2023 Students and Technology Report: Flexibility, Choice, and Equity in the Student Experience

2023 Students and Technology Report


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What does it mean to be a student in 2023, on the fading tail end of a global pandemic and in the midst of lingering uncertainty about the world? What do students still need from a postsecondary education, and where does technology serve as a fulcrum—for better and for worse—both opening and closing students’ paths forward through their educational journeys?

In this report we draw on data from EDUCAUSE’s 2023 Student Survey to offer higher education leaders and decision-makers key insights as they consider what these questions might mean for their particular institutions and communities.

The report explores findings across three main areas, each representing a key challenge (and opportunity) institutions are going to face now and in the future:

  • Supporting students on and off campus
  • The role of students as consumers in the educational marketplace
  • Equity and accessibility in teaching and learning

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Supporting Students On and Off Campus

Preference for On-Site Modality, by Residency
Chart showing percentages of students who prefer on-site modalities for specific learning activities, broken out by whether they live on campus or off: Lab or interactive work (95% of on-campus students prefer this activity to be on-site, compared to 61% of off-campus students); Class discussions (93% and 46%); Group activities (93% and 60%); Giving a presentation (88% and 49%); Instructor lecture (85% and 48%); Peer/tutoring meetings (81% and 49%); Office hours (76% and 47%); Research (70% and 30%); and Exams (68% and 32%)

Residential choices are driven by life circumstances and preferences, and so too are learning modality choices.

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Empowering Students to Choose

Hybrid Course Satisfaction, by Student Choice of Engagement
Chart showing satisfaction with hybrid courses, by whether students were allowed to choose the learning modality. Among those who did not have a choice, 2% were very dissatisfied, 17% were dissatisfied, 33% were neutral, 37% were satisfied, and 11% were very satisfied. Among those who did have a choice, 0% were very dissatisfied, 7% were dissatisfied, 23% were neutral, 50% were satisfied, and 20% were very satisfied.

The option of choosing modalities can go a long way toward improving hybrid course experiences for certain populations of students.

Learn more about empowering students to choose >

Accessibility in Teaching and Learning

Overall Satisfaction with Technology Supports and Services, by Reported Disability
Chart showing satisfaction with technology supports, broken out by disability. Among all students, 10% were very dissatisfied or dissatisfied, 22% were neutral, and 67% were satisfied or very satisfied. Among students with a learning disability, 8% were very dissatisfied or dissatisfied, 31% were neutral, and 62% were satisfied or very satisfied. Among students with a mental health disorder, 10% were very dissatisfied or dissatisfied, 27% were neutral, and 63% were satisfied or very satisfied. Among students with a mobility impairment, 35% were very dissatisfied or dissatisfied, 29% were neutral, and 35% were satisfied or very satisfied. Among students with a sensory impairment, 8% were very dissatisfied or dissatisfied, 54% were neutral, and 39% were satisfied or very satisfied.

For students reporting any of the types of disabilities or impairments we asked about, their assessments and experiences of the technology supports and services provided by their institution differed significantly from the experiences of other students, almost always in negative ways.

Read more about accessibility in teaching and learning >

Reflections and Next Steps

While institutions might take any number of steps to explore and respond to the reflections outlined in this report, several possible next steps may be more feasible and immediately actionable than others.

Read the reflections and next steps >


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