ECAR has surveyed undergraduate students annually since 2004 about technology in higher education. In 2013, ECAR collaborated with more than 250 higher education institutions to collect responses from more than 112,000 undergraduate students about their technology experiences and expectations. The findings are distilled into four broad themes to help educators and higher education institutions better understand how students experience technology on their respective campuses and the ways in which new, better, or more technology can impact students’ relationship with information technology.
Report and Supporting Materials
Because of this topic's importance to higher education, this report is publicly accessible.
Subscribe to receive all ECAR research and analysis about IT in higher education.
See the 2013 report for a full list of key messages, findings, and supporting data.
- Students recognize the value of technology but still need guidance when it comes to better using it for academics.
- Students prefer blended learning environments while beginning to experiment with MOOCs.
- Students are ready to use their mobile devices more for academics, and they look to institutions and instructors for opportunities and encouragement to do so.
- Students value their privacy, and using technology to connect with them has its limits.
See the 2013 report for a full list of actionable results.
- Students expect their instructors—not others—to train them to effectively use the technology required for coursework (e.g., use of the CMS, hardware, and software—including specialty software and common productivity software). Instructors need support, encouragement, and possibly incentives to do so.
- Educate your students about MOOCs; most students are unaware of them. Institutions have a fleeting opportunity to contextualize MOOCs for students in a way that will mesh with the institution’s own MOOC strategy.
- Create (or update) a strategy for incorporating mobile device use into the classroom. Address the IT infrastructure barriers (such as a lack of convenient charging outlets and/or charging stations and insufficient network access) that keep students from using their devices effectively while on campus.
- Approach learner analytics purposefully and thoughtfully by adhering to information privacy principles. Collect data for a stated and transparent purpose in order to build students’ confidence in learner analytics activities.
ECAR Technology Research on the Academic Community
- ECAR has published the student study each year since 2004. View All >
- In 2014, ECAR added a faculty study to its technology research. Institutions may participate in both the student and faculty studies. Participants will receive comparison reports and data in addition to the annual research hub materials. Learn More >
How Do You Use the Student Study?
Contribute to the community by sharing how your institution uses the survey report or your institution's results. Use the Comments box below and include your name, title, and institution.