Even as students are growing more disappointed with the state of technology in their classrooms, digital textbooks are proving to be an outlier as a trusted learning tool, according to a recent survey of 500 college students conducted by Wakefield Research for VitalSource. Even as nearly one-in-five are not happy with the technology in their classrooms and almost three-quarters of students do not believe an increase in available classroom technology would improve their grades, they overwhelmingly believe they would have more success with interactive textbooks.
“Today’s college students have spent their entire K-12 academic careers immersed in interactive learning environments—both in the real world and digitally,” said Pep Carerra, VitalSource’s Chief Operating Officer. “We can’t expect to drop them into college classes and strip that level of interactivity and engagement away and expect them to be successful.”
Digital textbooks are bucking the disillusionment trend current classroom technology is facing: 87 percent of students feel they would get better grades with interactive textbooks, rather than traditional course materials. 92 percent have had professors recommend digital versions of texts and course materials in their classes.
A deeper look into the data, however, reveals that simply offering digital textbooks does not fit the bill for today’s students. To meet expectations, digital text needs to be accessible and have sophisticated features that allow students to get more out of their content. A full 94 percent of students identified features that would enhance their learning experience provided by digital textbooks, including:
- The ability to take quizzes on information learned during studying (63 percent)
- The ability to keep track of information learned during study sessions (57 percent)
- The ability to take notes and highlight content in a digital textbook (55 percent)
- The ability to set study goals and track their progress (52 percent)
- Students cite convenience of use, affordability and interactivity as the primary benefits of a digital textbook over physical textbooks.
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