Top Study Tools and Methods Your Students are Using

With finals time right around the corner for many college students, it becomes even more important to learn what study tools and methods work best for each student. Cengage Learning recently surveyed over 3,000 college students to see what types of study tools and methods they use and what works best for them. Find out what strategies college students around the country find most beneficial.

College student study methods

We asked students, “What percentage do you use your phone, laptop, tablet, print books/notes to study?” We discovered that, on average, college students study with their phone or tablet15% of the time, with print books or notes36% of the time, and with a computer or laptop 49% of the time.

In another question, we asked students,”On average, how do you use the time in your day?” We learned that, on average, college students spend just under 4 hours studying and doing homework per day. This may suggest that many students use a variety of tools to complete their studies.

One student shared that they use their computer or laptop to study because “All my classes are online.” Another said, “I use [my computer] to take a break from writing; definitions and flashcards or matching games are helpful.”

If students in your classroom find it challenging to stay focused on one method of studying this finals season, suggest that they change up their methods throughout the week. For example, when eyes tire of print text, move to digital tools such as online quizzes, games, and flash cards. Digesting information in multiple formats will promote deeper understanding of the material.

Pros and cons of digital studying

One honest student revealed, “I try to avoid using my laptop for notes and studying because I get distracted for long periods of time if I drift off and use the internet.” This comes as an important reminder that, while digital learning tools offer an endless list of benefits, some students may still require reminders to use the tools constructively.

Visit our blog post, “Benefits of Using Technology in the Classroom” for information on the advantages of implementing digital technologies in the classroom.

Have you observed what tools your students use most often for studying? What balance of digital and print study methods do you recommend?

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