Learner Experiences with Online tools in a Digitized Environment: A Case of Digital School Students, Kenyatta University
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Digitization of the learning environment demands application of learner-friendly online tools. Such tools have a singular purpose of facilitating quality of learning. There are different ways in which teaching and learning can be made more efficient especially in program delivery through the use of online tools. Some of these tools include the use of blogs, wikis, chats, discussion forums, online quizzes and online assignments among others. Online tools such as blogs have been used to promote reflective learning among students while others like the discussion forms and chats have been used to promote group work and to assist with problem-based learning. With this in mind, Digital School introduced chats, discussion forums, online quizzes and online assignments to open learning students' E-learning platform but the possible effects of these tools on their the quality of learning is not known. This paper explores, from the perspective of the learners, the possible effects of online tools on learning environment and the quality of learning. The question was: do students in open learning mode of study appreciate group-based problem solving approach to learning, and do they find the online environment supportive enough for reflection on academic issues? The respondents were 1, 200 open learning students out of who responded to an online questionnaire sent on their platform to establish their opinion on possible effects of existing online tools on their learning. The online tools were found to promote reflection and problem-based learning.