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Roadmap to Fall 2020: Technology Needs and Requests Survey Report

Background and purpose 

On Monday, June 15, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) distributed a survey to understand technology requests and needs from schools and colleges as a part of the Roadmap to Fall 2020 effort. The survey was designed to gather information to help OIT provide:

  • A common-good approach to solving technology requests and needs when possible and  
  • Standards and best practices to enable schools and colleges to prioritize and solve more individualized requests and needs.  

The survey also aimed to help the Roadmap to Fall 2020 Academic Instruction and Resource Alignment implementation teams establish and provide transparency around the prioritization and funding of requests. 

The four-question survey was sent to 61 chairs, directors, and deans with the intent that they ask these questions of their unit’s instructional personnel and then aggregate the responses by completing one survey. We received 49 complete submissions. 

Prior to its distribution, the survey was previewed with the deans and divisional deans on Friday, June 12th. It was sent on Monday, June 15th and responses were due on Friday, June 19th. This report shares the aggregated results across responding schools and colleges as well as recommendations drawn from these results. In addition to being shared with chairs, directors, and deans, this report will be submitted to the Academic Implementation Team and will be shared in a future Dean’s Council meeting. 


The section below is organized by the survey questions, followed by aggregated responses. 

1. Please select the top three technology requests that are most important for instructors in your department this fall

Additional audiovisual equipment in a centrally-supported classroom 31 23%
Additional audiovisual equipment in a departmentally-controlled classroom 23 17%
Tech support (i.e. a student who facilitates instruction and ensures technology isn’t a barrier) 25 18%
Audiovisual equipment to use at home by instructional personnel 18 13%
Additional hardware for instructional personnel who are using personally-owned computers 17 13%
Additional software that is currently not provided 8 6%
Other (please describe) 7 5%
Computing and data needs for the instructor 4 3%
Additional software at no-cost or heavily subsidized 3 2%

Descriptions of “other” were varied, with no patterns in the responses.  

In the first question, respondents indicated their top three technology requests. The second part of this question asked respondents for specifics regarding their top selections. 

In general, respondents provided unit-specific information for both centrally and departmentally managed spaces (e.g., background on the request, classroom locations, and course codes). They also requested specific audiovisual technology (cameras, microphones)  and hardware (computers, laptops, tablets, document cameras, whiteboards). Software, such as lecture capture technology and Camtasia, were identified as well. The need for technical support in general and as it relates to supporting both in-class and remote students was also predominant in responses.  

2. Please select the most important technology request you perceive the students in your department would benefit from for this fall

Providing access to broadband or internet at the home location of the student 37 39%
Additional loaner hardware for students (computers, cameras, earbuds, etc.) 30 32%
Providing audiovisual equipment for students to use at home 9 9%
Computing and data needs for the students. 8 8%
Additional software titles not currently available to students 8 8%
Other (please describe) 3 3%

As in question one, the description of “other” was varied, with no patterns in the responses. 

In the second question, respondents indicated the most important perceived need from the students in their department. The second part of this question asked respondents for specifics regarding their top selections. 
Overwhelmingly, respondents expressed concern that students do not have access to stable Internet and computers/laptops. Other responses to this question were minor and varied.  

3. We’re gathering information to prioritize requests. Please identify if your technology requests support: (a) courses that fulfill requirements for a large number of students or, (b) courses that support the first-year academic experience

Courses that fulfill requirements for a large number of students 40 57%
Courses that support the first-year academic experience.   30 43%

4. Please use this space to share any additional information about your technology needs. 

Respondents used this question to reassert their unit needs; however, there were no themes not already addressed in the responses to previous questions.