Each year since 2004, the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research (ECAR) conducts research on undergraduate students use of information technology in their academic experiences. The 2012 report, ECAR Study of Undergaduate Students and Information Technology came out in September. The report was based on findings from 195 institutes and more than 100,000 students and the basic premise behind the study is to use the findings from today’s students to inform the technology needs of tomorrow’s students.
The key findings are summarized in the Executive Summary:
The following are a few snapshots from the 3-page Info Graphic summary
So what does this mean? Does technology inherently make teaching and learning better? I think we can all agree that the answer is “no” but it can provide opportunities to make it more engaging and accessible if done right.
Here are a few findings from the report:
Students Believe That Technology is Critical for Academic Success and
That It Plays an Important Role in Their Future Accomplishments
In addition to recommendations for faculty, they also included many recommendations for institutions. The report suggest that institutions should continue to support blended-learning environments and reward innovation of scalable (successful) blended learning practices as well as work with faculty to experiment with open educational resources and game-based learning opportunities.
For more information about these and other findings, see the full report.
Dahlstrom, Eden, with a foreword by Charles Dziuban and J.D. Walker. ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2012 (Research Report). Louisville, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, September 2012, available from http://www.educause.edu/ecar