CIOs: 5 campus IT priorities for 2016 and beyond

The Campus Computing Project reveals IT priorities and trends in technology adoption, faculty buy-in, resource allocation and staffing.

Incorporating digital curricular resources for instruction, becoming ADA compliant, and hiring and retaining skilled IT staff are some of the top IT priorities for this year, and next, as listed by CIOs.

These are just some of the findings from the 2015 Campus Computing Survey, conducted by the Campus Computing Project (CCP)—the largest continuing study of the role of computing, e-learning and IT planning and policy in American higher education.

The data, collected last fall by the CCP, includes the perspectives of over 400 CIOs across public, private, and two- and four-year universities, and is used to identify narratives and compare trends across sectors.

Though Casey Green, founding director of The Campus Computing Project, emphasized during a recent CIO Priorities webinar hosted by Sonic Foundry that one percentage or one data point doesn’t describe everything, the overall trends are very consistent.

“I’ve been talking about the aggregate number for all institutions, but when we disaggregate the data by sector and segment, the numbers may shift a little bit—the priorities and the rank orders may be a little different, but the consistency of the messaging is quite clear in terms of what are the top issues [across institutions].”

Clear and Consistent Priorities for 2016 and Beyond

When surveyed, CIO respondents noted that the top IT priorities included focuses on instruction, staffing, user support, advancing the campus completion agenda, and IT security–trends that will continue over the next two-to-three years:

1.Assisting faculty with IT integration for instruction: Though this focus is a top priority for 4 out of 5 institutions, only 17 percent of campuses recognize technology efforts as part of the review and promotion portfolio. Yet, faculty share interest in supporting OER, even if they’re not as “sanguine” as CIOs when it comes to the implementation of digital curricular resources in instruction, notes Green. 87 percent of CIOs surveyed report OER will be an important source of course content in 5 years, though faculty aren’t convinced that that degree, due to concerns about quality, instructor choice, ancillaries and updates. “It’s an issue of faculty autonomy, an issue of cost, and an issue of leadership,” explains Green. 6 percent of courses, reports CCP, now use OER materials.

According to CCP’s data, 94 percent of CIOs surveyed agree/strongly agree that digital curricular resources make learning more efficient and effective for students; 87 percent agree/strongly agree that these resources provide a richer and more personalized learning experience than print materials; and 96 percent agree/strongly agree that adaptive learning technology has great potential to improve learning outcomes for students.

However, current deployment numbers are low: only 10 percent of general education classes use courseware, and just 4 percent of general ed courses use adaptive technologies.

[Next page: More Campus Computing trends]