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Educ. Sci. 2014, 4(1), 87-107; doi:10.3390/educsci4010087
Article

Digital Tools Disrupting Tertiary Students’ Notions of Disciplinary Knowledge: Cases in History and Tourism

*  and
Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, Faculty of Education, The University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 October 2013 / Accepted: 5 February 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue eLearning: Exploring Digital Futures in the 21st Century)
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Abstract

This paper reports on the findings from a two year research project that explored the potential of digital tools in support of teaching–learning across different disciplinary areas at a New Zealand university. Two courses (in History and Tourism) are case studied using data collected through interviews with lecturers, tutors and their students, and an online student survey. Findings from the research revealed that both lecturers and students were challenged in learning about the affordances and use of the lecturer selected digital tools as a mediational means. The tools were not initially transparent to them, nor were they able to be easily deployed to undertake their primary task—teaching for the lecturers, and, learning and demonstrating learning for the students completing assigned tasks. The process of learning and using the tools disrupted participants’ prior thinking and led to new understandings of both disciplines and of effective pedagogies for the two disciplines. The findings increase our understanding of the ways digital tools can develop, challenge and expand tertiary students learning and have implications for practice.
Keywords: digital tools; university; pedagogy; student learning; disciplinary practice; sociocultural theory digital tools; university; pedagogy; student learning; disciplinary practice; sociocultural theory
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Cowie, B.; Khoo, E. Digital Tools Disrupting Tertiary Students’ Notions of Disciplinary Knowledge: Cases in History and Tourism. Educ. Sci. 2014, 4, 87-107.

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