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Geographies of Learning: How Students Navigate, Use and Learn from Digital Resources

Date: February 19, 2014

Time: 1:00–2:00 p.m. ET (UTC-5); convert to your time zone

Host: Diana Oblinger, President and CEO, EDUCAUSE

Speakers: Charles Dziuban, Director, Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness, University of Central Florida
Glenda Morgan, Director, Academic Technology Services, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Joshua Morrill, Evaluator, University of Wisconsin–Madison, and owner, Morrill Solutions Research


We report key findings from a large-scale study of students' use of digital resource sponsored by the National Science Foundation. We surveyed a broad sample of students in postsecondary education in the United States through the use of some innovative sampling methods that captured representative students from all sectors of higher education. The students were surveyed about learning preferences and differences between their information-seeking habits in academic situations versus those related to personal interest. We found students' approaches to information seeking are dependent on context and that their information-seeking behaviors are shaped by different factors. We used these factors to develop profiles of personas of students that describe four distinct types of students based on their approaches to learning and information seeking. The mix of research methodologies and techniques we employed as well as our findings may be useful to instructors in teaching and administrators planning technology strategy for their institutions.


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