I just discovered this infographic (see below) about social, mobile and digital technology on campus — and while many of the findings reflect my experience (eg., students cherish their laptops more than their smartphones, one-third of profs can’t figure out how to get classroom tech to work, just 8% of students have iPads) — there are a few stats that are truly surprising. Here’s three of them:
1. First: 60% of students wouldn’t accept an offer of admission from a campus that doesn’t have a robust wi-fi environment? Don’t digital natives just assume that campuses are connected at this point? Who thinks to ask about wi-fi at application or acceptance time? I sincerely doubt wi-fi is actually factor in admissions decisions, but if asked in retrospect or theoretically, sure, most students told researchers it was a deal-breaker.
2. How about this: only 6% of students prefer to have online course options? In fact all of the figures regarding online learning environments and blended course components are very low in this research roundup. Is it the case that although e-learning serves a huge number of students, it actually only suits a very small minority of them?
3. Finally: can it be true that only 3% of students surveyed named Facebook as a site they “couldn’t live without” and considered “most essential” — while 2% named Yahoo!? Impossible. This had to be a malformed and massively misunderstood survey question. When they were asked which sites were “extremely valuable for academic success” 12% of the students picked Facebook — which seems a bit low, but is understandable considering how few faculty actually embrace the FB platform for teaching and learning. Yet while Facebook might not be a prime site for making the grade, it is surely ground zero for connected campus culture and far and away the top platform of choice for managing student lifestyles. If I posed that question to my students I would surely see more than three-quarters of them rank Facebook and Google on par as sites they could not live without.
I love infographics when they are as well-designed as the one below, and especially when they inspire critical thinking about surveys and stats such as the ones represented here.