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Students want more class assignments available on mobile devices

Eighty-eight percent of students say they have used a mobile device to study for a test at the last minute.

“Who completed the reading?”

It’s a question some instructors likely ask every week. If students are being honest, only 10 percent of the class would raise their hands, according to a new survey. But a majority of students believe that response would be very different if the material was available on mobile devices.

The survey, conducted by Wakefield Research and digital course materials company CourseSmart, asked 500 American college students about their dependence on devices, their opinions on eTextbooks and their views toward the rising price of a college education.

The results revealed that most students own digital and mobile devices, and would prefer that content be delivered that way.

Fifty-three percent of respondents said they would be more likely to complete required reading in time for class if it was available digitally or could be accessed on a mobile device. Eighty-eight percent of students said they have used a mobile device to study for a test at the last minute.

That’s a 10 percent jump from the number of students who admitted to mobile cramming last year.

“The results of this survey underscore just how much students have embraced mobile devices and digital course materials to enhance their productivity, efficiency and performance, all of which impact students’ educational success and financial prospects in this highly competitive, globally connected world,” Sean Divine, CEO of CourseSmart, said in an announcement of the survey’s results.

See Page 2 for how often students use their digital and mobile devices.

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2 Responses to Students want more class assignments available on mobile devices

  1. kmellendorf

    August 1, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Use of technology is an excellent option, so long as we do not allow it to do either of two things:
    1) Don’t eliminate students’ capabilities to do work that cannot be done on the high technology devices. Creative thought is often outside the realm of that which has already been done. Detailed diagrams and conversation styles are seldom expressible on laptops or smartphones. Technology must not become the only medium considered essential.
    2) Don’t block out students who live in areas without online connections, or block out students who do not own the high technology devices. Some areas of this country do not have wireless ports. In such areas, getting such a connection can be expensive. A significant number of families do not use cable. They cannot afford the service. I grew up in an area where a dish antenna would have been gone in less than a week.

    Decide whether this should be an option, or the only way.

  2. kmellendorf

    August 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    FACE to FACE:
    As high technology digital equipment becomes more and more prevalent, communication moves more and more toward digital writing, such as email and texting. Because computers and cell phones give students a less “invasive” medium, we can no longer just assume they see the importance of face to face conversation. Unless final interviews and board meetings are going to be done completely online, with each person texting from his own office, we cannot let students lose sight of talking and then quickly making sketches and notes on an available piece of paper. Such conversations do not allow one the time to call up a sketch program.

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