Does technology enhance learning? The case of National United University

Chou Yung-ping
National United University

The primary objective of modern learning is to provide an environment wherein students can effectively develop lifelong self-learning capabilities. However, some important conventional learning capabilities, such as note taking, book reading and mathematical deduction, will be easily sacrificed by misuse of e-learning technologies. For instance, less motivated students could be misdirected to study merely from the PowerPoint slides prepared by diligent e-teachers, therefore missing the chance to read the books, especially English textbooks that take typical Chinese students out of their learning comfort zone. By the same token, in a physics- or mathematics-oriented course, a teacher giving up board writing would at the same time take away the step-by-step visualization of mathematical deduction from the students, thereby making the strategies of logical derivation depicted by mathematics harder to grasp. Further, the extensive use of e-learning systems for facilitating the management of courses may attract the teachers to assign particular forms of homework, thereby giving up some others that are actually indispensable.

In this paper, the author introduces some readily available, simple and inexpensive technologies that will assist the development of the above learning capabilities while preserving all the advantages of e-learning. General statistical profiles of the students at NUU, a fair ensemble of Taiwanese students, will be introduced, and their effect on utilizing learning enhancements through technology will be discussed.