Title: Next Generation Technology and the Net Generation: The Case of a Malaysian Private Higher Education Institution

Year of Publication: March - 2014
Page Numbers: 16-25
Authors: Cheryl Withaneachi, Hazrina Johari, Praveen Balakrishnan Nair
Conference Name: The Third International Conference on E-Learning and E-Technologies in Education (ICEEE2014)
- Malaysia


As private higher education in Malaysia seeks to keep updated with the latest technology in online learning, more and more academic institutions are investing in infrastructure in direct relation to the characteristics of the Net generation. To have a clearer understanding of the ongoing phenomenon, the researchers carried out an ethnographic study of undergraduate students of a business program who were first time users of Blackboard, an online learning management system. Interviews were also conducted to gauge student’s usage and understanding of Blackboard, as the study was exploratory in nature. The objective of the study was to examine the effectiveness of Blackboard in supporting a student’s holistic learning experience and to leverage on student’s capabilities as the Net-Generation, in promoting technology enhanced learning. Although the use of Blackboard was viewed positive due to the assumed characteristics and skills of the Net Generation students, the preliminary findings supported by interviews and ethnographic field notes found otherwise. It supported a changing education environment of users (students) who perceived Blackboard as cumbersome and merely as another medium of exchange for information, although it afforded flexibility to their multi-tasking lives. However the students were open to use Blackboard more effectively and frequently if certain enhancements and improvement are made to make it more accessible to the Net Generation.