CourseSmart Study Demonstrates College Students’ Dependence on Devices


As college costs continue to rise at institutions around the globe, students and faculty alike are embracing digital textbooks, not just for their “learn anywhere” convenience and additional interactive features, but for their potential to help students save money. A new study, commissioned by CourseSmart and implemented by Wakefield Research, has shown just how willing college students are to embrace the technology that makes learning more streamlined and affordable.

According to the study, almost all of the 500 students (99%) surveyed said they own at least one device, whether it was a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or other, that they use for school work. Of those same students sampled, 68% said they own three more devices in combination, and that they use those devices every day, with some of the students (47%) saying they use the device around once every ten minutes throughout the day.

“We are continuing to see the positive potential of technology to increase access, lower costs and improve outcomes in higher education,” said Sean Devine, CEO of CourseSmart, in a press release on the study. “The results of this survey underscore just how much students have embraced mobile devices and digital course materials to enhance their productivity, efficiency and performance, all of which impact students’ educational success and financial prospects in this highly competitive, globally connected world.”

Some results from the survey have shown tremendous growth, such as the number of students who report that they own a tablet, which was only seven percent in 2011. The number of students who reported using digital textbooks was also higher at 66%, up from 43% of students surveyed only two years ago. At the same time, some things have not changed as dramatically; even though 59% of the students report that they are more likely to bring a laptop or tablet to class, 41% of the students still prefer to do their in-class and out-of-class reading via a traditionally printed textbook and seven percent stated that they did not believe print textbooks would ever be fully replaced by digital.