2004 Poll - Executive Summary

Executive Summary

The OSU Poll was conducted between February 15 and April 2, 2004 by the Center for Survey Research (CSR) in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Undergraduate and graduate students were first contacted by e-mail and then directed to an online survey instrument. Those students who failed to complete the survey online were called by interviewers from the CSR facility. Faculty and staff selected into the sample were contacted by telephone first, but offered the opportunity to complete the survey online. This annual omnibus survey provides data that is used by many departments for strategic planning in developing and assessing programs and services.

In 2004, valid survey results were received from 1,215 individuals in the following categories: 305 (random sample of 660; 48% response rate) current undergraduate students; 303 (random sample of 600; 52% response rate) current graduate and professional students, 306 (random sample of 750; 43% response rate) non-emeritus, Columbus campus faculty; and 301 (random sample of 600; 56% response rate) current staff. The percentages reported for each of the four populations reflect only those individuals who responded to the survey. A summary of the results obtained from approximately 70 questions posed by the Offices of the Chief Information Officer (Office of Information Technology [OIT] and Technology Enhanced Learning and Research (TELR) is presented below, with some comparison data from previous years. The question script used to collect the data follows this report and the frequencies and cross-tabulations are presented in an Adobe PDF file in this section.

This analysis of the 2004 poll results was prepared for the Office of the CIO. Poll questions reviewed below fall into these categories: general satisfaction with CIO services; type, number, and connections for personal computing devices; and use of instructional technologies.

The data collected from the OSU Poll are being used as metrics to help benchmark progress on the implementation of the university's technology strategic plan (PlanIT) and to capture performance indicators for the budget guidance process. The findings derived from the survey continue to indicate a general satisfaction with services offered by the Offices of CIO, as well as improvements in name recognition and understanding of services. Trends in personally owned computing devices reveal a growing and almost universal access to personal computers in the residence among faculty, graduate and undergraduate students. Staff trails only slightly behind. Fifty-three percent of the faculty have access to a second home computer (down 9% from the previous year), as do 38% of the graduate/professional students and 20% of the undergraduate students. An overwhelming preference for Windows PC platforms, strongest among undergraduate (95%) and graduate/professional (95%) students, was shown among all categories. Connectivity to university network from home remained unchanged from the past year with more than 87% of the OSU community connecting via several different Internet Service Providers (ISPs), the data do show a continuing shift from dial-up service to high-speed, broadband providers.

Although the 2002 PlanIT Customer Satisfaction Survey noted that students wanted more lab seats and longer hours, 73% of the undergraduates (down from 80% in 2003; 79% in 2002) and 71% of the graduate/professional students (down from 76% reported last year, although within the margin of error; 68% in 2002) reported using the on-campus computer labs fewer than ten hours week.. Use of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) remained the same among faculty (34%), but declined among all other groups in this year's sample. Undergraduates reported use of PDAs less often than faculty, graduate/professional students or staff and the overall use of this technology within the university community decreased by 7% during the past year to 21%. There was also an increase of PDAs with wireless network connection among faculty (27%), but overall a slight decline in the technology among the other three groups.

Overall, faculty use of instructional technologies has slightly widened in the past year, with almost half of the respondents reporting the use of this technology in nearly every class. However, 19% of the faculty indicated never using instructional technologies during the previous autumn quarter (compared to 16% in the 2003 poll). Faculty access to software, equipment and Internet-ready classrooms was the most important consideration or incentive in implementing instructional technology (75%, down from 84% in 2003), whereas, rewards for using instructional technology was least important (20%). Help and support available to use instructional technology remained a lesser concern in 2004 (58%, down from 63% in 2003), while only 40% of the faculty (down 7% from 2003) continued to focus on maintaining intellectual property when developing instructional technologies.

Among students, undergraduates indicated that 40% of their courses incorporated instructional technologies in nearly every classroom, only slightly higher usage than what graduate/professional students reported. Compared to the previous year's polling, undergraduates also continued to express less interest in online classes (23% compared to 32% in the previous year's poll) and graduate students' interest remained unchanged at 23% (down 1% from 2003). While information technology is important to nearly all students, graduates (77%) and undergraduates (79%) alike indicated a preference for face-to-face instruction (compared to 85% for both groups in 2003).

General Satisfaction with CIO Services

Twenty-two percent of the faculty reported being very satisfied with Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) instructional support services, an increase of 8% over the 2003 polling. As a whole, two-thirds of the faculty (63%) were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with these support services. Less than1% of the faculty reported not being unsatisfied with the services (compared to 5% in 2003) and one-third (32%) did not use the services. With the exception of graduate/professional students (50%), approximately two-thirds of the university community expressed satisfaction with the communications produced by the Office of the CIO (e.g. CIO and OIT Web sites to keep informed about technology-related events and services on campus). This was confirmed across three of the four populations, strongly agreeing or agreeing that the communications keep them informed as indicated by the following levels: staff (70%), undergraduate students (60%) and faculty (59%). All four groups almost unanimously concurred (89%) Instructional Technology resources at OSU met their technology needs (93% undergraduates, 90% graduate/professional, 88% staff and 84% faculty).

Information Technology Support Resources and Services
The poll analysis shows that the majority of the university community surveyed in 2004 approved (78%) of IT services on campus (with 84% of the staff satisfied or very satisfied, followed by 78% of the graduate/professional students, undergraduates 76% and faculty 75%). Noteworthy were the few faculty who either strongly agreed or agreed that IT was a factor in coming to OSU (6% which remained unchanged from last year, compared to 4% in 2002) or a factor for remaining at OSU (24% compared to 26% reported in the previous year). The poll results indicate that approximately half of the faculty (58% compared to 60% on 2003), graduate/professional students (51%, down from 67% in 2003) and undergraduates (48%, down from 62%) were satisfied or very satisfied with the helpfulness and responsiveness of IT support. Three-quarters of the staff (74%, up from 66% last year) indicated being satisfied or very satisfied with these same support resources. Since this item first included in the 2003 poll, the changes over the past year may only represent an anomaly. Further, the findings are inconsistent with the higher levels of satisfaction among all four populations with IT services as indicated above.

With regards to central OSU e-mail services, not the individual college or department service, most members of the university community reported being satisfied or very satisfied. Undergraduates reported the highest level of satisfaction (78%) followed by faculty (75%), graduate professional students (71%) and (68%) staff. The findings similarly tracked the four population's responses to general level of satisfaction for IT overall at OSU. Conspicuously notable were the differences between undergraduates who were familiar or very familiar (37% v. 44% in 2003) with the IT resources on campus compared to the 20% graduate/professional student population (down from 30% in 2003), followed by 30% staff (up from 27% reported last year) and faculty (24%, substantially unchanged from 25% in 2003).

The 2004 poll findings continued to reveal two areas of marked interest with regards to security and privacy. Fifty-six percent of the faculty were somewhat concerned (43%) or very concerned (13%) with the security of their electronic data (compared to the 46% indicating somewhat or 13% concern in 2003). While 61% of the faculty (in contrast to 71% in 2003) were somewhat concerned (43% v. 46% in 2003) or very concerned (20% v. 26% in 2003) about the privacy of their communications.

Type, Number, and Connections for Personal Computing Devices

Home Computers
Almost all faculty, graduate/professional, undergraduates and staff have access to personal computers in the home (97%, 97%, 97%, and 90% respectively in 2004 compared to 97%, 95%, 97% and 86% for the same groups in 2003).

Some differences in type and number of computers continue to be found between faculty and students. Of respondents reporting local residence or home computer use, gains were reported for laptop use as the primary computers among 38% of faculty, 44% of graduate/professionals and 30% of undergraduates (compared to 32%, 30%, and 23% respectively from the previous year). Staff home use of laptops remained unchanged at 15% from 2003. The platform for the primary home computer (desktop or laptop) is overwhelmingly Windows PC (80% faculty, 95% graduate/professionals and undergraduates and 92% of staff). Macintosh is reported by 19% of the faculty, down from 21% in 2003) as the primary platform. In the other groups, Macintosh platforms account for significantly smaller percentages of the home computer environment and remained substantially the same as 2003 (4% for both graduate/professionals and undergraduates and 7% for staff).

Secondary Computers
Fifty-three percent of faculty, 38% of graduate/professionals 20% of undergraduates and 32% of the staff report having access to two or more computers at home in 2004 (compared to 62%, 30%, 20%, and 26% respectively in 2003).

Secondary computers were laptops for 52% of faculty, 43% of graduate/professionals, 33% of undergraduates, and 36% of staff. The use of laptops as the second computer at home continued to increase significantly among faculty, but declined in usage among both students and staff. The increase use of wireless connection capability was reported for secondary computers by over one-third of all groups in the 2004 poll.

As with the primary computers, the platform reported for secondary computers overwhelmingly was Windows, with Macintosh being used in numbers similar to its use on the primary computer (faculty 22%; staff 12%, undergraduates 5% and graduate/professionals 5%).

Internet Service Provider for Home Computers
Between 1999 and 2002, the ISP use from home has steadily increased, but showed substantially no change over the past three years. From 1999 to 2002, the percentage of respondents reporting use of an ISP to connect to the university network was 78%, 80%, 82%, 88%, respectively and connectivity has remained at 87% in 2003 and 2004. Use of Roadrunner for connection increased from 19% in 2001 to 27% in 2003 and increased to 33% in 2004. The decline in use of HomeNet (45% in 1999 down to 8% in 2004) and dial-up services continued in 2004 (25%, down from 42% in 2003), eclipsed by high-speed, broadband service (61%, up from 45% in 2003) as the primary connection to the university network. Additionally, there was a significant difference among the four groups not having an ISP, with 13% overall reporting no home connection to OSU (up from the reported 10% in 2003). While only 4% of the undergraduates (a change from 2% in 2003) and 8% of graduate/professional students (no change from 2003) lack a home connection to the university network, faculty (14% up from 12% in 2003) and staff (27% significantly up from 19% reported in 2003) lag substantially behind the student community.

Eighty-four percent of undergraduates report having a home ISP prior to coming to OSU; 46% retained this service (down from 58% in 2002 and 52% reported last year). Fifty-eight percent of graduate students report having a home ISP prior to coming to OSU; 48% retained the service (an increase of 8% since 2002 and 2% over last year).

All populations report a slight increase in connectivity from last year, with the exception of undergraduate students who showed no change. Staff, although the lowest users among the four populations, made the most gains in this area, with a 8% increase in connectivity. Undergraduate students remain well connected (4% did not have an ISP in 2004 compared to 2% in 2003). Graduate students follow closely with 8% not having an ISP in 2004, unchanged from last year. Faculty frequency of use of home ISP increased by 10%, over the two years; however, 14% of the faculty remain without connectivity to the university network. Staff continued to trail all groups in access to an ISP, but improved from 37% reporting no home connectivity in 2001 to 27% in 2004.

Of those who do connect to the university network from home, the hourly usage varied according to population. Undergraduates (34%) and graduate/professional students (32%) lead in hours connected from home, reporting more than 20 hours per week (up from 23% and 19% respectively reported in 2003). On average, twenty-two percent of the faculty reported connectivity over 20 hours per week to a home ISP and staff reporting the least hours (13%, up from 7% reported in 2003).

Computer Lab Use by Students
Computer lab use was reported at fewer than ten hours per week for 73% of the undergraduates and 71% of the graduates. An additional 20% (up from 13% in 2003) of the undergraduates and 16% of graduate students (no change) reported using the labs between ten and 20 hours per week. Labs were used between 21 and 60 hours per week, by 6% undergraduates and 9% of the graduate students. One percent undergraduates and 4% graduate students report more than 60 hours per week use.

Viruses, Virus protection, and Firewalls
In 2004, viruses were experienced by 48% of the faculty (substantially no change from the 49% reported in 2003, but decreasing from 58% in 2002), compared with 58% of the undergraduates (significantly increasing from 37% in 2003), 47% of graduates (compared to 35% in 2003), and 47% of staff (up from 29% reported in 2003). This may be attributed to individuals either not installing or failing to update their anti-virus software. Additionally, this could be indicative of the of a kind of cyberwar being waged worldwide among the creators of the Bagle, MyDoom, Netsky, and Sasser worms that exploit the vulnerability or compromise Windows operating systems. Among the student surveyed, a significant number of viruses were experienced on personal computers (undergraduates 52% and graduate/professional students 26%), while these same populations experience almost no viruses on computers in university-owned facilities (undergraduates 8% and graduate/professional students 3%). This finding is indicative of the virus protection programs and controls placed on computers located in campus computer labs. Faculty and staff (24% for both groups), however, experienced far more viruses on OSU computers compared the reported incidences on home computers (faculty 6%, staff 11%). Almost all members of the university community report having an anti-virus installed on most primary computers at home (faculty 89%; undergraduates 87%, graduate/professional students 84%; and 81% of the staff). Of the community, 40% use personal firewalls, up from 24% reported in 2003.

Use of Handheld and Wireless Devices
A question on the use of handheld devices appeared for the first time in 2001. This year, the overall use of handhelds declined on campus to 21% (compared with16% in 2001 22% in 2002 and 28% last year). Faculty use of handhelds increased, from 24% to 34% over the past four years, with graduate/professional student use rising from 14% to 22% (dropping 2% from last year), and staff use declining from 20% to 17%. Undergraduate use also decreased from 16% to 13% over the past year.

The use of PDAs with wireless network connections decreased by 4% last year to 24% (21% in 2001 and 28% in 2003), with faculty and graduate/professional students in 2004 reporting the highest percentage of wireless PDA connectivity (27%). Both undergraduates and staff indicated far less use of PDAs with wireless network connections compared to those same populations in the previous year's poll (undergraduate use declined from 34% to 19% and staff 30% to 18% in 2004).

Use of Instructional Technologies

The 2004 poll incorporated a number of new or revised questions regarding use of instructional technologies and Informational Technologies (IT) that differed from the previous year by category polled. In an effort to benchmark future trends, responses to new questions included in the 2002 survey that were repeated in 2003, became part of this year's comparative analysis.


Frequency and Type: Over two-thirds of the faculty strongly agreed or agreed that current instructional technology environment supported their teaching or instruction (68% v. 69% in 2003) in contrast to 80% favorable response of the graduate students either strongly agreed or agreed (and only 33% in 2003). Most faculty strongly agreed or agreed (80%, unchanged from 2003) that OSU computing and electronic resources could be accessed from their lab or office compared with 51% that strongly agreed or agreed the same resources accessed from home (48% reported in 2003). Additionally, 67% of the faculty either strongly agreed or agreed that IT helped increase their impact or productivity (compared to 68% in 2003). There was minimal change reported this year among faculty (81% v. 82 in 2003) who strongly agreed or agreed, about using Information Technology to continue their professional development.

Thirty-nine percent of the faculty reported using new instructional technologies (e.g., the World Wide Web, lab simulations, PowerPoint presentations or other distance learning technologies) in nearly every class session, compared to 44% in 2003, 38% in 2002 and 25% in 2001. An additional 26% said they used instructional technologies in several class sessions, compared to 18% in 2003, 23% in 2002 and 21% in 2001. Those who report never using these tools continued to drop, from 33% in 1999 to 8% in 2004. E-mail remains the most widely used instructional technology (23%), followed by online syllabus and other handouts (19%) and Web-based materials (19%) and then computer-projected materials (18%). These have remained the most commonly used technology strategies during the past two years. Further, most faculty (76%, up from 70% in 2003) strongly agreed or agreed that IT was important to their student's success (similar to the 79% reported in 2002). Somewhat predictably and remaining basically unchanged, most faculty also either agreed (45% v. 46% in 2003) or strongly agreed (33% v. 34% the previous year) that majors in their discipline should be required to demonstrate a certain level of knowledge regarding computer applications in their discipline.

Twenty-two percent of the faculty (compared to 14% in 2003) who used the services were very satisfied with the instructional support offered by the Offices of the CIO. Overall, the faculty's level of satisfaction with the instructional support services remained unchanged during the past two years (63% v. 62% in 2003). Five percent were not satisfied (compared to 4% in the previous year). Thirty-two percent had not used the services, unchanged from last year.

Rated by faculty as important or very important considerations in their decision to implement instructional technology in their classes were access to software equipment and network (75% v. 84% in 2003), help and support to use instructional technologies (57% v. 63% in 2003), maintaining ownership of the intellectual property developed within the context of instruction (40% v. 47% in 2003) followed by rewards for using instructional technologies (20% v. 22% in 2003).

WebCT Usage by Faculty: Of the 306 valid faculty responses received, 96 (31% an increase from16% in 2002) reported using WebCT, 210 (69% down from 79% in 2002) reported no use of WebCT, and only 2 (1%) said they did not know if they used it or refused to respond to this question. Of the 210 faculty in the survey who reported not using WebCT, 23% did not know what WebCT is; 16% said it did not fit their course needs; 13% said they had no time for development; 4% had some other means for course management; and 3% indicated they did not know how to get started. Thirty-five percent cited a variety of other reasons including the belief this course management system has a steep learning curve or seems too complex, do not currently teach, no clear application to small classes, not using technologies or these faculty were satisfied with their current approach and did not feel a need for a course management system.

Help needed: Other questions were posed to help understand what assistance faculty need in adding these technologies to their classes. Unchanged from 2003, approximately two-thirds of the faculty were somewhat concerned (40%) or very concerned (22%) with the time it takes to learn and use technology. This finding may be offset with 54% of the faculty who reported having much of what is needed and the 12% having everything needed to learn and use technology, the combined response remaining essentially unchanged from last year.

The top three needs (training, incentives, and assistance) were consistent with responses from previous years. In 2004, faculty were asked how they would like to receive their training. In descending order, faculty cited the following ways most often: hands-on workshops with instructor (69%) and self-paced tutorials (69%), followed by self instruction (64%) and one-on-one mentoring (62%). Last year, cohort workshops was cited most frequently followed by hands-on workshops with instructors and then conference seminars.

Preferences: For the past four years, faculty have been asked if given adequate support, would you be interested in offering a fully online, distance education course? Faculty responses showed a steady decline on their desire to offer distance-learning courses, though this item should be carefully followed to determine if this reflects an ongoing trend. Of the 306 faculty polled in 2004, 34% said they would (down from 38% in 2003 and 44% reported in 2002), 59% responded they would not (unchanged from 2003), and 7% indicated uncertainty or did not know.


Both groups of students overwhelmingly (97%) feel that information technology is either very important (66% compared to 58% in 2003) or somewhat important (31% compared to 37% in the previous year) important in education. Seventy-five percent of the students strongly agreed or agreed that use of information technology makes them marketable to future employers. Additionally, most students strongly agreed or agreed (84% v. 86% in 2003 and 89% in 2002) that use of IT helped make them more likely to succeed in their future academic work.

Of the undergraduate and graduate/professional student samples for 2004, 83% reported using instructional technology in their classes during autumn 2003. Thirty-nine percent of the students reported having instructors incorporate instructional technology in nearly every class (up from the 36% for last year's poll, 33% reported in 2002 and 18% in 2001), in several classes (26%, unchanged from last year, and slightly up from 23% reported in the 2002 poll and 24% in 2001), or a few classes (18%, down from 20% last year and 23% in 2002). Undergraduates reported higher usage than graduate/professionals (91% v. 77% in 2003 compared to 92 v. 71 in 2003), but less of a difference was reported for "a few classes" (21`% v. 15% than the instructional technology used in "several classes (30% v. 23%). As noted in previous two years data analysis, given that, for the most part, graduate and professional students enroll in focused areas of study rather than in university-wide study, the finding speaks to program level adoption of instructional technologies.

The undergraduate and graduate/professional students responses in the 2004 campus poll seem to indicate a declining interest in online classes than graduate/professional students (fully online, 23% for both groups in 2003 compared to 32% v. 24% in 2003 compared to 41% v. 36% in the previous year and partly on-line, 38% v. 33% last year, 44% v. 30% in 2003 contrasted to 55% v. 43% reported in 2002). Over three quarters of the undergraduates (79%) and graduate/professional students (77%) reported being "primarily interested in face-to-face classes" compared to the 85% of both groups who indicated primary interest in face-to-face in 2003.