Students, Computers and Study 2004

The following information is a summary of a survey of mainly medical students across Australia, completed in 2004 on behalf of EvolutionCode Pty Ltd.
There were 600+ respondants, of which 92% were medical students.
The research itself was done by a company separate to EvolutionCode Pty Ltd, whose staff consisted of ex ACNeilson personelle.


Access to computers:


Students do have access to computers at home mostly and most have access to the internet.

Over 85% used computers for study everyday.

38% had a desktop computer. 37% had a laptop.

90% had internet access at home. 90% also had access at their educational institution.

2/3 mainly used home internet access.



While the type of computer used was not surveyed in our study, this data is available from other sources. It appears most students (>90%) use Windows computers per University of Melbourne data (see source below).



How they study:


Predominantly the Medical students studied similarly to the other students except that the medical students used visual learning (e.g. diagrams, pictures) (80% vs 49%) and Mnemonics (60% vs 30%) significantly more frequently.

Interestingly only 20% of Medical students studied more than 20 hours/week, whereas 35% of the rest studied for more than 20 hours/week.



Visual Methods

Other commonest methods aside from using Diagrams...

2/3 used Color coding.

30% used Flashcards or variant.



Auditory methods

5% used some sort of recorded medium.

About 50% said things out loud to aid learning.



Methods involving others

70% PBL

55% Testing each other

60% Brainstorming with others.



Revision

>90% Read and re-read

>80% Study alone and test myself

50% Organize information

55% Put notes on their computer

50% Study throughout semester 50% Cram



Computer notes vs Paper notes:

Now 35% use only paper, 13% use only the computer and the rest use both for study and notes.

Interestingly... future plans...

50% Say they will use the computer and Paper for studying/notetaking in future

10% Say they will use only paper in future

40% Say they will only use computer for notes/study in future.

Remainder said they don't take study notes!



The Apple vs Windows question:


With the RecallPlus program, we needed to find out who we should be writing the program for, and specifically should be be writing a version for Apple computers.



During discussions with teachers and lecturers in various states of Australia, it became apparent, that because Apple computers were very prominently historically marketed to educational institutions, they expect many students use them. They conceded mostly that in business Windows machines seemed to be the norm.



Survey of Science students prior to 2003 at Melbourne University revealed that the percentage of students there who used Apples was quite low compared to expectation.



Do you own a computer or use one regularly for work or study?

Rating       Frequency       %

Yes       52       94.5

No       3      5.5



If yes, what kind of computer is it (ie Mac, PC or other)?

Rating      Frequency       %

Mac       4      7.3

PC       48       87.3

Both       1       1.8

Missing      2      3.6



(Courtesy Dr Gregor Kennedy University Melbourne).



This would be consistent with our understanding that despite the possibly superior platform that Apple represents, its sales remain significantly less than 5% of total computer sales worldwide.
This also presumably explains why many educational institutions are now moving away from Apple as their primary computer of choice.



Before producing RecallPlus for this platform, therefore we will need to see a higher need for it.

This decision will need review however, as we understand that since the advent of the ipod, more students are finding Apple to be to their liking.



Want more information ??


If you would like to ask more specific questions to understand better the information outlined above, please email us and we will do our best to trawl the data for you :-)