SALT LAKE CITY — The College and Innovation Network (CIN), a grant-funded initiative within WGU Labs, published its second annual CIN EdTech Student Survey, aiming to better understand the present and future student experience with education technology (EdTech).
The CIN EdTech Survey Series tracks the perils, progress and predictions of the new technology-enabled state of higher education. The results from this year's survey found that students are well adapted to the technology-enabled new normal of higher education, but perceived gaps in online learning effectiveness and quality remain.
“We found that gaining insight into the opinions and feelings of our students, as it relates to the college’s technology and digital environment, proved valuable as it is information that we can use to improve the user experience and guide future projects,” said Dr. Chad Knights, Northern Virginia Community College vice president of information & engineering technologies and college computing. “It also serves as a perfect complement to usage statistics, which alone can only tell half the story.”
CIN surveyed 1,402 students from six different colleges: Central Ohio Technical College, Cuyahoga Community College, Loyola University New Orleans, Northern Virginia Community College, PennWest University, California, and Piedmont Community College.
The results of the survey include the following key statistics:
88% of students surveyed report feeling confident in their ability to adapt to new EdTech being used in their courses, up five percentage points from 2021
Students’ overall learning experiences with EdTech have improved, with 23% more students this year citing that EdTech has enhanced their learning, and 23% more students reporting that they feel more prepared for the next steps in their academic journey.
Students perceive online learning options to be less effective and lower quality than in-person learning, with a corresponding perception that credentials earned via online modalities are of lower quality.
Two-thirds of surveyed students feel positively about institutions offering more fully online courses and fully online programs, but nearly one in five students feel negatively about the shift to fully online courses and programs.
“Higher education is in the midst of a significant technological transformation. Without a pulse on students’ experiences, institutions risk missing the mark on how to retain students,” said Dr. Omid Fotuhi, director of learning innovation at WGU Labs. “Our EdTech Survey Series offers a full view of students, faculty, and administrators’ experiences that can critically inform institutional decision-making.”
Based on the results of this survey, the CIN recommends that institutions must invest in tech support for students, proactively identify students struggling with using technology, and re-evaluate online learning implementation to continue to meet the needs and expectations of students.
Download the full 2022 CIN EdTech Student Survey at https://wgulabs.org/cin-edtech-student-survey-october-2022/.
About the College Innovation Network
The College Innovation Network (CIN) at WGU Labs is a grant-funded, research-oriented initiative that connects institutions with the best solutions to ensure student belonging, engagement, and equity. CIN supports educational institutions by identifying areas of need, supporting the implementation of effective education technology for students, and evaluating impact through research. Our goal is to have a meaningful impact on higher education at large through the evaluation of impactful solutions that promote belonging, engagement, and equity.
About WGU Labs
WGU Labs is the nonprofit EdTech consulting, incubation, research, and design arm of Western Governors University, where our mission is to identify and support scalable solutions that address the biggest challenges in education today. For more information, please visit wgulabs.org.