Strategic technologies adoption trends

Publication Year: 
Category of Information: 
Sample size: 
10,256 EDUCAUSE members
Sample description: 

The survey was distributed to 10,256 EDUCAUSE members as part of the Top 10 IT Issues survey



- Experimental (deployed institution-wide in 20% or fewer institutions)
- Emergent (deployed institution-wide in 21–40% of institutions)
- Growing (deployed institution-wide in 41–60% of institutions)
- Mainstream (deployed institution-wide in 61–80% of institutions)
- Universal (deployed institution-wide in 81–100% of institutions)

Survey question: 

1. Active learning classrooms (ALCs) “typically feature round or curved tables with moveable seating that allow students to face each other and thus support small-group work. The tables are often paired with their own whiteboards for brainstorming and diagramming. Many tables are linked to large LCD displays so students can project their computer
screens to the group, and the instructor can choose a table’s work to share with the entire class. Wireless Internet plays an important role in retrieving resources and linking to content management systems, and depending upon the size of the room, table microphones can be critical so that every student’s voice can be broadcast across the room.”5
In practice, considerable variation in the levels and combinations of low and high technology persist due to costs, infrastructure, and goals. Regardless, the principles governing room layout/design, furniture, technology, and other features are that of active learning pedagogical approaches.
2. Technologies for improving analysis of student data enable immediate access to and rapid analysis of large, complex data sets, making it possible to discern trends in students’ engagement with college, in the types of difficulties students are encountering, and in their likely success in attaining credentials across the student body. These technologies allow advisors, student services staff, and administrators to examine broader patterns across departments, divisions, schools, demographics, financial
aid status, or other categorizations of interest and adjust strategies accordingly.
3. Incorporation of mobile devices in teaching and learning means adopting these devices as tools to enhance the learning experience for students and the teaching experience for faculty. This could mean an extension of the classroom to the anytime, anywhere learning environment. It could also mean leveraging common mobile device features and applications to increase productivity, capture and archive course material, share information, and support the shift from students as consumers to students as creators. The unrealized value lies in using mobile technology to facilitate creativity, engagement, and interaction—all demonstrated to have a positive impact on student outcomes.
3. Uses of APIs (application programming interfaces). APIs define how a system interacts with other systems and how data can be shared and manipulated across programs. A good set of APIs acts like building blocks that allow developers to more easily use data and technologies from various programs. APIs are used in many ways in higher education—for example, to pull data from the student information system into the learning management system, to integrate cloud-based with on-premises services, as an approach to security, and to access webbased resources.
5. Mobile apps for enterprise applications refers to web-based applications that run on mobile devices such as smartphones and are designed to integrate with all aspects of an organization’s businesses and processes. These apps make it possible to access enterprise-wide resources (such as course catalogs, student information systems, and human resource systems) and to conduct enterprise transactions from mobile devices.
6. Blended data centers (on-premises and cloud-based) are increasingly important because as institutions move services to the cloud, they usually move into a blended environment where they continue to maintain an on-premises data center while also managing a set of services that may run the gamut from software as a service to
infrastructure as a service. While cloud-based solutions offer advantages related to agility, performance, and scalability, the blended environment requires a shift in strategy to one that encompasses both environments. 
7. Technologies for planning and mapping students’ educational plans allow students and advisors to work together to build customized pathways through the curriculum that are appropriate for each individual’s interests and goals. In addition, these technologies offer a reliable way to chart and track progress toward a degree or credential
completion. They also support institutions in the development of schedules that match demand.
8. Database encryption is the process of encrypting data within a database so that the data are rendered unreadable without the decryption key. Often recommended as a way to protect sensitive data, database encryption can be costly and requires more storage space than a regular unencrypted database.
9. Technologies for triggering interventions based on student behavior or faculty input gather data points from a variety of institutional and academic systems, sending communications to students, faculty, advisors, and administrators in support of early intervention. These technologies also provide a holistic view of a student’s progress, enabling targeted assistance in support of individual needs
10. Mobile device management is the approach an institution takes for the policies, support, and procedures related to the variety of cell phones, tablets, and laptops on campus. Mobile device management involves a balance between security of institutional data and user convenience and productivity. Some institutions use third-party products and services to manage mobile devices. Considerations include data security issues, support for personally owned equipment, and application management.
10. Technologies for offering self-service resources that reduce advisor workloads include registration online, scheduling, and academic planning available directly to students, enabling those with professional responsibilities for guiding students to reserve in-person appointments for higher-level interactions and counseling on individual issues.