2005 Poll - Executive Summary

Executive Summary

In April and May, the Statistical Consulting Service (SCS) in the Department of Statistics conducted the OSU Poll, which contained a subset of questions commissioned by the Office of the Chief Information Officer. This annual omnibus survey provides data that is used by many departments for strategic planning in developing and assessing programs and services.

SCS programmed the questionnaires as a web instrument and randomly sampled for participation in the project through e-mail requests. The target number was 300 completed questionnaires for each population (faculty/ graduate/professional students, undergraduates and staff), but response rates varied among the four groups. The SCS agreed to contact up to 1,000 individuals in each group in an effort to reach the target number of completions. The e-mail included the URL for the appropriate questionnaire and an embedded, unique access code for each individual. Faculty members were also sent a notification letter through campus mail, because their participation in surveys tends to be lower than other groups.

In 2005, valid survey results were received from 1,292 individuals in the following categories: 271 current undergraduate students (8.5% response rate from a random sample of 3,199); 391 (15.0% response rate from a random sample of 2,198) current graduate and professional students; 317 (19.1% response rate from a random sample of 1,659) non-emeritus, Columbus campus faculty; and 387 (21.5% response rate from a random sample of 1,797) current staff. The margin of sampling error for the entire campus population is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points. The margin of sampling error for undergraduate students is plus or minus 5.9 percentage points, for graduate students it is plus or minus 5.4 percentage points, for faculty it is plus or minus 5.5 percentage points, and for staff the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 5.0 per percentage points. There may be additional sources of error such as question wording or order. The percentages reported for each of the four populations reflect only those individuals who responded to the survey.

Response rates for this web survey were lower than those of prior telephone surveys. There may be several reasons for this. Web surveys lack the human interaction of telephone surveys that can help increase participation. E-mailed requests to participate in a web survey may be filtered out or blocked by anti-spam programs or may be ignored as spam by recipients. Some individuals, especially undergraduate students, may not regularly check their OSU e-mail accounts and so may not open a request to participate in the survey. In addition, the campus population is heavily surveyed; increased requests to participate in surveys may be ignored.

The CIO Office prepared this analysis of its 2005 poll results. 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.

We are using the data collected from the OSU Technology Poll 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; however, campus awareness of CIO communications and initiatives remains an issue. Trends in personally owned multiple 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. Sixty-one percent of the faculty have access to a second home computer (up 8% from the previous year), as do 47% of the graduate/professional students up 9%), 38% of the undergraduate students (up 18%), and 44% of the staff (an increase of 12% from the previous year). Respondents in all groups showed an overwhelming preference for Windows PC platforms, strongest among undergraduate (96%), staff (93%), graduate/professional (92%) students, and then faculty (77%). Connectivity to the university network from home remained basically unchanged from the past year with more than 88% of the OSU community connecting via several different Internet Service Providers (ISPs); the data showed 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"”unchanged from last year (down from 80% in 2003) and 81% of the graduate/professional students (up from 71% reported last year) reported using the on-campus computer labs fewer than ten hours week. In general, use of university computer labs above 10 hours per week remained unchanged for both populations from 2005. Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) were used more among faculty (40% compared to 34% in 2004) than other three groups; but all indicated increased use in 2005. Undergraduates utilized PDAs the least (17%) when compared to the other groups: staff (28%) and graduate/professional students (27%) respectively. However, the overall use of this type of technology within the university community increased by 7% during the past year to 28%. There was also a 5% increase of PDAs with wireless network connection to 29% among all four groups, with the widest use among undergraduates (35%, compared to 19% in 2004) followed by graduate professional students (32%, compared to 27% the previous year).

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, 12% of the faculty indicated never using instructional technologies during the previous autumn quarter (compared to 8% in the 2004 poll). Faculty ease of use of technology without having to seek technical support (84%) was the most important consideration or incentive in implementing instructional technology. Access to software, equipment and Internet-ready classrooms was almost as important consideration for implementing instructional technology (81%, up from 71% in 2004). Help and support available to use instructional technology remained a lesser concern in 2005 (54%, down from 58% in 2004 and 63% in 2003), while only 36% of the faculty (down 4% from 2004) continued to focus on maintaining intellectual property when developing instructional technologies. ). Rewards for using instructional technology continued to remain least important (29%, up somewhat from 20% in 2004).

Among students, undergraduates indicated that 40% of their courses incorporated instructional technologies in nearly every classroom, a somewhat higher usage than what graduate/professional students reported (33%). Compared to the previous year's polling, undergraduates expressed more interest in online classes (36%, up from 23% in the previous year's poll) and graduate students' interest remained unchanged at 23%. Although the use information technology in the delivery courses remains an important consideration for both student populations, 58% of the undergraduates (down from 79% in 2004) and 67% of the graduate/professional students (down from 77% in 2004) prefer face-to-face instruction as their primary mode for instructional delivery.

General Satisfaction with CIO Services

Nineteen percent of the faculty reported being very satisfied with Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) instructional support services, slightly down from the 22% reported in the 2004 polling. Over half of the faculty (53%) were very satisfied to somewhat satisfied with these support services. Only 13% of the faculty reported being unsatisfied with the services (compared to 6% in 2004) and 33% did not use the services.

Half the faculty (49%) and staff (50%) 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; however less than half the students responded similarly: graduate/professional students (37%) and undergraduates (39%). Overall, two-thirds or more of the respondents felt that Instructional Technology resources at OSU met their technology needs (76% undergraduates, 70% graduate/professional, 62% staff and 61% faculty). These responses are somewhat lower than the previous year; however, the additional option of No Response was added in 2005, which received an overall response rate of 21%.

Information Technology Support Resources and Services

The majority of the university community surveyed in 2005 approved (79%) of IT services on campus. The question was revised in 2005 changing the option from satisfied to very satisfied to somewhat satisfied to very satisfied, (with 84% of the undergraduates somewhat satisfied to very satisfied, followed by 83% of the graduate/professional students, and faculty and staff both at 76%). Noteworthy were the few faculty who either strongly agreed or agreed that IT was a factor in coming to OSU (6%, which remained unchanged for the past three years, compared to 4% in 2002) or a factor for remaining at OSU (19% compared to 24% reported in the previous year). The poll results indicate that approximately half of the faculty (58%, unchanged from 2004) and graduate/professional students (57%, up from 51% in 2004), only 39% of the undergraduates (down from 47%) were somewhat satisfied (revised from "satisfied" in 2004) or very satisfied with the helpfulness and responsiveness of IT support. Almost three-quarters of the staff (72%, basically unchanged from 74% last year) indicated being satisfied or very satisfied with these same support resources. Since this item first included in the 2003 poll, faculty responses have remained somewhat constant; however, among the other three groups who were very satisfied with the helpfulness and responsiveness of IT support increased over the same period.

With regard to central OSU e-mail services, not the individual college or department service, almost three-quarters of the university community reported being somewhat satisfied to very satisfied. Thirty-seven percent of the undergraduates reported being very satisfied with central e-mail services followed by faculty and graduate professional students (72%) and (71%) staff. The findings tracked similarly for the four population's responses to general overall level of satisfaction for IT at OSU. Conspicuously notable were the differences between undergraduates who were familiar or very familiar (51% v. 37% in 2004) with the IT resources on campus compared to the 24% graduate/professional student population (up somewhat from 20% in 2004), followed by 30% staff (unchanged from last year) and faculty (34%, up from 24% reported in 2004).

The 2005 poll findings continued to reveal two areas of marked interest with regard to security and privacy. Overall, there was greater concern among faculty about the security of their electronic data. Almost three-quarters of the faculty were either somewhat concerned (45%) or very concerned (29%) regarding data security (compared to the 43% indicating being somewhat or 13% very concerned in 2004). Additionally, three-fourths of the faculty expressed various levels of concern about the privacy of their communications, with 35% being very concerned (in contrast to 20% in 2004) and 40% somewhat concerned (basically unchanged from 41% in 2004).

Type, Number, and Connections for Personal Computing Devices

Home Computers
As noted in past several years, home computing has become ubiquitous. Almost all faculty, graduate/professional, undergraduates and staff have access to personal computers in the home (99%, 98%, 98%, and 93% respectively in 2005 compared to 97%, 97%, 97% and 90% for the same groups in 2004) .

Some differences in type and number of computers continue to be found between faculty and students. Among the respondents reporting local residence or home computer use, gains were reported for laptop use as the primary computers among 53% of graduate/professionals, 35% of undergraduates and 24% for the staff (compared to 44%, 30%, and 15% respectively from the previous year). Faculty home use of laptops remained basically unchanged at 36% from 2005, down slightly from 38% in 2004. The platform for the primary home computer (desktop or laptop) is overwhelmingly Windows PC (77% faculty, 92% graduate/professionals, 96% undergraduates and 93% for staff). Macintosh is reported by 23% of the faculty, up from 19% in 2004) as the primary platform. In the other groups, Macintosh platforms account for significantly smaller percentages of the home computer environment and remained unchanged from the previous year for both undergraduates (4%) and staff (7%). While graduate/professional students showed a slight increase of 4% use of Macintosh to 8%.

Secondary Computers
Having a secondary computer at home is commonplace among many members of university community. Sixty-one percent of faculty, 47% of graduate/professionals, 38% of undergraduates and 44% of the staff report having access to two or more computers at home in 2005 (compared to 53%, 47%, 38%, and 44% respectively in 2004).

Secondary computers were laptops for 51% of faculty, 44% of graduate/professionals, 43% of undergraduates, and 39% of staff. The use of laptops as the second computer at home continued to increase significantly among undergraduates, but remained unchanged among the other groups. The increased use of wireless connection capability was reported for secondary computers by over half the faculty and undergraduates and over 40% of the graduate/professional students and staff in the 2005 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 one's primary computer (faculty 19%; staff 13%, graduate/professionals 7% and undergraduates 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 88% since 2002. Use of Roadrunner for connection increased from 19% in 2001 to 33% last year and increased to 38% in 2005. HomeNet (45% in 1999 down to 6% this year) and dial-up services (down to 22% in 2005 from 25% last year and 42% in 2003) both declined in use, eclipsed by high-speed, broadband service (52%, 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 12% overall reporting no home connection to OSU. While only 6% of the undergraduates (a change from 4% in 2004) and 11% of graduate/professional students (up from 8% in 2004) lack a home connection to the university network, faculty (9% down from 14% in 2004) and staff (20% down from 27% reported in 2004) lag somewhat behind the other groups in the university community.

Ninety-three percent of undergraduates report having a home ISP prior to coming to OSU (up from 84% reported in 2004); 67% retained this service (down from 46% reported last year). Seventy-five percent of graduate students report having a home ISP prior to coming to OSU (up from 58% reported in 2004); 67% retained the service (an increase of 19% 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 7% increase in connectivity. Undergraduate students remain well connected (6% did not have an ISP in 2005 compared to 4% in 2004). Graduate students follow closely with 11% not having an ISP in 2005, a slight decline from 8%% last year. Faculty frequency of use of home ISP increased by 6% over the past year; however, 9% of the faculty remained without connectivity to the university network. Staff continued to trail all groups in access to an ISP, but significantly improved from 37% reporting no home connectivity in 2001 to 20% in 2005.

Of those who do connect to the university network from home, the hourly usage varied according to population. Undergraduates (51%) and graduate/professional students (40%) lead in hours connected from home, reporting more than 20 hours per week (up from 34% and 31% respectively reported in 2004). On average, 34% of the faculty reported connectivity over 20 hours per week to a home ISP and staff reporting the least hours (19%, although up from 13% reported in 2004).

Computer Lab Use by Students
Computer lab use was reported at fewer than ten hours per week for 73% of the undergraduates and 81% of the graduates. An additional 20% (unchanged from 2004) of the undergraduates and 12% of graduate students (down from 16% from last year) reported using the labs between ten and 20 hours per week. Labs were used between 21 and 60 hours per week, by 4% undergraduates and 6% of the graduate students. Less than 1% percent undergraduates and graduate/professional students reported computer lab use above 60 hours per week use.

Viruses, Virus protection, and Firewalls
In 2004, viruses were experienced by 33% of the faculty (down from the 48% reported in 2004 and substantially lower than 58% in 2002), compared with 60% of the undergraduates (58% reported in 2004), 45% of graduates (compared to 47% in 2004), and 40% of staff (down from 47% reported in 2004). This may be attributed to individuals either still not installing or failing to update their anti-virus software. Among the students surveyed, a significant number of viruses were experienced on personal computers (undergraduates 54% and graduate/professional students 54%, compared to only 26% in 2004), although these same populations experienced almost no viruses on computers in university-owned facilities (undergraduates 2% and graduate/professional students 7%). This finding likely reflects the virus protection programs and controls placed on computers located in campus computer labs. Eleven percent of the faculty and 15% of the staff (down from 24% for both groups); however, both groups each experienced about the same percentage viruses on OSU computers compared the reported incidences on home computers (faculty 13%, staff 15%). Almost all survey respondents had an anti-virus installed on most primary computers at home (graduate/professional students 92%; staff 91%, faculty 90% and 90% of the undergraduates). Collectively, within the university community, 42% use personal firewalls, basically unchanged from 40% reported in 2004.

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 increased on campus to 28% (compared with16% in 2001). Faculty use of handhelds increased, from 24% to 40% over the past five years, with graduate/professional student use rising from 14% to 27% during that same period, and staff use increasing by 8% during the past three years to 28%. Undergraduate use also increased somewhat to 17% from 14% reported in 2001.

The use of PDAs with wireless network connections increased by 5% during the past year to 29% (up from 21% reported in 2001), with undergraduates in 2005 reporting the highest percentage of wireless PDA connectivity (35%), followed by graduate/professional students (32%), faculty (28%) and then staff (26%). With the exception of faculty, the use of PDAs with wireless network connections increased for those same populations from last year's poll (undergraduate use rose from 19% to 35%, graduate/professional students increased by 5% to 32% and staff 18% to 26% in 2005).

Use of Instructional Technologies

The 2005 poll incorporated several new or revised questions regarding use of instructional technologies and Informational Technologies (IT) that differed from the previous year for the groups polled. In an effort to benchmark future trends, responses to new questions included in the 2002 survey that were also repeated in 2003, became part of this year's comparative analysis.


Frequency and Type: About two-thirds of the faculty strongly agreed or agreed that current instructional technology environment supported their teaching or instruction (64% v. 68% in 2004) compared to a 70% favorable response of graduate students either strongly agreed or agreed (down from 80% reported in 2004). Faculty generally strongly agreed or agreed (73%, down somewhat from 80% in 2004) that OSU computing and electronic resources could be accessed from their lab or office compared with 57% that strongly agreed or agreed the same resources accessed from home (51% reported in 2004). Additionally, 57% of the faculty either strongly agreed or agreed that IT helped increase their impact or productivity (compared to 67% in 2004 and 68% in 2003). Fewer faculty either strongly agreed or agreed that being able to use Information Technology contributes to their professional development (67% compared to 81% in 2004 and 82% reported in 2003).

Fifty 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 39 % 2004, 44% in 2003, 38% in 2002 and 25% in 2001. An additional 13% said they used instructional technologies in several class sessions, compared to 26% in 2004, 18% in 2003, 23% in 2002 and 21% in 2001. Those who report never using these tools rose slightly to 12% from the 8% reported in 2004, but a significant drop from 33% in 1999. E-mail remains the most widely used instructional technology (90%), followed by online syllabus and other handouts (74%), Web-based materials (71%) and then computer-projected materials (66%). These technologies remain the most commonly used instructional support strategies as noted during past three years. Further, over half of the faculty (60%, down from 76% last year and 70% reported in 2003) strongly agreed or agreed that IT was important to their students' success. Somewhat predictable and remaining basically unchanged, most faculty also either strongly agreed (35% in 2005 v. 33% last year and 34% in 2003) or agreed (41% in 2005 v. 45% last year and 46% in 2003) that majors in their discipline should be required to demonstrate a certain level of knowledge regarding computer applications in their discipline.

Nineteen percent of the faculty (compared to 22% in 2004) who used the services were very satisfied with the Offices CIO Office's instructional support services such as TELR and the Office of Information Technology. Overall, the faculty's level of satisfaction (very satisfied or satisfied) with the instructional support services remained unchanged during the past two years (53% v. 63% in 2004). Eleven percent were somewhat dissatisfied (compared to 6% in the previous year) with the instructional support services and less than 1 percent responded not satisfied. Thirty-three percent had not used the services, basically unchanged from last year.

Rated by faculty very important considerations or as important in their decision to implement instructional technology in their classes was ease of use (84%, a new consideration added in the 2005 poll), access to software equipment and network (81% v. 75% in 2004), help and support to use instructional technologies (54% v. 57% in 2004), maintaining ownership of the intellectual property developed within the context of instruction (36% v. 40% in 2004), followed by rewards for using instructional technologies (29% v. 20% in 2004).

Course Management System (CMS) Usage by Faculty: Of the 277 valid faculty responses received, 110 or 40% reported using a university-supported course management system, currently WebCT, (an increase from 31% in 2004 and up significantly from 16% in 2002), 167 or 60% (down from 69% last year and 79% in 2002) reported not using a CMS. Among the most frequently reported reasons noted among the 210 faculty in the survey for not using WebCT or another course management system, 24% had no time for development, 14% believed it doesn't suit their course needs, 14% are using their own course Website, 10% did not know what course management system is and 10% did not know how to get started. Fourteen faculty (8%) provided a variety of other reason and only 6 faculty (4%) were non-respondents.

Help needed: Other questions were posed to better understand what assistance faculty need in adding these technologies to their classes. Unchanged from 2003, approximately two-thirds of the faculty were very concerned (32%, up from 22% in 2004 and 21% the previous year) or somewhat concerned (37%, compared to 40% last year and down from 45% in 2003) with the time it takes to learn and use technology. This finding may be offset with 45% of the faculty who reported having much of what is needed to learn and use technology (down from 54% last year) and the 9% having everything needed to learn and use technology (almost unchanged from 12% reported in 2004).

In 2005 faculty were asked again about the ways that would be of interest in learning about instructional technology. In descending order, faculty cited the following ways most often: hands-on workshops with instructor (50%), self instruction (46%) and one-on-one mentoring (62%), followed by self-paced tutorials (42%), followed by cohort workshops (41%) and then online workshops (40%). Last year, hands-on workshops, tutorials and self-instruction were also the cited most formats for learning about technology.

Preferences: For the past six years, faculty have been asked if given adequate support, would you be interested in offering a fully online, distance education course? Faculty responses continue to reflect a steady decline on their desire to offer online/distance education courses. Of the 277 faculty polled in 2005, 26% expressed interest (down from 34 % last year, 38% in 2003 and 44% reported in 2002), 48% responded they would not (down from 59% in 2004 and 2003), and 22% indicated uncertainty or did not know (compared to 7% in 2004).


Both undergraduates (93%) and graduate/professional students (99%) overwhelmingly feel that information technology is either very important (undergraduates 77% compared to 64% in 2004 and graduate/professional students 80% compared to 67% the previous year) or somewhat important (undergraduates 16% compared to 33% and graduate/professional students compared to 19% v. 29% in 2003) in their education. Seventy-seven percent of the students (basically no difference between undergraduate and graduate/professional) strongly agreed or agreed that use of information technology makes them marketable to future employers. Although fewer students agreed than in previous years, most students strongly agreed or agreed (76% in 2005 v. 84% in 2004, 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 2005, 77% (compared to 83% in 2004) reported using instructional technology in their classes during the past autumn quarter. Thirty-seven percent of the students reported having instructors incorporate instructional technology in nearly every class (compared to 39% in 2004, 36% in 2003, 33% in 2002 and 18% reported in 2001), in several classes (25% basically unchanged from past four years: 26% in 2004 and 2003, 23% in 2002 and 24% reported in 2001), or a few classes (16% v. 18% in 2004, 20% in 2003 and down from 23% in 2002). Undergraduates reported greater levels of use of instructional technology than graduate/professionals (87% v. 68% in 2005 compared to 91 v. 77 in 2004), but less of a difference was noted for the category "several class sessions a quarter" (27% v. 23%) compared with "only a few class sessions a quarter" (20% v. 12%). 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 2005 campus poll seem to indicate an increased interest in fully online classes for undergraduates (36% in 2005 v. 23% reported in 2004, 32% in 2003 and down from 41% in 2001): however, graduate/professional students remained unchanged for the past three years (23% in 2005 and 2004, 24% in 2003 and down from 36% in 2002). Interest in partly online courses increased for both groups with undergraduates responding 51% (compared to 38% reported in 2004 and 44% in 2003, but down from 55% in 2002) and graduate/professional students (38%, up from 33% in 2004, 30% in 2003, but down from 43% in 2002). In 2005, over sixty percent of the student respondents, with undergraduates 58% (down from 79% in 2004) and graduate/professional students 67% (down from 77% in 2004) reported being "primarily interested in face-to-face classes," compared to the 78% in 2004 and 85% in 2003.