In a new survey, 81% of responding students said they believe fewer people will attend college over the next 10 years because of the cost of higher education. Students also said digital textbooks are more affordable (34%), more convenient (31%), and more engaging (20%) than print.
More than 500 currently enrolled students participated in the fifth annual VitalSource Technologies survey. The poll found that 74% of the students believed they would get better grades if more technology was used in the classroom, while 56% said they felt more comfortable with online courses and 51% said they got better grades in their online courses compared to in-person classes.
The study also found that 87% of the students used a device to read digital course materials, up from 63% in 2011. Those who said they used a device to read digital material frequently increased from 48% in 2011 to 78% in 2015. Another 44% also admitted they could go no longer than 10 minutes without using some form of digital technology.
Most of the students said they believed technology was the way to increase participation in class and complete assigned work. Students identified other ways to improve their learning experiences, including:
- Interactive homework that contains elements such at video (61%)
- The ability to exchange instant feedback with professors (61%)
- Personalized learning formats, such as those that allow teachers to track student progress in real time (55%)
- Technology that enhances digital collaborate between students (48%)
“Technology continues to be of critical importance to students, especially in the classroom,” said Cindy Clarke, vice president of marketing for VitalSource Technologies. “The research validates the degree to which students depend on technology to provide them with a competitive edge while they are in school and after graduation as they prepare to enter a workforce which is increasingly digitally literate and globally connected.”