Today’s college students live in a media diverse world. In the past, a student may have gotten most or all of their entertainment and information from one or two primary kinds of media. The media is there, but access to them may vary from person to person. Out of all the options available to them, a current college student may have certain preferences towards a type of media.
The best way to find out what those preferences are is by administering a survey. This survey would ask a series of questions to determine the characteristics, opinions, and behaviors of the respondents. Surveys warrant fast, cheap results, making it the best option for this study. With that information, neutral questions that do not lead the respondent to any particular answer had to be drafted.
The questions of the survey entitled “Comparative Media Usage Patterns” asks respondents to self-assess their media usage, preference in media, and their access to it. It also asks them to identify their race/ethnicity, age, gender, and religious beliefs. To analyze the data to identify any trends between current college students’ answers, the first question is “Are you a current college student?” with “Yes” and “No” being the answer choices. The rest of the questions and their answers are as follows:Order now
Which kind of media do you utilize most frequently daily? – Cellphone/Smartphone, Television, Radio, Video game console, Computer/Tablet, Books
Which kind of media do you prefer? – Same as above
Which of these do you have access to/own? – Same as above
What is your race/ethnicity? – Black (African ancestry), White (European ancestry), Asian, Latino, Native American (including Pacific Islander), Arab
Choose the age range appropriate for your age. – 15-19 years, 20-24 years, 25-29 years, 30-34 years, 35-39 years, 40+ years
What gender do you identify as? – Female, Male, Non-binary
Do you practice an organized religion? – Yes, no
If so, which one do you practice? – Christianity, Islam, Nonreligious (Secular/Agnostic/Atheist), Hinduism, Chinese traditional religion, Buddhism, Other
None of the questions are biased towards any of the answers. They only require respondents to self-assess. The description of the survey reads, “This survey attempts to compare media usage in a sample population of college students. The results are being used as the basis of a research project. For more information, contact Jovan Brown, the student at Mott Community College who designed this survey. Email: [email protected]”
This is short, but answers a few initial questions that should allow participants to feel comfortable answering the survey honestly. Firstly, it answers what the purpose of the survey is. Then it addresses what the results will be used for. Lastly, contact information is provided to answer any further questions.
None of the respondents corresponded with the surveyor via email, so all information collected about each respondent is based solely on their responses. Eight of the respondents were college students, the primary group being studied. The other five were not, making the total number of participants thirteen.
When asked what kind of media they utilize most frequently daily, eleven answered that they use their cellphone/ smartphone, and two answered computer. As it relates to college students, of the six college students who responded to the question, each of them answered that they utilize their cellphones/smartphones most frequently daily.
Cellphones/smartphones are the preferred media for eight of the respondents, two prefer computers, two more prefer books, and one prefers television. The same six college students answered that they prefer their cellphones/smartphones. This could be a sign of a trend because both usage and preference are consistent throughout college students. A larger sample population would be needed to determine that.
The fourth question asked for multiple answers to be selected. The graphic below displays the results:
The majority of my sample population has access to all of the media listed (eight of the respondents), while one has access to all of them but books, and another all of them but a computer. One of the other respondents has access to everything but a video game console, and another does not have access to a television.
One respondent answered that they only have access to a cellphone/ smartphone. Of those responses, five of the college students own or have access to all of the media listed. One student responded that they own or have access to all of the media except books, another student television, and a third student a video game console.
The survey results show that the students in the sample population exist in a media diverse world, with a preference towards using their cellphones/ smartphones. In addition, all of the students who responded have access to at least five of the six media listed. The last five questions of the survey do not relate to comparative media usage patterns, and instead focuses on identifying the demographics represented by the participants. The results of those questions can be found below: