Student panel


The smart learner's voice

We’ve invited five students from different universities in Switzerland to relate from their experiences with new media in their daily lives.


You’ve got mail – A critical look at today’s use of information technology in our education system

Philipp Graber, 6th semester student of Business Law, ZHAW

The benefits of IT are often glorified in the current public debates and celebrated uncritically. The main focus of attention lies in the adaptation of the latest technology and the continuous upgrading of systems and platforms. The striking differences from reality are often not only noted selectively by the responsible persons. The present paper is showing, where the difference between expectations and reality lies and what kind of problems can result from it. It also shows what conclusions can be drawn and what the possible solutions are.

Scientific programming: Learning by doing

Andreas Steiner, student of Bioelectronics, currently doing his Master thesis, ETHZ

Engineering students love playing around with software to visualise and understand complicated scientific subjects. The brain power spent on this kind of work should be collected and categorised following the universities’ organisation to make it available for further generations – thereby providing illustrations on the taught topics as well as example code on how to use the frameworks.

For this end we are creating an appealing web-platform that collects these snippets as long as they’re implemented in free software and make them accessible to the public.

Easy as buying shoes

Corinne Maurer, 6th semester Bachelor student of Psychology and Film Studies, UZH

Technology is everywhere in my life: In my work as a usability consultant, in my spare time and at the university where I use OLAT. And OLAT has a lot of potential for improvement. My impression in my daily use of OLAT is, that it could be much more efficient and effective. The potential lies not only within the usability of design but also in functionality.

The easiest way to improve usability of e-learning is to involve the real users.

Just make e-learning tools usable! Because they could be just as simple as buying shoes: Everything is kept in order, just pick what you need and leave with as much as you can carry.

Integration, simplicity, immediacy – The future of e-learning

Francesco Bortoluzzi, first year student of communication sciences, USI

Nowadays, e-learning services are among the best interaction tools to combine the different aspects of the students’ technological life, such as the many devices, applications and services that we need every day.

However, there’s still much to do, preferably following the lead of the cloud-computing services with more conviction in the next two to three years. Today most students have one or more personal devices and it’s sometimes difficult – if not impossible – to use them to directly interact with the school’s network to print a document, for example. The future of e-learning lies, therefore, in the Internet and should observe these three simple words: integration, simplicity and immediacy.

Working with 2.0

Nathanaël Zutter, DAS-student of Marketing, Communication and E-Business, UNIGE

Working with a cloud solution could be the next technology for the universities.

Actually it’s very difficult to have a real time interaction, for example when using e-mail, learning management systems such as dokeos, etc. There are too many interfaces…

I hope that tomorrow, technologies will be based on web 2.0 and employ technologies such as chat, visioconf, online meeting, etc. In my projects I have used GoogleDoc to collaborate with others. And by the way, why not use social networks to work together on projects or to collect inputs?

The aims of working with 2.0 should be:

  • Improve interaction between students and between teachers and students
  • Enable security and group administration
  • More flexibility
  • No more problems with versioning