What is it about?

Nowadays students use services like Google and Wikipedia most often not only during free time but also for studying. At the same time, traditional information media such as the textbook or the printed hand-out from the teacher still form basic pillars in their learning environment. This article aims to get detailed knowledge about how students use media for study from an international and a long term perspective. A total of 30 surveys in ten countries were, or currently are carried out. The survey uses a fully standardized questionnaire that measures the acceptance of 48 media services, such as Google search, library catalogues, printed books, e-books, printed journals, e-journals, e-learning-services, virtual class, Wikipedia, open educational resources, bibliographic software and more. It also measures adjacent areas, such as the learning behaviour, study success, media usage during free time, usage of IT hardware, education biography and sociodemographic factors. The data showed an intense use of a broad variety of media among UB students. Though, not all media services were accepted equally: while especially some university external services, such as Google web search or Wikipedia were used by almost every student, other media, e.g. virtual learning services were used on a very low level. An exploration of hidden structures of media usage behaviour, using factor and cluster analysis revealed that especially text and text related media (books, eBooks, library catalogues) seem to have a positive effect on the learning success.

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Why is it important?

The dissemination of online information services into higher education has led to constant changes in students’ learning behaviour. Standardized surveys are still missing. This knowledge got from this survey shall be used to develop recommendations for university media strategy, make prognoses for future media trends in higher education and to figure out influences of external dimensions on the media usage.

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This page is a summary of: Which Media Services do Students Use in Fact? Results of an International Empirical Survey, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, August 2014, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.05.139.
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