Nov 23 2022

Survey: Student Preference for Online Learning Growing

Annual EDUCAUSE report reveals student modality preferences vary but most share some technology-related frustrations.

By now, it’s universally accepted that technology is a vital part of higher education, but how has its growing use impacted the student experience? EDUCAUSE surveyed 820 undergraduate students about their technology use, asking about challenges and solutions, modality preferences, access to educational technology, and student success in its “2022 Students and Technology Report.”

A majority of students — 77 percent — reported experiencing at least one technology issue in the previous academic year. Unstable internet connections top the list of issues, with 64 percent of respondents having experienced this. Forty-six percent experienced malfunctioning devices, and 39 percent reported being unable to run required applications or software.

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When it comes to how they want to receive their education, 29 percent of students prefer completely face-to-face instruction; 12 percent prefer mostly face-to-face; and 18 percent prefer half in person, half online. In 2020, only 5 percent of respondents preferred online-only instruction; in the 2022 survey, that portion rose to 20 percent.

Students listed several institutional resources that helped them succeed, including academic advisers and tutors, financial support and device loaner programs. Some barriers to success included costs, inadequate access to technology, inadequate disability accommodations and classes offered only in nonpreferred modalities.

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