EDUCAUSE 2014 Study of Students and Information Technology

Since 2004, EDUCAUSE has partnered with higher education institutions to investigate the technologies that matter most to undergraduate students. In 2014, the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research technology survey was sent to approximately 1.5 million students at 213 institutions, yielding 75,306 responses across 15 countries. This year’s findings are based on a stratified random sample of 10,000 U.S. respondents and shed light on a number of topics.

Study 2014 Infographic

General student technology experiences and expectations

  • Technology is embedded into students’ lives, and students are generally inclined to use and to have favorable attitudes toward technology. However, technology has only a moderate influence on students’ active involvement in particular courses or as a connector with other students and faculty.
  • Students’ academic use of technology is widespread but not deep. They are particularly interested in expanding the use of a few specific technologies.
  • Most students look online or to family or friends for technology support. The minority who use institutional help desks report positive experiences.

Anytime, anywhere access to learning that is enabled by device proliferation

  • More students own mobile devices now than ever. Although students rate network performance as generally good, projected increases in connected devices could soon challenge even the most robust campus networks.
  • Many students use mobile devices for academic purposes. Their in-class use is more likely when instructors encourage such use; however, both faculty and students are concerned about their potential for distraction.

Learning environments

  • More students than ever have experienced a digital learning environment. The majority say they learn best with a blend of online and face-to-face work.
  • Undergraduates value the learning management system (LMS) as critical to their student experience but rarely make full use of it. Today’s undergraduates want a mobile-friendly, highly personalized, and engaging LMS experience.
  • Most students support institutional use of their data to advise them on academic progress in courses and programs. Many of the analytic functions students seek already exist in contemporary LMSs.
  • Few undergraduates have taken a massive open online course (MOOC). Students still view traditional college degrees as the gold standard for résumés. Few students would include digital badges, e-portfolios, or competency creden- tials on their résumés.

Although technology is omnipresent in the lives of students, leveraging technology as a tool to engage students is still evolving. We know from looking at longitudinal data from past student studies that students still have a complex relationship with tech- nology; they recognize its value, but they still need guidance when it comes to using technology in meaningful and engaging ways for academics. Students are still ready to use their mobile devices more for academics, but we haven’t yet seen widespread application of this. Students also still prefer blended learning environments, and their expectations are increasing for these hybrid online/face-to-face experiences.

The following study materials and resources are available:

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