Towle, G. and Howe, R. (2008) The learner's voice in higher education. Other presented to: University of Northampton’s Learning and Teaching Conference: Creating Contemporary Student Learning Environments, University of Northampton, 14 May 2008.
Little research has been conducted into the learner's experiences and opinions of e-learning. As part of a series of JISC funded project on learners and e-learning, E4L (E-learning for learners) focuses on adult and community learners (ACL) and those from Further (FE) and Higher Education (HE). Interviews were conducted with nine learners on HE courses at the University of Northampton, providing a snapshot of their personal experiences and opinions. These learners were sampled using a modification of Salmon's 5-step model to assess the proficiency of e-communication of prospective participants as it was determined that communication pays an important part in learning. Tasks were created in a VLE to assess their e-communication proficiency. The selected participants were those who were proficient e-communicators and successfully completed the tasks. This paper provides a snapshot of personal experiences of HE students at the University of Northampton including disabled and those with English as a second language. Initial findings indicate that the learners are audio/visual and generally prefer the interactivity of e-learning. There is the desire for everything they need in one place, a 'one stop shop' where they can access different module materials, their emails and other aspects such as coursework updates and calendars