ECAR Summary Report
Every year since 2004, ECAR (EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research) conducts its annual study of undergraduate students and information technology. This year, ECAR surveyed a nationally representative sample of 3,000 students in 1,179 colleges and universities.
Below is a summary of ECAR’s findings and recommendations.
Students are drawn to hot technologies but rely on more traditional devices.
Students recognize major academic benefits of technology.
Students report uneven perceptions of institutions and instructors on technology.
Facebook-generation students juggle personal and academic interactions.
Students prefer, and say they learn more in, classes with online components.
Investigate your students’ technology needs and preferences, and create an action plan to better integrate technology into courses and help students access institutional and academic information from their many and diverse devices and platforms.
Provide professional development opportunities and incentives so that instructors can make better use of the technology they have and feel more comfortable with the technologies students find more engaging and relevant.
Expand or enhance students’ involvement in technology planning and decision making.
Nail the basics. Help faculty and administrators excel at supporting students’ use of core productivity software and applications for academic use, including, e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, content or learning management systems, library sites, and bibliography tools.
Meet students’ expectations for anytime, everywhere, Wi-Fi access on the devices they prefer to use.
Make more and better use of technologies that students value—and those that are easily integrated into learning experiences in the shared environments in higher education (e.g., tablets, smartphones, student response systems or clickers). In many cases, these are the technologies that distinguish highly rated from less highly rated institutions on the effective use of technology today.
Meet students’ expectations for joining the consumer migration to e-content.
Establish/refine social media policies utilizing information about how your students use social media to enhance their educational experience.
Use technology in more transformative ways, such as participatory and collaborative interactions and for higher-level teaching and learning that is engaging and relevant to students’ lives and future plans. Use technology more to extend learning beyond the classroom.
For an in-depth reading of this report, please visit the following resources:
Summarized by Hamline Graduate Students working in the ITS department.