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  • 1.
    Fahlesson, Susanne
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education.
    Bergelin, Agneta
    Äger eller suger?: En studie av elevers upplevelser av delaktighet vid användandet av digitala läromedel2019Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract

     

    This thesis is a qualitative case study that aims to increase the knowledge about students’ perceptions of participation when using digital educational tools. The methods used in this case study are image analysis and group interviews. The participants in this study came from a school in the north of Sweden. There where 18 students from grade 4 and 3 of their teachers participating.

     

    Aim: The overarching aim of the study was to increase knowledge about students’ perception of participation when using digital educational tools. The perception of participation was evaluated from three angles:

    • How do the students perceive that the digital educational material affects their participation?
    • How are the students describing the use of digital educational tools in school?
    • How are the teachers describing the use of digital educational tools in school?

     

    Method: The methods used in this study where: Student´s images and group interviews. There were also additional conversations with the students in conjunction of the creation of the images and texts. Group interviews were conducted at two points in time with the teachers, one before the analysis of the student´s pictures and one after. Image analysis by using participation model was done on the students own images and texts.

     

    Results: In the images the students expressed that it was fun and easier to write on the computer. Many of the students also described that is was easier with digital educational tools as they only need to bring one thing (the computer). The challenges they described where when the Wi-Fi connection was not working and some of them mentioned that it was hard to navigate the digital tool in the beginning, but that it was easier after a while. The teachers confirm that the navigation was challenging when the tools was first initiated, especially as multiple new elements were introduced at the same time. However, the teachers were unsure if that was due to the digital educational tools or due to that it was a new way of working. The majority of the students expressed that it is more fun to work with digital educational tools and computers, compared to regular books. The teacher described the digital educational tools as joyful learning and that it is engaging for those students that normally find the school challenging.  Most of the students also expressed a satisfaction and joy when describing their use of digital educational tools. The teacher described that a major benefit of using digital tools, is the quick feedback with statistics of performed learning exercises that the tools provide to both the student and the teacher. The students reported that they got a sense of autonomy when they can have an impact and themselves decide what they write on the computer. That gives them the opportunity to participate and be able to affect their own learning situation. From a teacher’s point of view, the digital tools stimulate the participation, where the students’ different degree of difficulty on their tasks are not reviled to their classmates.

     

    Conclusion: It was a good choice of method to perform the image analysis because even though the students only created the images at one point in time, the information that the images provided was comprehensive. However, the verbal conversions that was performed in conjunction with the creation of the images were challenging, as it was hard to formulate the questions so that the students fully could describe their perception of participation in their image. This should be considered as the weakness of this method.

     

    During the verbal conversations in conjunction with the creation of the images, the students described their experiences of participation. The group interviews with the teachers that followed, confirmed the students’ descriptions. The results from this qualitative case study may be challenging to transfer and standardise for other student groups as the social situations and learning environments could be different. The results of the study could be useful moving forward as it may be indicative for future educational developments regarding participation, digitalisation and digital educational material. The big difference in the funding for the digital implementation between schools and municipalities is one of the obstacles to ensure equality and the ability to reach the goals that the government have set out for digital strategy in schools. In the end, it is the teachers’ ways of working and their use of the digital educational material that is going to enable an accessible learning environment where the students are included and participating, not the educational tool itself.

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