Learning and Teaching Cultures in Higher Education: The Role of Technology in Turning the Vicious Cycle into a Virtuous One

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As wider and more diverse audiences attend universities, nowadays, more advanced instructional approaches are required. The current study explores the role of technology in facing this challenge. We report on a continuation of a previous three-year long study, focusing on students' learning-culture, which examined a pedagogical-technological innovation infused into an introductory biology course at the Technion. An online-tutorial was used in the most advanced level of the intervention as the main resource for student self-learning of course content. In parallel, students participated in a more indepth process in small technology-enhanced knowledge-building teams, each focusing on a specific course topic. Findings indicated that students' learning culture was highly affected by the teaching culture encapsulated in the course design. In the current study, we interviewed six introductory courseinstructors at the same institution. These interviews, comprised of 427 utterances, were analyzed phenomenographically. Findings reveal compromises in teaching, made by these instructors, based on their faulty views about the learning-culture of "the typical student". We conclude that reciprocal relations exist between learning-culture and teaching-culture, which may cause stagnation of traditional instruction in higher-education. Technology can serve as a key enabler in channeling this process into a productive cycle that fosters a learning-culture based on internal values.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th Chais conference on instructional technologies research
Place of PublicationRa'anana
Publisherהאוניברסיטה הפתוחה
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Feb 2013


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