University College Dublin (IRELAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Page: 427 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
New technologies have been introduced in Higher Education in recent years as a support for traditional educational methodologies as well as, in some circumstances, constituting the only means for teaching and learning. The application of this sort of technology challenges existing knowledge about the relationship between person and computer, since a better understanding of that relationship would lead to a more effective educational experience. Therefore, it would be beneficial for educational theory and practice to investigate the issues that arise (i) when people interact with computers or other devices, and (ii) when they interact online. This study seeks to explore some of the privacy issues that arise in this area.

Recent studies have shown that people are generally concerned about online privacy, and these concerns can produce changes on the online behaviour. For example, people who express high concern about their online privacy would be expected to disclose less information about themselves when online than people who express less concern. This fact is relevant for the use of new technologies in Higher Education because its application frequently involves the expression of students’ personal views, beliefs, feelings, and so on. Therefore, the privacy concerns of university students should be borne in mind in order to enhance the teaching-learning process. Accordingly, this study aims to explore undergraduates’ attitudes, behaviours and expectations related to privacy, with the purpose of proposing the necessary adjustments in the current use of new technologies in Higher Education to adequately meet students’ requirements. In addition, it also seeks to investigate the influence of the individual’s level of internet experience on those attitudes.

University students from diverse Schools participated in an online study. The measures included socio-demographic data, internet experience, and different areas related to privacy. Specifically, privacy issues were assessed by using four different scales that covered online privacy attitudes, privacy-related behaviour, privacy expectations and offline privacy concerns. The three first measures belonged to relevant authors in the field of online privacy, and the last one was developed for this study. Results showed the levels of these variables related to privacy in undergraduates and their correlations. Group comparisons according to internet experience as well as the role of that experience in privacy issues were also tested. Comparisons between gender groups were also made. In accordance to results, some suggestions are made regarding the use of new technologies in Higher Education, so its application also considers undergraduates’ characteristics.
Privacy concerns, privacy behaviours, privacy expectations, new technologies, undergraduates.