewey (1916) writes social environment forms the mental and emotional disposition of behaviour in individuals by engaging them in activities that arouse and strengthen certain impulses, that have certain purposes and entail certain consequences. Learning with a teacher means interactivity, exchange of ideas, opinions andfeelings; it means being emotional when the need arises. Because the university is a social environment,the students develop emotionally and also dotheirsocial skills.These social skills build upmaturity, positive attitude and confidence; which mould their lives toward their goal and gives courage to compete worldwide. But on the other hand, computers are programmed; they only can do what they are programmed to do, and so cannot create a social environment. By only making use of the

computers and instructional technology, the students would become reserved, introverts and "trapped" at home in front of a computer, in which case they might become social misfits. Believe it or not, teaching is like art, like music, and even science which no matter how much technology might be involved in it, it will always require a human touch. I don't think within our lifetime will machines be able to replace the subtlety that humans have when it comes to teaching and to learning.It is for this reason that learners offer more value to learning that takes place in the classroom than learning that is self-directed and technology oriented. They realise that they are not dealing with a machine but with a human being who deserves attention and respect. We know that people are different and they approach the learning process from many different angles. If we could match the teaching to the learning style of the learner we would achieve the greatest gains (Nealon, 2009).Educators are appropriately trained to match the various teaching techniques to the learning methods of students but when technologyteaches, it has only one teaching technique that it utilises which is the lecture method. This comes in the form of a recorded voice, a CD or DVD that is being inserted in the computer or player. If the student does not respond effectively to this method of learning, then effective learning will not be achieved through this means. But a teacher, knowing the different teaching techniques would switch his/her teaching method, so as to find the appropriate method for the subject matter he wishes to teach and by that reaching the goal of learning in the end. Economically speaking, computers and technology in general are more expensive to build, complicated to use (often requiring special training) and will also require maintenance when they broke down.The mechanisms behind these sophisticated machines are very difficult to design and also very time consumingmaking them expensive in the market and therefore not affordable to many. A misuse or inappropriateness in the use of technology in general will defeat their purpose in the first place. Also, encouraging students to use technology rather than attend university will mean making the teachers and experts jobless and thereby making life to be difficult for both them and their families.


Because of the overwhelming facts that have been advanced and more, I do not think that students will stop attending universities no matter how advanced, human-mimicked and user-friendly technology gets, without requiring the services of the experts. But if the services of the expertsare combined with the expert employment of the appropriate technology, teaching and learning in the future will be more than effect, offering an amazing experience for the learners and a fulfilling experience for the experts.



The way we teach in higher education is driven primarily by our beliefs (philosophy) and by the commonly agreed consensus within an academic discipline about what constitutes valid knowledge in the subject area and what teaching aids will be most appropriate in the teaching-learning process. Recently, technology has been increasingly and widely employed in the educational process in many higher education settings.Owing to this increased use of technology in higher education, some people think that students might become dependent on it; others say that students will lose their ability to socialize, while others think that technology will be used inappropriately.Irrespective of the reasons forwarded, there is no denying that technology is playing a very pertinent and vital role in the enhancement of the educational process. In an article written by Lam (2003) entitled Technology in the Classroom,he writes:
The traditional definition of literacy is the ability to read and write. With the rapid development of new technologies, the nature of literacy is undergoing a rapid metamorphosis. Thus in addition to reading and writing, the current definition of literacy also includes the ability to learn, comprehend, and interact with technology in a meaningful way (Coiro, 2003).

From the above extract, we can see that not only is technology a sine qua none in education, but itnow forms an integral part of education in itself which explains why it is now being classified as one of the key elements in literacy.Hence,there is an increased use of technology in teaching and learning in higher education.The most pervasive of the technologies with educational applications are the Internet and World Wide Web, but other technologies can also be used to facilitate adult learning(Imel, 1998). According to Ginsburg (1998), the introduction of technology into adult learning can be done in four levels. These are;  Technology as a curriculum  Technology as a delivery mechanism  Technology as a complement to instruction and  Technology as a tool. Using these four areas, the increased use of technology in teaching and learning in higher education will be explained and appropriately backed by some sound arguments.
1. Technology as a curriculum:

Technology as a curriculum refers to technology being incorporated into the curriculum and be studied as part of a programme. Technology now being considered as an element in literacy according to (Coiro, 2003) has to be insertedin the curriculum so that the adult learners should also be literate. So

when courses are being offered to adult learners on how to explore the internet for example, then technology is being applied as a curriculum.The benefits of this approach include the opportunity to address each aspect of the technology in a clear and structured manner; with little or no distraction from peripheral learning issues or goals beyond those of learning the technology; and efficiency in acquiring a discrete set of technology skills that can be applied in different settings (Imel, 1998). This is important becausetechnology is not only utilised and applied in the educational aspect of life but it is ubiquitous. So as soon as the learners step out of the learning institution and even while they are still there, they will need to make use their skills of technology in one way or the other.
2. Technology as a delivery mechanism:

This in simple terms refers to the use of technology as a teaching vehicle to deliver knowledge. In other words it is the use of technology as a teaching/learning method. The most common method that is identified here is the individualized learning system (ILS).ILSs are designed to provide instruction and practice in a set of sub skills that together form an entire curriculum(Imel, 1998).A simple example is the use of televised instruction. Because they foster learning in isolation, they can be used in cases where the teacher requires that the students should work in isolation.Technology-based instructional programs are employed to ensure that students use the Internet efficaciously as a learning tool for various authentic learning activities such as conducting research on a given topic or finding relevant information for an assignment (Kumar, 2005).
3. Technology as a complement to instruction:

When used to complement instruction technology extends the instruction beyond the knowledge and experiences of the teacher.In this scenario,technology can be used to find and represent educational theories, ideas, facts and problemsin graphics, videos and other formats that can create extensive exploration. Demonstrations and tutorials given in multimedia format are understood and remembered well as they are more elaborating compared to descriptions written as text. This is because the multimediarepresentation of ideas, facts, and theories, appeal to more senses than the written text, for that reason, they are easily recalled, synthesized and applied in the required situations. Technology also changes the way teachers teach, offering educators effective ways to reach different types of learners and assess student understanding through multiple means. Teachers who use classroom computers for project-based or differentiated instruction reach students with different learning styles (Price, 2010). The U.S. Department of Education statistics show that online education assists adult learners as well, by allowing people with full-time jobs and family responsibilities to obtain professional certifications

or college degrees as well. Technology reinforces this because the adult learner can effectively communicate with their supervisors and facilitators through social networks, conference calls and emails at all times, making education to be unlimited both time and space. Both formative and summative assessments can also be achieved through this way so that they can obtain a certification.

4. Technology as an instructional tool:

When technology is used as an instructional tool, it is integrated into instructional activities. The primary instructional goals and outcomes remain the same, but technology is used to enrich and extend them (Imel, 1998).Like any other instructional tool, technology can serve to perpetuate poor educational practice or it can become a means for transforming learning (Imel, 1998). The lecture method as it was traditionally performed was becoming very boring and unyielding. But with the advent of technological advancement, some positive innovations have galvanised the traditional lecture process such as the use of multimedia appliances so as to enhance better learning through virtual visualisation of facts. Technology can enhance adult learning because it has the potential to increase flexibility, provide access to expertise, facilitate discussion among learners, reduce feelings of isolation often experienced by traditional learners, increase learner autonomy, and support and promote constructivist and collaborative learning (Burge 1994; Cahoon 1998; Eastmond 1998; Field 1997) as documented by (Imel, 1998). The application of Problem Based Learning, Case Based Learning, and Project Based Learning strategies in adult learning, while equipped with technological tools allows students to be intellectually challenged while providing them with a mimic of the real life situation. Through problems, feasible cases and projects, students acquire and refine their analytic and problem-solving skills as they work individually and in teams to find, process, and synthesize information they have found over the internet.The myriad resources of the online world also provide each classroom with more interesting, diverse, and current learning materials (Edutopia Staff, 2008). Also, new technological tools used for visualizing, demonstrating and modelling, especially in the sciences, offer students more advanced ways to experiment and observe phenomenon and to view results in a virtual way that aid in understanding. And, as an added benefit, with technological tools and a project-learning approach, students are more likely to stay engaged, focused and on task, reducing behavioural problems in the classroom. In conclusion,with the incorporation of technology in the adult education, learning would be achieved more effectively and lifelong. Therefore,adult educators should become proactive in developing opportunities that will provide advantages for adult learners to utilise technology in their education.

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