Higher-ed administrators are split on AI and choosing inaction in the face of uncertainty--and report low confidence in selecting edtech.

4 challenges, opportunities in administrators’ edtech decision-making

Administrators are split on AI and choosing inaction in the face of uncertainty--and they report low confidence in selecting effective edtech products 

Key points:

As higher-ed institutions and edtech vendors work to improve the edtech experience for administrators and students, a new survey reveals four key points leaders can use as steppingstones to improve processes.

The College Innovation Network (CIN), a grant-funded initiative led by WGU Labs, has released insights from its first Administrator Edtech SurveyThe survey sheds light on critical challenges administrators face in integrating technology into higher education.

The CIN Administrator Edtech Survey identified four key takeaway areas:

1. Less than half of administrators are confident in their ability to choose effective edtech products for their departments or institutions. Forty-eight percent of institutions conduct technology audits less than once a year and only 47 percent of administrators feel confident in choosing effective edtech products for their institutions.

2. Fifty-eight percent of administrators prioritize edtech that integrates with their Learning Management System (LMS). Beyond integration with existing systems, administrators want products that are backed by evidence, which is noteworthy given less than 10 percent of edtech products currently on the market are backed by rigorous evidence of their efficacy.

3. Seventy-eight percent agreed that instructors will spend more time delivering course content online in the future, but they are split on whether a tech-centric future will be more personalized (54 percent) or standardized (52 percent) for students.

4. Survey responses suggest a general uncertainty or ambivalence around AI, with respondents split on their attitudes on AI and most of their institutions not having yet established clear policies on the use of AI tools (67 percent do not have policies around student use; 75 percent with no instruction policy).

“Higher education is grappling with multiple critical disruptions, and administrators sit at the center of these shifting demands, responsible for making campus-wide decisions that have an outsized impact on students and faculty,” said Omid Fotuhi, Director of Learning and Innovation at WGU Labs. “While administrators are excited about offering new edtech tools, they are lacking knowledge and data to help them make informed decisions that benefit students and faculty. This survey underscores the need for more resources to inform decision-making, which will help foster the broader adoption of edtech.”

With responses from 214 administrators representing diverse colleges and universities across the U.S., the survey delves into decision-making processes, attitudes toward educational technology, and approaches to emerging AI technologies. The overarching goal of the survey is to identify challenges in administrators’ experiences and uncover opportunities to streamline the integration of technology into instruction moving forward.

This press release originally appeared online.

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Laura Ascione

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