What students really think about tech in higher ed

They expect more from their institutions' technological and digital services

eCampus News combed through several large scale-studies from this year to determine the most pressing technology-related issues on college students' minds. 

Students place a high value on the latest technology

Outdated technology can be harmful to a university's image. A study from DJS Research found that a third of students say their institutions' administration systems fall short of expectations. That's a problem, because students also say subpar systems would make them less likely to recommend their institutions to others. However, 70% of students recommend that their college or university update its digital strategy, while 45% would give a good review if their university invested in digital technologies to better interact with students.

Students seek access to learning analytics

As digital natives, many students today want instant digital feedback regarding their academic performance. A Hanover Research survey sponsored by McGraw-Hill Education found that 87% of students believe that accessing learning analytics would improve their educational experience. 

Learn more: What do students want from technology?

Students want full access to digital resources without the high price

Being able to use online learning materials is important to students. But they find fault with publishers' use of access codes, or serial numbers that unlock digital material. Once a code has been registered it can't be used again by a student in a different course or at another time. The shift toward online materials has resulted in part from the high cost of traditional course materials, but students still face roadblocks. According to a report from Student PIRGs, most students who try to access online learning resources still face expensive access code fees. 

Technology is important to students, but they don't necessarily seek careers in IT

Just because technology is central to students' everyday lives doesn't mean that they see themselves working in the IT industry. Around 21% of 13-to-17-year-olds say they aren't interested in pursuing IT careers, compared with 26% of 18-to-21-year-olds, according to a study from CompTIA. Just 19% of those in the 18 to 24 age group are interested in careers in IT. The problem, the report states, is a lack of information about the field. 

Find out what jobs and skills are actually in demand in your state

Prospective students really care about a college's website

Don't underestimate the influence that your college's website has on prospective students. Students today who have used the internet all their lives know what makes for a good digital experience and have little patience for anything less. Research from KDG shows that prospective students are turned off by websites considered to be lacking in critical areas such as usability, uniqueness, focus, and message retention. 

What we learned from students about college websites

Students have many priorities for online learning programs

Students have varying opinions about what to expect from online learning programs. But research from Learning House and Aslanian Market Research identified 10 characteristics the majority of students value in their online programs, including help carving out a career path, options for personalization, and policies and procedures that fit students' lifestyles (Stansbury, eCampus News, 10/7). 


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