2009 Student Technology Survey – Post 6

Question 10 asked about which programs students were enrolled in. Nothing too exciting there.

Question 11 looks at Internet browser usage by students. Almost 90% of the students use either IE or Firefox, with IE still leading the way by more than a 2-to-1 margin. Still, the usage of Firefox has increased in the past couple of years; from 3% in 2005, to 9% in 2006 and now 21.6% in 2008 (no survey given in 2007). Me? I use IE only when I absolutely have to. Firefox first choice, use Chrome and Flock quite often as well. In fact, it’s not unusual for me to have all three of those browsers running at the same time. I also use Safari on a MacBook and I use Mozilla SeaMonkey. I also like ATT Pogo, but I’m not sure if it is going to continue or not. Maxthon and Avant Browser have some positive qualities as well. (Click screenshot to enlarge)

Nothing much different about question 11 where students indicate how many online courses they are taking during the current semester. We have lots of students who take only 1 or 2 online courses to fill in their on-ground schedule, plus we also have many students who are attending other colleges and taking one or two courses from us that count toward their degree programs at other schools.

2009 Student Technology Survey – Post 5

Question #9 in the 2009 LSC Student Technology Survey took a look at student uses of the LSC student e-mail system. Each student is assigned a student.lsc.edu address when they enroll at LSC. We have a college policy that makes e-mail an official means of communication for the college. We have the normal issues of getting students to read their e-mail when we send them out “important” messages – and yes, “importance” is definitely in the eye of the beholder. Our students think that much of the mail we send to them is SPAM. Of course the sender doesn’t think so. We are looking at several opt-in newsletters as ways of cutting down on the messages that not all students want to see. We’ll see how well that works. (Click image to enlarge)

As we saw in a previous post, most students (87%) have one or more additional e-mail accounts besides their LSC student account. We’ve often speculated that many of the students automatically forward their LSC message to another account. Mostly wrong – only 2.7% of the students report doing this.

About 80% of the students consider their school account to be a secondary e-mail account, not their primary account. That doesn’t surprise me at all. 11% say they will continue to use their LSC account after they leave the college. We have continuing conversations about whether we should give students a lifetime e-mail account in order to develop a more active alumni community and to keep some sort of tie to the college after they leave. Not sure how to read into the 11% figure. Not sure if that will be worth the effort. We may want to consider some sort of free option (Google, MS, etc) that allows them to keep an LSC e-mail addy without us having to manage their accounts on a regular basis. Again, we’ll see.

The most surprising news to me was the fact that 55% access their e-mail account through the student portal. The portal is less than two years old and I wasn’t sure how much traffic was going through the portal since they can still access all the services (including e-mail) without going into the portal. The portal is intended to be a single sign-on, one-stop-shop for all of our e-services. Quite frankly I didn’t think that this number of students were using it on a regular basis (at least not yet). So that’s a good thing.