Students and Technology in 2011

Each year, Educause completes a study of technology use in higher education. The 2011 ECAR study of undergraduate students and information technology…

…sheds lights on how information technology affects the college experience. ECAR has conducted this annual study since 2004, and though students’ ownership and utilization of technology changes from year to year, students consistently rely upon their instructors and institutions to meet their technology expectations and needs. The 2011 study differs from past studies in that the questionnaire was reengineered and responses were gathered from a nationally representative sample of 3,000 students in 1,179 colleges and universities.

While complete details about the study are available, here is a nice infographic that summarizes the key findings:

Infographic

Here is a listing of the key findings displayed in the infographic above:

Institutions

  • 43% of students agree their institution needs more technology
  • Only 1 in 4 (22%) of students strongly agree their institution uses the technology it has effectively
  • Only 1 in 5 (19%) strongly agree technology is integrated seamlessly into their courses
  • More than 1 in 7 (15%) of students think technology breaks or is broken more often than it is used in the classroom.
  • Students like basic online services at their institutions, with the following percentage of students saying their institution does an excellent of good job at these online services:
    • Course registration: 86%
    • Making grades available: 81%
    • Offering library resources: 75%
    • Making transcripts available: 70%
    • Making financial aid information available: 70%
    • Offering textbooks for sale: 53%
  • Students say they learn more in blended learning environments:
    • No online components: 20%
    • Some online components: 58%
    • Completely online: 9%

Instructors

  • Sudents value the technologies instructors use, and use effectively! Percentage of students responding “extremely effectively” among instructors who use:
    • Projector: 65%
    • Wi-Fi: 59%
    • Laptop computer: 58%
    • Desktop computer: 57%
    • Document camera: 56%
    • Gaming device: 55%
    • Printer: 54%
    • HDTV: 53%
    • Thumb drive: 52%
    • Digital SLR camera: 50%
  • About 1 in 3 students (31%)think the instructor often requires the help of others to get technology up and running successfully
  • More than 1 in 2 students (51%) think they know more about how to use technology than their professors
  • 39% of students wish their instructors used e-mail more often
  • About 1 in 3 students (31%) wish their instructors used e-books or e-textbooks more often
  • 32% of students wish their instructors used a course or learning management system more often

Software

  • Applications most frequently used by students:
    • Word processors: 96%
    • Institution library website: 88%
    • Presentation software: 85%
    • Spreadsheets: 83%
    • Course or learning management system: 73%
    • E-books or e-textbooks: 57%
    • Programming languages: 33%
    • E-portfolios: 21%
  • Almost all students use e-mail (99%), text messaging (93%) and Facebook (90%)
  • Communication tools most frequently used (several times a day):
    • E-mail: 75%
    • Texting: 74%
    • Facebook: 58%

Hardware

  • Technology ownership: A majority of undergraduates own about a dozen devices:
    • iPad: 8%
    • Netbook: 11%
    • eReader: 12%
    • Handheld games: 38%
    • Desktop computer: 53%
    • Webcam: 55%
    • Smart phone: 55%
    • HDTV: 56%
    • iPod: 62%
    • Stationary games: 66%
    • Thumb drive: 70%
    • DVD player: 75%
    • Printer: 81%
    • Laptop computer: 87%
  • Essential technology: Percentage of students who said these technologies are “extremely valuable” for academic success:
    • Desktop computer: 57%
    • Thumb drive: 64%
    • Printer: 73%
    • Wi-Fi: 78%
    • Laptop computer: 81%
  • 37% of students have used smartphones for academics in the past year
  • How smartphone owners use their devices for academics:
    • E-mailing professors: 66%
    • Checking grades: 62%
    • Texting other students about coursework: 61%
    • Looking up information on the Internet in class: 45%
    • Texting professors: 19%
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  • Tom Moffitt

    What are the (3) most significant findingd from the study?