Some of the results from the 2009 “Survey of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology,” from the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research (webbased survey of freshmen and seniors at 103 four-year colleges and universities and 12 two-year schools, as well as focus groups with 62 students from four institutions):
- More than 90% of college students use social-networking services such as Facebook and Twitter, but only 28% say they have used these tools in a course during the last semester.
- 51% of students said they now own an internet-capable handheld device, such as a smart phone, and another 12% said they plan to buy one in the next 12 months.
- Nearly eight out of 10 freshmen owned a laptop that was one year old or less, and two-thirds of all students surveyed reported owning a machine two years old or less.
- 45% of students said they contribute content to video web sites, 37% said they contribute to blogs, 35% said they use podcasts, and 38 % said they use their computer to make phone calls using a voice-over-IP system, such as Skype.
- 89% of respondents said they have taken a course that used an LMS during the current academic year. Most students who have used an LMS said their experience was either positive (52% or very positive (11%)
- 45% of students said most of their instructors use technology effectively in their courses. Only 46% said most of their instructors have sufficient IT skills for teaching with technology, and just 34% said most of their instructors give them adequate training for the technology used in their courses.
- 51% of students said that mobile devices in class are distracting and should be banned.
- More students said they would prefer to be notified of a campus emergency by a text message than other forms of communication, such as eMail, a phone call, or a public address system.
Implications for ITS:
- Law students will be comfortable with social networking services and we should look at our use of them.
- We need to focus not just on the distraction of web surfing in class using a laptop but also the use of phones in class. In other words, engaging students in class.
- Posting materials to TWEN (our LMS) rather than printing. Students have computers to read posted materials. Students are comfortable using a LMS.
- Continue to train faculty on using technology
- If e-mail is not the preferred communication system, figure out the best way to communicate important info to them
- Solicit student feedback on all technology-related issues.