SAN MATEO, Calif., May 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CourseSmart®, the world's largest provider of eTextbooks and digital course materials, today announced the results of a survey revealing college students' growing reliance on technology. The survey of more than 500 currently enrolled college students found that nearly all college students (98%) who own a device have used it for school and a majority of these students (53%) read eTextbooks frequently. Further, 90% of college students say they save time studying with technology -- including mobile devices, digital textbooks, eReaders and tablets.
Fielded by Wakefield Research, an independent research consultancy, the survey revealed that technology has become a significant part of students' everyday lives with the average using three devices daily. A majority (67%) can't go more than one hour without using some sort of digital technology, with 40% not lasting more than 10 minutes.
"The survey underscores the undeniable influence technology has on today's college experience. As technology continues to evolve and digital devices become integral to the evolution of higher education, it's encouraging to see the positive impact on learning outcomes as students utilize advanced devices and digital course materials to streamline and improve their learning environment," said Sean Devine, CEO of CourseSmart.
The Digital Backpack
Once the backpack staple, print textbooks are losing their reputation of being indispensable. Only 5% of students say textbooks are the most important item in their bag and a majority of students say they are more likely to bring a laptop (51%) than a print textbook (39%) to class. Digital devices also allow for on-the-go reference to information with 79% of college students reporting they have done a quick search on a mobile device or tablet to verify something right before a test or a quiz.
According to the survey, technology is also streamlining students' studies. The study found that 68% of college students who save time using technology report saving two hours or more each day and nearly one in six students (14%) saving five hours or more. Further, nearly 3 in 5 students (58%) report that they frequently are unable to complete required reading in time for class and of those, a majority (51%) said they would be more likely to do so if they had digital textbooks that could be accessed on a mobile device, eReader, laptop or tablet.
Online Learning Gains Momentum
Online courses are gaining popularity with 58% of students reporting they have taken an online course, motivated primarily by being able to take the class on their own time (63%), not having to physically be in a class (48%) and being able to learn at their own pace (47%). Even traditional brick and mortar classes, though, are incorporating online elements, creating increasingly hybrid experiences. Nearly all (96%) college students have had online components to a course: a majority of students (79%) have submitted assignments or papers online and 71% have taken online tests and quizzes.
Rise of Social
According to the survey, communication between faculty and students is becoming more social with nearly one in five (18%) students having received materials from their professor via Facebook. Professors are also relying more on technology for delivering class announcements and assignments: 84% of students have had professors post a class syllabus online and 78% of students have received class news and updates from their professors via campus systems, such as learning management systems or student portals.
"As we look forward, we will continue to see technology incorporated into even the most traditional of college experiences and classes. Within this new digital learning environment, students will have access to their entire higher education network, including social, grades, quizzes, textbooks and other course materials, in the palm of their hands," added Devine.
For more information, please visit www.coursesmart.com.
As the world's largest provider of digital course materials, CourseSmart® connects education publishers to consumers by providing an efficient distribution platform for their best-selling content in digital form. Founded in 2007, the San Mateo, Calif.-based company provides services to four business segments: Online direct retail for students; Indirect distribution of course materials to students through bookstores; Online faculty textbook evaluation services; and Institutional solutions for faculty and students that are integrated within campus technology ecosystems. CourseSmart improves the educational process and experience by offering all users anywhere, any-time access to the course content they need, including those with vision- and print-related disabilities. With more than 90% of the same core titles offered by major print publishers, the company's eTextbooks can be purchased for up to 60% less than the cost of new print textbooks. For more information about CourseSmart, visit the company's Web site at www.coursesmart.com.
The CourseSmart Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 500 Americans currently enrolled in college, ages 18-23, between Monday, April 30th, 2012 and Tuesday, May 8th, 2012, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population between the ages of 18 and 23.
Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.4 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
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