Friday, January 18, 2008

e-Learning Data Tidbits

Just a few quick pieces of data about our online students here at LSC. We are collecting data at the beginning of the term about our students' uses of technology. So far 700 students (each taking at least one online course) have submitted the survey. (NOTE: this post was updated 1/23 with the final numbers after the survey was closed with 823 submissions.) Click below to view larger screenshot.


About 81% of them have a digital camera, 62% have an iPod or similar, and 95% have a cell phone with almost 1/3 of them having Internet access on the phone. This same question was asked two years ago when only 66% had a digital camera, and 28% had an iPod.

I'm a little surprised that only 24% have a webcam (up from 15% in '06) and also that video game system ownership is almost exactly the same as it was in '06. How typical are the LSC students? Good question. I guess I'll be looking for some answers.

Another piece of data came from our system office with details about the online learners from all 37 of our schools in MnSCU. They were primarily looking at how many of our online learners are ONLY taking online courses and how many are blending a schedule of both online and on-ground courses.

During the 2006-2007 academic year, LSC had 3,398 students take at least one online course and a total of 8,084 students took at least one credit-bearing college course. Therefore, 42% of our student population took at least one online course. Of those 3,398 online students at LSC, 1,418 took online courses ONLY, or about 42% of the 42%. It is likely, in my estimation, that those 1,418 students wouldn't have had a connection to LSC without online learning.

Our 42% online course participation rate is almost exactly double the rate of online course participation for the colleges and universities in the Twin Cities Metro area.

Finally, one more piece of info from the survey about student technology. Inside our VLE we have a tutorial about academic honesty, the Student Code of Conduct, and the perils of plagiarism and cheating. All students are encouraged to read the tutorial when beginning their online coursework at LSC and some instructors require students to read the materials and report back or answer some quiz questions or something like that. On the survey, I ask the students to indicate whether they have used the tutorial or whether they plan to use it or ignore it. Here are the responses (n=700 at time of writing).

42% - I have already entered and used this academic honesty tutorial.
21% - I was already aware of this and I plan to enter and use the academic honesty tutorial.
11% - I was already aware of this and I do NOT plan to enter and use the academic honesty tutorial.
19% - I was NOT already aware of this, but I now plan to enter and use the academic honesty tutorial.
7% - I was NOT already aware of this and I do NOT plan to enter and use the academic honesty tutorial.

I find it surprising that 82% of the students say that they have already used it or are planning to use it. I realize that this self-attribution is not completely accurate, however I am heartened by the fact that such a high number are willing to at least say that they find the information important enough to look at and that 42% have already done so.

1 comment:

Sneezy said...

You might look at http://www.alt.usg.edu/research/studies/sit.phtml for another survey covering some overlap?