Effective learning technologies in higher education are inevitable in modern teaching. A great number of scholars and educators have been paid their attention to this important issue. In the modern world effective learning and teaching cannot be successful without new technologies. Practices ensure that there are seven main principles, which provide effective learning by means of effective technologies. This paper tends to overview and study the main idea of these principles and show how they work for students during their courses of math, English and History.
Interaction between Students and Teachers
This is a well-known fact that effective learning requires a close interaction between students and teachers inside the classroom as well as outside. Technologies give the opportunity to interact among students and teachers via the Internet. Many students during their Math course prefer to ask questions via e-mail rather than in the class. This kind of interaction may suit students and teachers, as it gives more time to formulate the student`s question and the teacher`s response. A direct link to a resource on the Website would provide additional assistance to the non-English students. This gives students an opportunity to organize forums and communicate with each other discussing the problems and different issues that they have learned in the class. The teacher, therefore, can give comments and motivate students for better discussion. Blogs is another invention that can involve them into discussions. They can communicate with students from different faculties and institutions, who are studying similar subjects in History course and discuss the same problems. Some students prefer to ask questions on the telephone. In case teachers do not want to give their phone number to be interrupted during the day, he or she may ask them to give a call their teachers only when they have something urgent, for example, if the examination is near or the paper is due. Telephone communication is the fastest and more convenient. It is worth noting that Skype has gained recognition among teachers and student, where they can interact during their history lessons. Word processing programs are also a good tool to collaborate with the students.
Cooperation among Students
For many years individualized forms of instructions were considered as the most effective ones. The situation and the attitude to this matter have been changed lately. Many teachers and students realize that they benefit from cooperatively working together. Due to theoretical and empirical evidence, students can benefit a lot from cooperatively working together. Research shows that students benefit from working together, especially when they are working on the same project (Hung, 2006). Other students can support and assist each other in order to develop better knowledge on Math, English and History classes. Technologies may help students share workspaces, where they can work collaboratively. The Internet abilities and the telephone may help students to share information and their ideas. Different technological devices allow students to feel free from time and distance restrictions. During their interaction students may create video clips, multimedia, or other digital products learning from each other. Technology engages students for their communication, what is rather effective for their future success.
Good Practice Encourages Better Learning
Technology allows students to be more active during the learning process. Passive recipients of information have very little chances to master the subject. With the advance of teaching technologies students have a possibility to improve their level of learning and as much information as possible. In the traditional classroom, teachers are usually active, while students sit quietly and taking notes during the class. Technologies allow students to be active participants in the learning process, searching out information on the web sites, solving problems and collaborating with each other (Mizoguchi et.al, 2006). Being active during these interactive lessons, students learn more information about the subject. The Internet can extend the classroom and connect students with the whole world. This productive practice encourages better learning, though more practice is advisable to better master English, Math and History.
Good Practice Gives Prompt Feedback
Feedback is very essential for students, but it can be difficult for teachers in classroom of forty or three hundred students to provide effective feedback to them. Technology may be helpful with this in different ways. Teachers use email to respond to students or groups of students and get their answers via return email. Teachers encourage students to interact in discussion forums and respond to other students by providing feedback. It is possible to arrange peer tutoring facilitated by technology. This type of feedback fosters cooperative and active learning for the part of the students. The teacher is supposed to monitor the discussions. By using other students to provide feedback, teachers create an active learning environment in which they have more direct roles. A number of studies have shown that students can benefit from this experience (Buzzetto-More, 2007). The information in the chart advises to save the feedback in a categorized file in order to find it when needed. It is also rather essential to use technology to provide feedback by selecting software that has feedback embedded in it. There is a wide collection of computer-assisted instruction for most subject matter, including frequent, immediate and instant feedback.
Good Practice Emphasizes Time on Task
Research on teaching asserts that the more a student focuses on the learning task and stays with it, the more he will learn. It is essential to start by being clear about what students should be doing. A student-centered syllabus that communicates all assignments and expectations in a clear, easily understood manner must be developed and used. According to the chart, teachers placed the syllabus on a course Web site and directly link all the resources they may need from the syllabus. Teachers were available by e-mail, chat, or IM to provide a more immediate response. Another way to maximize students` time is through careful course design and field testing the instructional material before use. All the instructions were focused on accomplishing the goals of the course. This keeps students focused and spending time on the essential tasks. Good course design helps students keep their efforts on task during their participation. Practice was not successful enough and needs more attention.
Good Practice Communicates High Expectations
It is essential to realize that good practice communicates high expectations. Low expectations will never bring much growth from the students. If they see that teachers do not expect much from them, they will take the rational course of diverting of their attention to where they perceive a greater need. Teachers set expectations that are high, but attainable by most students with effort. Teachers communicate their expectations in the syllabus, which were made available and updated electronically. Information on the Web site ensured students what they had to do and accomplish during the course. Expectations about the quality and quantity of their work were made explicit through instructional outcomes, students` works, and examinations.
Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning
Practice to teach everybody the same way is not effective. Technology can improve variety of teachers` instructions in order to accommodate students` needs, capabilities, talents and interests. Rich multimedia environments may be used to stimulate multiple senses through texts, graphics, audio, video, and animation. As a result, during the experimentation, students had an opportunity to skip familiar aspects of content and move to content, which is new to them. It was useful to develop computer-assisted instructions with examples and explanations, practice exercises, video representations and others. Teachers gave students the opportunity to choose what they need in learning at the particular moment (Hung, 2006). Technology helped create a flexible learning environment that allows student to choose what they need.
Effective learning technologies in higher education have become very helpful in learning and teaching. By understanding how the seven principles mentioned above may be used in practice, teachers and students may succeed in their intentions and goals. Both students and teachers appreciate technological abilities in the process of studying. This is not an easy task for teachers and they are supposed to improve the implementation of these technologies into practice in their future work during different lessons. According to the investigation, new learning technologies were used effectively during Math, English and History classes. Thus, interaction among students had the higher score.