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Survey: Students Crave Immediate Feedback in the Classroom

A new study from McGraw-Hill Education sheds light on the importance of data analytics and adaptive learning tools.

Nearly four out of five college students in a recent survey said that having immediate access to data analytics regarding their academic performance had a positive impact on their learning experience. The study, conducted by Hanover Research on behalf of McGraw-Hill Education, suggested that students seek the same kind of immediate feedback in the classroom as they get from social media.

The survey of 2,657 college students found that almost two-thirds of students believe the impact of analytics reports on their academic performance is "very positive." Three-quarters of the students said adaptive learning is "very helpful" to them in retaining new concepts. Adaptive learning technology is designed to personalize students' learning experiences based on their command of course material, enabling them to focus their attention on the concepts they need help understanding, at the moment they need it.

A similar McGraw-Hill Education survey in August, conducted by TNS, found that a large majority of parents welcome the use of adaptive digital learning in their classroom learning experience. In March, the company released the findings of another survey that found that 85 percent of higher education students attributed a moderate to major improvement in their grades to adaptive learning tools.

"Students today have a desire for immediate and continual feedback," said Peter Cohen, McGraw-Hill Education's group president for U.S. education. "Adaptive learning technology provides just that kind of actionable, real-time feedback."

In the most recent study, 84 percent of higher education students reported they saw moderate to major improvement in their grades because of adaptive learning tools. Other findings include:

  • Adaptive capabilities in a digital study tool were deemed important by 91 percent of all students.
  • Students reported that technology increased their engagement with course materials (77 percent), professors (64 percent) and fellow students (50 percent).
  • Two-thirds of students who participated in the recent study said adaptive learning technology makes them feel better prepared for class.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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