5 student opinions about higher education you should know

Today’s student opinions reveal what they really think about online learning, digital resources and much more.

As colleges and universities become increasingly focused on student services in order to attract and retain students, it’s never been more important to gauge how students feel about some of the larger, innovative—and often tech-based—initiatives leadership spends copious amounts of time and money supporting on campus.

Recent large-scale studies in 2016 have yielded surprising findings on how students feel about a number of trendy higher education projects and implementations, ranging from how they feel about the many components of online learning to the technology offered on campus overall.

By informally examining a handful of recent eCampus News stories on these reports, there are five student opinions on growing higher education initiatives that seem especially noteworthy due to the studies’ representative size of students surveyed, as well as their topic focus:


1. Students say campus technology needs a major overhaul.

According to a recent multi-national research study on students’ perceptions of their campus technology, thanks to a lack of digital options and tedious online protocols part of many campus technology initiatives, students say they study less and think less of their university. Key takeaways from the report include that one-third of students feel student administration systems do not meet their expectations, making them less likely to recommend the institution; 7 in 10 students would recommend that their universities review and change its digital strategy; and 44 percent said they would have a better experience if they could interact more digitally with their university, and 45 percent would be more likely to recommend their university if digital interaction was better. Read more about the study here:


2. Students are open to using more digital materials, but they want campus support and an end to access code costs.

When it comes to the use of digital resources, students say they prefer studying with paper materials, but also expect resources and texts to be available online for anytime, anywhere access, according to a recent Pearson report; 57 percent of student surveyed prefer learning on paper, while 56 percent would prefer to have learning materials accessible online. Also, 57 percent of students surveyed feel that it is the responsibility of the institution to help them make the shift from print-based learning materials to digital course materials and courseware. Read more about the Pearson survey here:

One of the ways students would like more support for digital materials is through the inclusion of learning analytics within these digital assets. According to a recent Hanover Research survey sponsored by McGraw-Hill Education, 87 percent of surveyed college students said having access to learning analytics on their academic performance can positively impact their learning experience. Students’ desire for instant feedback, such as the kind they receive through social media, could be a significant asset when it comes to studying with the help of learning analytics technology, concluded the new research. Read more about student opinions on learning analytics here:

However, while students are open to using more digital resources, they are also wary of publishers monopolizing access codes. Access Denied, a new report from the Student PIRGs, recently investigated the growth of online access codes on campuses across the nation. Access codes are serial numbers that allow students to unlock online learning software. These platforms often contain digital books, homework assignments, quizzes, tests, and more. The access code, once registered, becomes null and may not be used by a different student in a different course or semester. Though the high cost of textbooks and course materials has prompted many faculty to move to free online resources, a majority students who wish to unlock course-specific required online learning resources are still faced with costly access code fees—and they’re not pleased. Read more about student opinions on access codes here:

(Next page: 3 more student opinions on higher education worth knowing)