Campus CIOs and senior IT officers believe that digital technologies do (or will) have a significant impact on student learning and outcomes, according to the 2015 Campus Computing Survey, sponsored in part by Sonic Foundry.

The Campus Computing Project is the largest continuing study of the role of computing, e-learning and IT in American higher education. It’s widely cited by campus officials and corporate execs as the definitive source for data information and insight about IT planning and policy issues. For this study, it surveyed CIOs and senior IT officers from 417 public and private colleges and universities and found:

  • 94 percent agree or strongly agree that “digital curricular resources make learning more efficient and effective for students.”
  • 87 percent report that “digital curricular resources provide a richer and more personalized learning experience than traditional print materials.”
  • 96 percent agree that “adaptive learning technology has great potential to improve learning outcomes for students.”

However, despite these beliefs, it’s estimated that just 10 percent of the general education courses use educational courseware, according to the report. And just 4 percent of developmental and general education classes use adaptive learning technologies.

Survey participants identified their top IT priorities for the next few years, including:

  1. Helping faculty integrate technology into instruction (80 percent)
  2. Hiring/retaining qualified IT staff (78 percent)
  3. Providing adequate user support (78 percent)
  4. Upgrading/enhancing network and data security (76 percent)
  5. Leveraging IT resources to support student success (74 percent)

“Viewed in aggregate, these data document the continuing challenges that CIOs and senior IT officers confront, and that faculty and students experience,” said Dr. Casey Green, founding director of the Campus Computing Project and author of the Inside Higher Ed blog, Digital Tweed.

But there’s a disparity between the priorities and some of the related survey data. For example, the number one priority is assisting faculty integrate technology into instruction, less than one-fifth of campuses (17 percent) recognize technology efforts as part of the review and promotion portfolio for faculty.

Further, although IT officers are concerned about hiring and retaining qualified IT staff, three-fourths report that the salaries and benefits for tech staff at their institutions are not competitive with off-campus job opportunities, according to the report. One-fifth of campuses cut funding for professional development for IT staff last year, and one-fourth reduced central IT staffing.

Recently we had the pleasure of hosting our friend Casey for a webinar, “Top Campus CIO Priorities for 2016.” You can watch it at www.sonicfoundry.com/resource/top-campus-cio-priorities/.

Download the survey here.

eCampus News also published an article this week about the study and the webinar. Read more about the top five IT priorities here.