Survey reveals untapped potential for campus IT

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.




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