Digital vs. Print Preferences of College Students


The Student Monitor survey for Fall 2014 is the result of a detailed questionnaire completed by a representative sample of 1200 students. It includes all sorts of data, largely related to the students’ purchases of digital devices and uses of digital technologies and media.

I find the following chart of college students’ print or digital preferences for completing various academic tasks to be somewhat surprising:

Student Monitor Survey 108

Although very few students seem to own desktop pc’s any more, the movement away from laptops to tablets seems to be occurring much more slowly among college students than among the population as a whole—though I suspect that most people would expect the opposite to be true.

More surprisingly, print materials are still the choice of a plurality, though not a majority, of students for all tasks except keeping a calendar and conducting class-related research. Most notably, there is still an almost a two-to-one preference…

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