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participation. Married students comprised 4% of the sample and part-time
students were also only 4% of the sample. The average age of
respondents was just below 21 years with a maximum age of 49 and a
minimum age of 17 in the sample. Males account for 55% of students
surveyed. It is worth noting that the registrar’s office lists the gender
composition of the student body enrolled in Fall 2006 as 53% male. The
close resemblance of the sample statistic to the population parameter
bolsters our confidence in the results.
Computer Use
When asked if students have a computer at home, 99% said yes,
while only 1% of students surveyed said no.
Respondents were asked to divide the time spent on computers
into three categories: recreational use, coursework, and job-related use.
Results indicate that use of computers for entertainment made up for 49%
of overall use followed closely by use for coursework (45%) and job related
use (6%). The low incidence of job related use can be explained by the
statistic that 37% of the students in the sample did not have any job.
Internet Connectivity
Respondents were asked about the type of Internet connection
they have at home. The responses indicated that a vast majority of
students have high-speed internet available at home. Cable Internet
subscribers constituted 43% of the sample whereas 46% had DSL. Only 1%
still relied on dial-up connections, and 3% used satellite based Internet.
The rest did not know what type of Internet connection they had.
Furthermore, 70% of the sample also had wireless connectivity with their
Internet.
Helpful Resources
To determine which resources are most helpful to students for
completing coursework, students were asked to list their top three most
used resources. An open ended format was preferred in order not to
constrain students’ thoughts about what they find helpful for achieving
academic excellence. Obviously, quantifying verbatim responses poses a
challenge but we attempted to group similar responses into unique
categories and determined that of all resources mentioned, computers
and computer labs are considered most helpful in getting academic work
done. The Internet was considered the second most important resource,
and books were considered the third most important resource. Other
popular answers include teachers and search engines.
Continuing with the objective of finding out how students acquire
information, survey questions were designed to measure students’
awareness and usage of various electronic resources including both
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source: lib.montana.edu
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