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How Are Students Actually Using IT? An Ethnographic Study

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


This ECAR research bulletin describes an anthropological ethnographic analysis of student practices relating to the use of information technology on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) campus. Using EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) studies as benchmarks, this imaginative research examines learning management system usage and satisfaction, student ownership and use of technology devices (especially mobile devices), and where on campus students choose to compute. Field data for the project were collected from four sources: notes on participant observation of student practices, unstructured interviews with a selection of technology users, an online survey for enrolled students, and the shadowing of consenting students while they were on campus.

Citation for this Work: Cooley, Christopher J., Thomas Malaby, and David Stack. “How Are Students Actually Using IT? An Ethnographic Study.” (Research Bulletin 17, 2011). Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research, 2011, available from

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