Doodle Study Reveals Digital Gap Between College Students and Faculty Is a Big Problem For Remote Learning

File:Doodle Logo.svg - Wikimedia CommonsAcademic institutions have traditionally been slow to embrace technology and provide students with access to the latest digital tools. Meanwhile, college and university students have been quick to integrate digital devices, tools and apps into their daily lives. A new study released b yonline scheduling platform Doodle reveals the true extent of the digital divide in education and how it may put college and university students on a path to academic failure in these COVID-19 times.

According to Doodle’s “Time Management in Education” study, the vast majority (65 percent) of college and university students are digital natives, using between six and 15 digital tools and apps on a daily basis.

Following this, 32% of students say they prefer to use an online scheduling tool to book office hours with their professors. That’s a healthy percentage of students with the desire to automate the office hours setup process. But it’s not what’s currently available to them, with 66 percent of professors still clinging to outdated methods and using email or syllabus listings to coordinate their office hours.

These findings prove there is a big gap between the digital-first behaviors of students and the non-digital processes used by professors. As further proof of this, an overwhelming majority (83 percent) of students think that their professors should use technology more in their day-to-day work. While this digital divide has been evident for some time and before COVID-19 came along, it now has the potential to negatively affect students’ academic performance in a remote learning environment.

Renato Profico

Renato Profico, CEO of Doodle, explains, “This is a great opportunity for academic institutions to change their processes and implement new technologies. It’s not about stripping away all existing processes and systems that have been in place for decades. Rather, it’s about making small, impactful changes. It’s also about implementing the right technology solutions to facilitate the kinds of change that will allow academic institutions to deliver the best experience possible to students, faculty members and administrative staff, while helping them to be highly productive, focused and successful in achieving their goals.”

The research study is based on a survey of 1,019 students enrolled in colleges and universities in the United States. Key findings and trends include:

Profico concludes, “Time management is one of the biggest challenges and priorities for students, professors, faculty and administrators alike. This is where technology can be immensely helpful by cutting out administrative tasks like scheduling, as it allows educators to take back control of their time and focus their full attention on delivering an exceptional remote learning experience, supporting and empowering students to excel in their classes, enabling faculty and administrative staff to perform their jobs effectively and ensuring the institution runs smoothly.”

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