Student Computing Survey 2012-2013: Undergraduate Results

Below are selected results from the annual Student Computing Survey for undergraduate students, conducted during the months of April and May 2013. Click here for Graduate Survey Results or visit the list of past survey results.


This year, 1259 undergraduate students responded to the survey, with more women responding (59%) than men (41%). The breakdown by class year was as follows:

  • 36% first-year students
  • 26% sophomores
  • 18% juniors
  • 20% seniors
Respondents by Year 

Pie chart showing percentage of respondents by class year 

About 50% reported majoring in Humanities and Sciences, 35% in Engineering, 3% in Earth Sciences, less than 1% in Education, and the remainder have other majors or have not declared a major.

About Your Personal Computing

We asked students about their device ownership and operating system most often used. Of those respondents who own electronic devices:

  • 99% had a laptop
  • 82% had a smartphone
  • 55% had a personal printer
  • 40% had a portable hard drive
  • 32% had a standalone MP3 player
  • 25% had their own scanner
  • 25% had a tablet computer
Device Ownership

Percentages of device ownership


The computer operating systems used on students' primary laptops or netbooks were:

  • 67% Mac OS
  • 31% Windows
  • 2% Unix or Linux
Computer Operating Systems

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About Your Residential Computing Consultants (RCC)

Resident Computer Consultants (RCCs) are students who live in each residence and serve as house staff members. They are local network managers who support residential network connections, educators who run residential programs related to computing, consultants who help residents with computer problems, and technicians who take care of the residence technology spaces. RCCs are managed by the RCC Manager (and the Resident Fellows where applicable) and receive support and training from the Academic Computing Services central staff. RCCs are the first line of technical support for residential students and are an integral part of life in the residences. For more information about RCCs, see

Sixty-three percent of undergraduates living on campus indicated they had asked their RCC for computer-related help or advice. Of students who had asked for help, the following were the top four request categories:

  • 66% wireless network
  • 27% cluster printer
  • 25% personal printer
  • 15% email
Top Four RCC Request Categories

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Residence Learning Spaces

Academic Computing Services supports a technology-enhanced study space in every residence, offering roughly 360 public computers in more than 80 locations.

Eighty-three percent of undergraduate students said it was 'Important' or 'Very important' to have study space within their house equipped with technology such as computers, printers, and shared displays for laptops.

Eighty-six percent of students said they had used a residence learning space (usually called a 'computer cluster') in the current academic year. Of those students, 89% reported that their cluster 'Almost always' or 'Usually' meets their needs.

The top five most significant reasons for using the residence learning spaces were:

  • 67% printing
  • 67% availability of specialized software not found on own laptop
  • 63% study space away from room
  • 60% scanning
  • 55% availability of group/partner work space
Top Five Reasons for Using Residence Learning Spaces
Top five reasons respondents use residence learning spaces

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Public Computing Spaces

Academic Computing Services provides central public technology spaces, general-purpose and specialized computers, equipment for checkout (e.g., laptops, video cameras, projectors) and study space in Meyer Library, Green Library, other branch libraries, Tresidder, Old Union, and the community centers. In-person technical support and customer service is provided at the Meyer Tech Desk. Sixty-nine percent of undergraduate students who responded to the survey indicated they had used one of these spaces during the current academic year.

Undergraduate students were asked how often they used specific public computing or study locations. Percentages of respondents who said they used the following spaces regularly (at least once a month) or often (more than once a week), were, in order:

  1. Green Library (other study or computer spaces) (43%)
  2. Old Union meeting rooms (39%)
  3. Meyer Lobby (1st floor) (38%)
  4. Meyer 2nd floor study/computing space (29%)
  5. Any library other than Meyer or Green (24%)

The most significant reasons students used public computing or study spaces supported by ACS are, in order:

  1. Study space away from residence (72%)
  2. Availability of group/partner work space (66%)
  3. Color printing (48%)
  4. Availability of software not on own computer (45%)
  5. Black and white printing (40%)

The second floor of Meyer houses the Multimedia Studio. Students who used the Multimedia Studio did so for a variety of purposes. The top six reported uses were:

  • 31% video editing
  • 20% image scanning
  • 18% audio editing
  • 12% still image editing
  • 11% text document scanning
  • 5% video duplication/conversion
Top Five Uses of the Multimedia Studio

Top five uses of Multimedia Studio



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Computing in Your Courses

Undergraduate students were asked about their use of course management systems. The majority used CourseWork.

  • 98% CourseWork
  • 70% Piazza
  • 20% CourseWare
  • 12% Coursera
  • 11% Class2Go
Course Management System Use

Course management system use

Students were asked to rate how satisfied they were with their use of CourseWork. Sixty-four percent of students rated their satisfaction as 'Very satisfied' (21%) or 'Somewhat satisfied' (43%).

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This concludes the selected results from the 2012-2013 Student Computing Survey for undergraduates. Click here for Graduate Survey Results or visit theSurvey Result Archives.