Slightly more than half of faculty in an EDUCAUSE survey say they prefer teaching in a blended learning environment that includes both face-to-face and online learning components.

In the study, while 51 percent of faculty say a blended learning environment is their preference, combining the proportion of faculty who prefer completely face-to-face teaching environments (43 percent) and those who prefer mostly face-to-face environments (30 percent) shows a heavy preference for face-to-face interactions with students, note authors Joseph Galanek and Dana C. Gierdowski.

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One 9 percent of faculty say they prefer mostly or completely online learning environments.

Most surveyed faculty don’t use online student success tools, but when they do use them, most find them at least moderately helpful. The research examines four online student success tools, and for each of them, between 27 percent and 39 percent of faculty report not using the tools. When faculty did use the tools, roughly one-third rated them as very or extremely useful. Students say they find success tools more useful than faculty.

When it comes to overall technology, faculty satisfaction with their experience has declined slightly, from 71 percent of faculty deeming their experience good or excellent to 64 percent saying the same in 2019.

Fewer faculty say they receive either good or excellent support from their institution when compared to previous years, and fewer say they use help desk services when in need of support.

The research also shows that when faculty receive technology integration training, there is an increased use of mobile technology in the classroom. Of faculty who had technology integration training, only 47 percent banned smartphones in class, compared to 63 percent who banned smartphones without having had technology integration training.

The research yields a number of recommendations to help faculty use information technology more efficiently for their own benefit and their students’ benefit:

1. Promote benefits and strategies for engaging in online teaching through mentoring and the creation of sustainable learning communities. Academic departments need to consider changes to their tenure requisites to reward faculty who choose to engage in course development and online instruction.

5 ways to support faculty technology use and preferences

2. Communicate to faculty and students the benefits of advising technologies. Gain buy-in by understanding faculty needs and advising processes, and integrate these technologies into existing software platforms.

3. Increase awareness among IT support services staff that quality services for faculty contribute to faculty’s overall ratings of their technology experiences. IT support staff are first responders to faculty technology issues and can make a real difference in faculty experiences.

4. Facilitate faculty professional development on integrating technology into teaching.

5. Increase faculty awareness of student needs and accessibility support services, particularly among non-AA institutions.

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura

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