An ever growing number of students and teachers possess and use laptops, smart and tablets for learning, working or relaxation. For this reason Maastricht University ran a project on Mobile Learning in 2010 in which several pilots focused on how students and teachers can use their mobile devices for teaching and learning. This project included a survey, of which this is an updated version.

From 21 September till 16 October 2011 a questionnaire was sent out to gather information about the diffusion and use of smart phones and laptops among the entire student population of Maastricht University. To entice students to fill out the questionnaire an Apple iPod was raffled under the submitting students.

Faculty EleUM coordinators were also approached to circulate the survey among students within their faculty, specifically via their faculty wide EleUM organizations.

A total of 757 filled out forms were submitted. Via their e-mail address 693 could be verified as being filled out by students of this university. Only these 693 were processed in the report below. These students represent 4.78% of the total UM student population of 14,497 students.

60% of the respondents are Bachelor students, 39% Master students, the remaining are non-regular students. At 51% Dutch students make up the largest share of the respondents, followed closely by German students (29%). Belgium students, with 3%, come in third; the remaining 17% is made up of 41 different nationalities. Students from the School of Business and Economics (SBE) form 25% of the respondents, closely followed by students form the Faculty of Law (FL) (19%), Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) – Medicine (12%). Students from FHML – Health sciences make up 11% of the respondents, University College Maastricht (UCM)10%, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences 9% , Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences 7%, Maastricht Graduate School of Governance 5% and the Department of Knowledge Engineering 2%. 53% of the respondents are women, 47% male.

This introduction is followed by a summary of the survey results, a chapter on most notable shifts from last year and recommendations based upon the survey results. The results of the survey, in tables and graphs, can be found in the last chapter. As an appendix the Questionnaire is included.

Summary of survey results

65% of the respondents own a smart phone, 35% a regular mobile phone. Android is the most popular smart phone platform university wide. Exceptions are UCM, FL and SBE were the iOS is still the most used smart phone platform.

79% of the smart phone owning students have a data subscription for internet access. Almost all, 96%, have WIFI on their smart phone.

Students were asked what actual use they make of their smart phones. Texting and making phone calls are by far the most used features of the smart phone. Some features with potential for educational use are also used by many smart phoning students; Internet access (92%), e-mail (78%), Social Networking (80%) and Chatting (IM) (65%). Even watching video (40%) and Reading/editing documents (37%) are quite popular.

Asked which services they would likely access if provided 93% of the smart phone students indicate they would use university e-mail on their phone. This service ia already possible but it is unknown how many students already use it. Other services that are very likely to be used are Class schedules/Time tables (83%), EleUM Announcements (69%) and EleUM Courses/Organizational content (54%). Less popular but still likely to be used services include University/Events Calendar, Library – Free Computers/Workplaces and a Course Catalog.

95% of the respondents own a laptop. Microsoft Windows is the most used operating system (70%), followed by Apple Mac Os (27%). Firefox is the most used browser, used by 32% of the laptop owning students, followed by Google Chrome (29%), Internet Explorer and Safari (both 18%).

69% of the laptop owning students bring their laptops to the University, 16 % are willing to do so. Of the students that bring their laptop 92% make use of the wireless network. The most popular place to use the laptop is within the library (89%). 50% of those that bring their laptop use it in the tutorial groups.

12% of the respondents own a tablet. Apple iOS is the most used operating system (81%), leaving Google Android is used by 15%. 19% of the Tablet owners have a data subscription.

75% of the tablet owning students bring their tablet to the University, a further 16% are willing to do so.

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The full report can be downloaded here

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