Press Center > Students Want More from Classroom Tech Survey Reveals

October 10, 2016

Students Want More from Classroom Tech Survey Reveals


September 8, 2016

College Students Unhappy with Classroom Tech Have More than Doubled in the Past Year

Raleigh, NC. – September 8, 2016 – Student confidence in classroom technology's ability to improve their performance is eroding. That is one of the findings from a recent survey of 500 college students conducted by Wakefield Research for VitalSource®. While student dependence on technology has increased, their disillusionment and dissatisfaction with the technology offerings in, and implementation into their classes has grown.

"The survey results show us the technology used in college classes just isn't meeting the expectations of today's students, even as other parts of their lives are relying on tech," said Pep Carerra, VitalSource's Chief Operating Officer. "The challenge is to keep pace with the ever-evolving landscape while keeping the aspects we know boost student success."

Tech Disappointment
Nearly one in five students (19 percent) expressed dissatisfaction with the technology currently used in their classrooms. This number represents more than double the students who expressed similar dissatisfaction in 2015, when only 8 percent held similar feelings toward classroom tech. Inversely, only 22 percent are completely satisfied with the technology used in their classrooms, a sharp decline from the 35 percent reported in 2015. Additionally, a majority of students do not feel their grades would improve with increased implementation of classroom technology. In 2016, the percentage of students who hold the belief that their grades would improve is 68, down from 74 percent in 2015.

The increasing disillusionment with classroom technology doesn't stem from a waning reliance on technology for students. Based on the survey, college students can go less time without using technology than they could one year ago. In 2016, students report using some electronic device every 48 minutes on average during their waking hours, compared to 60 minutes in 2015. Ownership of a mobile device (smartphone, laptop, tablet or eReader) is at 99 percent of college students.

As a result of the sagging confidence in, and sub-par experiences with, classroom tech, fewer students are logging on to online classes. The 2016 data indicate a steep decline of students reporting earning better grades in online courses compared to traditional in-person settings. In 2015, more than half (51 percent) reported earning better grades online. This year, that figure has fallen 10 full points to 41 percent.

About VitalSource |
VitalSource Technologies Inc., part of Ingram Content Group, is improving the learning experience by making it easier to create and deliver effective and affordable content. The preferred choice among educational institutions and companies for digital learning materials, VitalSource® helps over 1,000 educational content providers create and deliver seamless interactive learning experiences through its exclusive Bookshelf® platform to millions of learners at 7,000 institutions. Bookshelf users opened more than 40 million digital textbooks last year and read more than 2 billion pages.

Methodological Notes
The VitalSource Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research ( among 500 currently enrolled college students between May 11 and 18, 2016, using an email invitation and an online survey.

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.4 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

Media Contact

Erin McCarthy, VitalSource