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UVic Law Student Technology Survey – Fall 2010

For eight years the University of Victoria Law School (BC) has been surveying their incoming students about their technology readiness. This year they added some mobile tech questions too. They got 127 incoming and transferring law students to complete the survey (an over 90% response rate).

Here’s the highlight data but click to the full report that includes some graphics too.

UVic Law Student Technology Survey – Fall 2010

Executive Summary:

“50% of incoming students own “Smart Phones” that can browse the internet.
99% of students own laptops, and 27% own both a laptop and a desktop computer.
44% of student laptops are Macs.
The average laptop price dropped to $1,198 from $1400 in 2007, and from $2,100 in 2004.
Of the 72% of students who were able to tell us how many words per minute (wpm) they could type, the average was 60 wpm. Only 14% type less than 40 wpm.
All students now report having high speed internet in their homes.
71% of students bring their laptops to school almost every day.
87% of students own MP3 players capable of listening to recorded lectures.
49% of students use Gmail as their primary email account, 6% use UVic email and 26% Hotmail.
67% of students identified MS Word as their favorite tool for collaborative document editing. 27% chose Google Docs, 2% OpenOffice Writer & 5% “Other”.
100% of students now have access to high speed internet at their homes.
91% of students use Facebook and 80% of those students would like to see law school events and activities published on Facebook as well as through the online faculty calendar of events.”

This seems to be a simple ways to track tech changes in your student populations. I am sure many academic libraries have access to this sort of data about their users. But if you don’t there’s no better time to start than now. Even the baseline year that you do the survey will tell you things. Services like SurveyMonkey, Poll Daddy and Zoomerang make data collection and summarization easy.

What I like about this survey is that it is specific to a specialized service population for a specialized group of students (in this case law). Maybe this has been done (or maybe it changes too quickly) but I wonder if the tech readiness of different categories of students is significant. For example, do we know at a macro level if there are material differences between Med, Law, MBA and Humanities students? Is it different for college and university cohorts? Are there demographic or regional differences? Are you different if you arrive for your freshman year from an urban, rural or small town environment? Lots of questions . . . and they’re important as learning environments become much more of a hybrid classroom and technology world.

Stephen

Posted on: September 14, 2010, 7:59 am Category: Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. To survey our students we use another great free survey tool http://www.websurveymaster.com/ it is very easy to use, produces great looking surveys, and has some fantastic results analysis tools, the best I’ve seen on the web.
    Hope this helps
    Mandy

  2. For the first 5 or 6 years the UVic Law Technology survey was done with pen & paper, and then manually entered into an Excel spreadsheet. We are now using Google Docs to put the data directly into a spreadsheet for analysis and comparison.

    We have also added and dropped questions over the years. For example we no longer ask if students’ laptops have wi-fi built in. We will probably drop the question about high speed internet this year or next because it seems that everyone access now. On the other had last year we added the mobile technology questions.