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  • February 2009
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2009 Student Technology Survey – Post 2

Question 3: How many email accounts do you have and check regularly?

As the graphic shows, only 13% have a single e-mail account that they use on a regular basis. 33% have three or more accounts. At LSC we assign every student an LSC-hosted e-mail account and we have a policy making e-mail the official means of communication with students. In fact, we don’t send out very much snail mail at all to enrolled students. Therefore, they “should” be using the LSC account on a regular basis. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of students use one or more alternate e-mail accounts in addition to the LSC account. (Click image to enlarge)

Question 4: Do you use wireless Internet access?

Almost 72% say they have a wireless system in their home. I was rather surprised by this number. Sure, it’s relatively cheap and easy to setup a wireless router in your house, but I still would have predicted something more like 35-40% would have done so. Wrong. Paying for wireless in public places is something that 99% of the wired students are not generally doing. you can put me in that crowd as well. Free is good.

Since about 81% use wireless somewhere and 71% use wireless at home, that leaves about 10% of the students who use wireless access points in other places but don’t have a router at home.

2009 Student Technology Survey – Post 1

This will be the first post of several as I report out on many of the results gathered from the 2009 Student Technology Survey at Lake Superior College. This year we had the largest number of submissions in the eight years that I have offered this survey. A total of 1,080 students submitted the voluntary survey.

The survey is posted inside Desire2Learn on the home page. Students who view the D2L page are encouraged to submit the survey through a News item. This is what the page looks like to all who enter. We have over 2.200 online students this year, but the survey is open to any student who enters D2L and chooses to complete the survey. Even though there may be a few students take the survey who are not taking online students; that group most likely represents a very small percentage of the total pool of submissions.

The first 2 questions help to determine how well the submissions represent the overall group. This is not statistical sampling in action, so it is informative to look for potential biases in the data. (Click image to enlarge)

The overall population of online students at LSC this term breaks down as 67% female and 33% male. Therefore, as with almost every survey we’ve ever given, we have greater representation of females than males. Yes, more females are likely to submit such a survey than are males. In a later post I’ll try to break down whether there are any significant differences in the survey results from females compared to males, which will help determine whether this difference is significant or not.

For the question about age, there is a greater percentage of survey submissions from older students than their representation in the population. The two categories for 30 and older students make up 27.2% of the survey submissions, but they only make up 21.5% of the online student population. When dealing with a survey about uses of technology, it seems logical that this would skew the results due to different technology use patterns among the generations. Does it? Actually, I don’t for sure since I haven’t been able to break down the data that way just yet. Look for that in a future post.

The survey data will lean slightly to female preferences and maybe even a bit more toward the preferences of older students. I’ll try to unravel what that might mean in future posts.