Students Approve of Technology Use in Class –

It probably comes as no surprise, but technology is becoming more prevalent in higher education and students believe it is beneficial to achieving academic success, according to an annual study conducted by Educause Center for Applied Research (ECAR).

The report, titled ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2012, surveyed more than 100,000 undergraduate students to examine the effects of information technology on the college/university experience.

The report finds that 75% of students said technology helps them achieve their academic outcomes and 66% of students were prepared to use needed technology when they entered college.

Seventy-four percent of students reported taking at least one course that includes online components, and 70% said they learn the most in blended learning environments. Fifty-four percent of students say they are more actively involved in courses that use technology. Additionally, 57% reported that they wished their instructors used more open educational resources, while 55% wish their instructors would use simulations or educational games.

The devices students ranked most important to their success were:

  • laptop – 85%
  • printer – 84%
  • thumb drive – 68%
  • desktop – 65%
  • tablet – 45%
  • smartphone – 37%
  • scanner – 33%
  • E-reader – 31%

The report also reveals how students are using their mobile devices: 66% access course website or syllabi, 64% use course or learning management systems, and 57% check grades. Smaller percentages of students also reported using their mobile device to access financial aid information, register for courses, purchase textbooks, access library resources, and order transcripts.

According to the report, three out of five students reported it’s important to have an online forum to communicate with other students and two out of five students are comfortable connecting on social networks with past professors. However, the report reveals that 53% of students wished their instructors communicated more using face-to-face interaction, and 53% wished their instructors communicated more using a course or learning management system.

Follow Valerie Jones on Twitter @ValerieJonesCMN