Since 2004, the Educause Center for Applied Research (ECAR) has surveyed undergraduate students about technology in higher education. This year, in collaboration with 195 institutions, ECAR collected responses from more than 100,000 students. Their findings are reported in the ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2012.
Key findings reveal that “blending modalities and engaging learners is a winning combination” – students say they learn best in blended environments, and they expect instructors to engage them in the learning process.
Additionally, students “believe that technology is critical to academic success and that it plays an important part in their future accomplishments.” Importantly, students are more interested in solid technology training and skill development than they are in the newest or more advanced technology.
Students also report that they use social networks for interacting with friends rather than for academic communications, and they “prefer different modes of communication” for “different purposes and audiences.”
Not surprisingly, students continue to bring their own portable devices to class, and they want access to course and administrative information on these mobile devices. However, they also appreciate the “usability afforded by the larger screens and keyboards of laptops.”
Visit ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2012 to access the full report and survey instrument, or download the infographic.