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.

The kinds of devices that students use are varied. Nearly 100 percent of those who responded to the survey said they own at least one digital device. Laptops are the most common, with 93 percent of students saying they own one, but smart phones were prevalent too, with 78 percent of respondents saying they own the devices.

Thirty-five percent of students own tablets. Last year, that number was just seven percent.

And students are on these devices constantly, according to the survey. Close to 70 percent of students said they use three or more devices a day, and 47 percent said they check these devices every 10 minutes.

The use of eTextbooks has also risen, with 79 percent of students now saying they have used one in a class.

“We are continuing to see the positive potential of technology to increase access, lower costs and improve outcomes in higher education,” Devine said.

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