LONDON, September 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Students also turning to digital for their education, with 77 per cent using online devices for academic purposes, and 63 per cent saying this helps them learn better
In a world of increased tuition fees, students are expecting more from their universities. A study released today by CourseSmart, the world's largest provider of eTextbooks and digital course materials, and the NUS, indicated 81 per cent of UK students felt the university should be offering textbooks free as part of their fees.
The study surveyed 1,652 UK students on university expectations, digital use and online course material, during August 2012.
Online devices (laptop, computer, smartphone, etc.) and education appear increasingly linked in today's university environment, the study revealed. For 63 per cent of students, online devices were reported as helping them learn better. 77 per cent of students said they predominantly use their online device for academic purposes. 95 per cent use their devices for at least some course-related reading.
For institutions, these numbers are significant, particularly when one considers just how 'plugged in' students now are. 99 per cent of surveyed students reported owning at least one online device. A third used tablet eBook readers. These numbers are set to expand, with 60 per cent planning to buy a device in the next 12 months.
Fionnuala Duggan, Managing Director - International of CourseSmart said, "In this environment, universities could possibly differentiate themselves by offering more connected and tech-savvy tools. For instance, offering eTextbooks (digital versions of print textbooks that can be used across any device) could combine the shifting demands of students with their current online habits. We found 98 per cent of students would be happy to do some course-related reading on a device. Perhaps this signals where education is going."
Rachel Wenstone, Vice President (Higher Education), NUS said, "We need to change how courses are taught to meet the needs of the 21st-century student. Technology provides a good, accessible way of learning and this must be balanced against the need for high-quality course content and traditional delivery to provide a high-quality student learning experience."
About the Research: For more information on the research please visit: http://www.coursesmart.co.uk/go/ukstudent/NUS_eTextbook_presentation_for_press.pdf