Digital resources

The Center for Studies in Higher Education recently released its long-awaited report "Use and Users of Digital Resources: A focus on undergraduate education in the humanities and social sciences."

According to the Executive Summary and Conclusion, there's more or less a consensus that e-pedagogy is not the cost or labor saver it's often proported to be, nor are technologies always a "good fit" for different pedagogical styles. We're clearly still in the very early stages of this trend, and have yet to really develop a technological pallet rich (and intuitive) enough that faculty are using it as a natural extension of their teaching styles.

Add to this the enormous diversity of interface designs and standards, and we're clearly some ways away from achieving ubiquity and the associated economies of scale.

Of course, this doesn't mean we should ignore what tech can do for teaching; it just means we need to recognize that this is a "frontier era," with all the trial and error birthing pains that implies. One practice that the authors and respondents strongly suggest is a movement towards standardization of user studies, and greater transparency of ongoing practices.

Interesting stuff. A recommended read, especially for those looking ahead to several decades in a classroom.

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