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New Study Reveals Student Perspective on Technology Use in Higher Education

College students believe that technology has a direct impact on their academic performance, according to findings from a new student-driven study out of the Lone Star College System. In “The National Lone Star Report on Aligning Technology with Student Success,” 78 percent of college students reported that their grades and learning experience are improved when technology is effectively and consistently implemented on their campus.

The Report is a compilation of survey data collected from more than 6,000 students on 36 campuses across the country. Focused exclusively on two-year colleges, the study also included analysis of more than 1.5 million helpdesk inquiries from 55 institutions. The student-led initiative is the first of its kind, according to LSCS vice chancellor and CIO Shah Ardalan.

"'The National Lone Star Report on Aligning Technology with Student Success' will allow college administrators access to the collective voice of American students and it provides invaluable data on students' needs, desires and dreams, and how technology can help them achieve these goals," Ardalan said in a prepared statement.

Key findings in the report reflect students' desire for reliable, effective technology that is used consistently by instructors: 

  • Colleges should not implement technology for the sake of technology;
  • When technology is deployed, make sure that it works; and
  • Faculty members need to know how to use the technology and they should actually use it.

While students believe technology is integral to their learning success, the report showed that they do not simply want more technology--they want the right technology. Students want systems and applications that serve their needs, support learning, and work properly "without getting in the way." Students expressed frustration with non-working technologies that waste time and money.

"Technology, when effectively used, strongly impact[s] my ability to learn," one respondent noted. "However, when it is not used properly or [is used] inefficiently it is very much a distraction and annoyance."

The National Lone Star Report was based on interviews and surveys from students at rural and metro-area community college campuses throughout the United States. The report will be produced annually and is available for free download to participating colleges. For additional information, visit lonestar.edu/nationalstudentreport.

About the Author

Kanoe Namahoe is online editor for 1105 Media's Education Group. She can be reached at knamahoe@1105media.com.

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