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ECAR = EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research ECARs Mission:

Foster better decision making by

conducting/disseminating research/analysis about the role/implications of information technology in higher education. Systematically addresses many challenges brought into focus by information technologies.

Study of undergraduate students and information technology Sheds light on how IT affects the college experience Study conducted annually by ECAR since 2004

Assess students technology ownership and use Explore how effectively instructors and institutions are using technology Understand students technology skill level Gauge students technology perceptions, attitudes, and preferences

Responses from 3,000 students at 1,179 colleges and universities provided a nationally representative sample of students

Students are: 1. Drawn to hot technologies but rely on traditional devices 2. Recognize major academic benefits of technology 3. Report uneven perceptions of institutions and instructors on technology 4. Facebook-generation (juggle personal and academic interactions) 5. Prefer and say they learn more in, classes with online components

Community college students are more likely to own stationary technologies (e.g., desktop computers and stationary gaming and video devices), when compared to students at research universities Students at institutions that award masters and doctoral degrees are more likely to own portable technologies (e.g., laptops, iPods, webcams, thumb drives, and Wi-Fi devices)

Other than core communication tools (e-mail, text, and Facebook), word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet software are most frequently used for academic/personal purposes, along with institutional library websites and learning management systems. Core academic software is not necessarily coming out of a box; Students could be using newer productivity software accessed in the cloud that offers more collaborative and participatory experiences (e.g., Google Docs).

How valuable are each of the following when it comes to your academic success? (Consider only your academic success when rating these technologies, not the other aspects of your life)

Value of Technology to Academic Success

Percent Responding Extremely Valuable
Word processors E-mail Presentation software Course or learning management system College/university's library website Spreadsheets E-books or e-textbooks Web-based citation/bibliography tools Text message Wikis Online forums or bulletin boards Graphics software Web-based videos Video-sharing websites Instant message Facebook Programming languages Freely available course content beyond campus Telephone-like communication over the Internet Online chats, chat events, webinars Web-based music Podcasts and webcasts Social studying sites Video-creation software Blogs Tagging/bookmarking/liking Simulations or educational games Online multi-user computer games LinkedIn Internet content via a TV E-portfolios Twitter Photo-sharing websites Audio-creation software Speech recognition software Other social networking websites Geotagging, Geotagged environments Online virtual worlds 76% 66% 47% 46% 45% 38% 25% 23% 22% 22% 16% 16% 14% 14% 13% 12% 12% 11% 10% 10% 9% 8% 8% 8% 7% 7% 6% 5% 5% 5% 5% 4% 4% 4% 4% 3% 3% 2%




Frequent e-mail users send or receive on average 25 emails a day Frequent texters send or receive on average 84 text messages a day Frequent Facebook users log into and/or check Facebook 13 times a day

Smartphones have a variety of academic uses Most common smartphone apps are: Calculators Dictionaries Search Tools

E-mailing professors Checking grades Texting other students about coursework Looking up info on Internet outside of class E-mailing other students about coursework Accessing course websites or syllabi Looking up info on Internet in class As a timer or time management device Listening to music while doing coursework Taking pictures Collecting data for classwork To access a social networking website Accessing library resources Registering for courses Conducting research for Accessing financial aid information Texting professors Making textbook purchases Learning about locations you're in/visiting As a source of additional help or tutoring Posting information or images on the Writing papers or other classwork Ordering transcripts Making charts or other visual aids

66% 62% 61% 59% 57% 45% 45% 42% 40% 37% 28% 28% 24% 22% 22% 21% 19% 16% 15% 15% 14% 12% 7% 5%

Laptop computer Wi-Fi USB Thumbdrive/portable harddrive Netbook Net: Smartphones eReader (e.g., Kindle, NOOK) Other mobile/cell phone Other tablet - not an iPad iPad mp3 player/music device (other than iPod) iPod Handheld/portable gaming device

81% 78% 64% 46% 33% 33% 32% 26% 24% 23% 18% 14%

Wi-Fi access is instrumental to student success, and students want access from everywhere on campus.

How valuable are each of the following when it comes to your academic success, (whether its your own device, or one your instructor or university uses as a part of your academic experience)? Consider only your academic success when rating these technologies, not the other aspects of your life.

Students in associates colleges are significantly less likely to feel that: they know more about technology than their professors their instructors dont know how to use the technology that is available their instructors need help from others to get technology up and running.

Associates college students rate institutions highly in online textbook sales & some basic technology services (online course registration, access to grades, etc.) Students at doctoral institutions are more likely than associate college students to agree that their institutions do a good job in: offering library resources online, providing online transcripts, and providing financial aid information online.

Strongest predictors of how students rate their institutions use of technology: Instructors effective use of technology Instructors use of technology frequently enough Seamless integration of technology into their courses

Instructors Effective Use of Selected Technologies

Percentage responding extremely effectively (Among those whose instructors use), n=base sizes vary



Laptop computer


Interactive whiteboard


Student clickers or student response systems




Associate college and other 2-year programs instructors are significantly less likely to use a wide variety of technologies in class Instructors at other institutional types are significantly more likely to use laptops, projectors, Wi-Fi, student response systems, doc cameras, USB thumb drives, interactive whiteboards, smartphones, webcams, iPads, digital and Flip cams than associates college instructors Technologies used by associate college instructors were often used more effectively
Including desktops, laptops, webcams, scanners, printers,

projectors, and interactive whiteboards. Instructors at other institution types do not use any devices more effectively than associates college instructors

Overall, instructors use presentation devices effectively, but devices that inspire interactivity and participation, not so much.

The average student spends at least some time engaging in about 21 different software applications and activities out of 40. Students use a variety of communication tools, but the most common ones have reached mass adoption.






Text message





Use Facebook





Download or stream web-based videos (YouTube, etc.)






Several times a day Once a day A few times a week Less often

Read Wikis (Wikipedia, course wiki, etc.)






I am comfortable using Facebook or other social networking sites to communicate with other students about coursework.




14% 10%

I like to keep my academic life and my social life separate.




14% 5%

Students are comfortable communicating with other students on Facebook about academics; however, they prefer their communication with instructors be more formal (email).

It's important to have an online forum to communicate and interact with other students about coursework outside the classroom.




11% 8%
5 (out of 5) 4 (out of 5)

A class online discussion board is better for helping me connect with other students about coursework than a social networking site like Facebook.

3 (out of 5)




13% 9%

2 (out of 5) 1 (out of 5)

52% of students report preferring some form of blended learning 1 in 7 reported wanting no online components in their academic coursework 1 in 10 students prefer coursers offered completely online.
Learn the Most In

Investigate your students technology needs and preferences create an action plan to better integrate technology into courses help students access institutional/academic information from their devices and platforms Provide professional development opportunities and incentives so: Instructors can make better use of technology feel more comfortable with the technologies students are drawn to Expand/enhance students involvement in technology planning and decision making. Meet students expectations for anytime, everywhere, Wi-Fi access on the devices they prefer to use. Meet students expectations for joining the consumer migration to econtent. Help faculty/administrators excel at supporting students use of core productivity software/applications for academic use (e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, learning management systems, library sites, and bibliography tools).

Make more and better use of technologies that students valueand those that are easily integrated into learning experiences in shared environments (e.g., tablets, smartphones, or clickers). Often, these technologies distinguish highly rated from less highly rated institutions on effective technology use. Use technology in more transformative ways Participatory and collaborative interactions Higher-level teaching/learning that is engaging/relevant to students lives Use technology to extend learning beyond the classroom. Give students options for interacting with institution/instructors, including standard and forward-leaning options. Leverage value students find in instructional relationships, using F2F, online, and blended strategies. Move strategically toward blended/hybrid learning environments to meet students preferred styles of learning. Offer ways for students to engage in learning using technology and meet differentiated needs Establish/refine social media policies utilizing information about how your students use social media to enhance their educational experience.