Ninety-four percent of students in a new survey said digital learning technologies have helped them retain new concepts, and 53 percent said they prefer classes that use such tools.
McGraw-Hill Education’s fourth annual Digital Study Trends Survey, compiled by Hanover Research, includes responses from more than 1,000 college students.
Sixty percent of surveyed students said they think digital learning technologies have improved their grades, and one-fifth said those technologies significantly improved their grades. Students in STEM majors were the most likely to say technology has positively impacted their grades.
Approximately 60 percent of students agree that digital learning technology increased their engagement with course materials.
Next page: How do digital learning technologies impact retention, self-study, and STEM?
“Powerful digital learning technology can customize the learning experience for every student, helping him or her understand challenging concepts more fully and empowering them to improve their classroom performance,” said Scott Virkler, Chief Product Officer of McGraw-Hill Education’s Higher Education Group. “As these solutions continue to make inroads on college campuses, we look forward to seeing even more improvements in student learning outcomes.”
In addition to improving grades, increasing engagement and helping students learn new concepts, respondents also reported other benefits of digital learning technology:
- More than 62 percent of students agreed that digital learning technology is extremely or very helpful in preparing for tests and exams.
- More than 66 percent of students agreed that digital learning technology is extremely or very helpful in completing assignments.
- Nearly 59 percent of students agreed that digital learning technology is extremely or very helpful for self-study.
Students majoring in STEM subjects were more likely to say technology was affecting their day-to-day studying than students overall:
- Students in STEM fields were more likely to report an improvement in grades from using technology: 72 percent of respondents in physical sciences, 65 percent of respondents in biological sciences, and 64 percent of students in engineering, math and computer science.
- Fifty-eight percent of biological and life sciences students and 54 percent of health profession students reported that digital learning technology made them better-prepared for the classroom, compared to 46 percent of respondents overall.
- Fifty-four percent of biological and life sciences students and 53 percent of math and computer science students agree that digital learning technology improved their studying efficiency, compared to 47 percent of students overall.
Survey results also showed that the majority of students were using digital tools to complete homework assignments and prepare for exams:
- Eighty-two percent of survey respondents reported using laptops for homework assignments, compared to 59 percent using print materials.
- 70 percent of students reported using laptops for test/exam preparation, while 69 percent use print materials.
- While the vast majority of students had smartphones, only about 38 percent of the students used smartphones to complete homework assignments and study for exams.