Khoo, E. G. L., Hight, C., Cowie, B., & Torrens, R. (2018). Software literacy as a framework for tertiary educators. Presented at the FLANZ Conference 2018: Inception to Infinity, Conference held at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12984
Software permeates and impact almost every aspect of our lives today. However not much is understood in terms of how software shapes the teaching and learning of disciplinary knowledge in formal learning contexts. This paper reports on the findings from a two-year funded longitudinal study examining how the notion of software literacy is understood, developed and applied in tertiary teaching-learning contexts. We explore the relationship between student success in acquiring software literacy and their broader engagement and understanding of knowledge across different disciplines. A qualitative interpretive methodology framed the study involving two case studies of media studies and engineering students’ learning to use discipline-specific software. Student data were collected through class observations, online surveys and focus group interviews. Findings indicate that a majority of students consider themselves as early adopters of technology, knowledgeable in the affordances and constraints of their disciplinary software, and preferred informal learning strategies to supplement their formal learning of disciplinary software. There was, however, a lack of student critical awareness of the role of software in shaping their learning of disciplinary knowledge. The findings provide insights into practices relating to tertiary teaching and learning involving software and highlight the significance which programming code may have in the shaping and application of disciplinary knowledge in educational contexts. Implications are offered in terms of tertiary educators’ practice and the provision of student learning support.
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