2009 Poll - Executive Summary

In April and May, 2009, the Statistical Consulting Service (SCS) in the Department of Statistics conducted the web-based CIO Technology Poll, which contained a series of 81 questions (see Appendix A) commissioned by the Office of the Chief Information Officer at The Ohio State University. This annual omnibus survey provides data that is used by departments within the Office of Chief Information Officer for strategic planning in developing and assessing programs and services.

Methodology of Conducting the Survey
This survey of OSU faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students on the Columbus campus is based on web questionnaires completed during Spring Quarter 2009.  SCS staff collected completed questionnaires from 537 faculty, 741 staff, 497 graduate students, and 329 undergraduate students. They randomly selected faculty and staff from a Human Resources database, but excluded clinical house faculty, for a total sample of 2,000 faculty and 2,000 staff.  In addition, the Office of the Registrar randomly selected 2,500 graduate students and 2,500 undergraduate students from the Columbus campus. The sample sizes for the faculty, staff, and student populations were chosen in 2009 to match the sample sizes selected in 2007 and in 2008.

The SCS sent a notification letter by campus mail to faculty and staff for whom Columbus campus addresses were available. Each individualized letter briefly informed the recipients of the survey, advised them that a subsequent e-mail would direct them to the survey web site and specified the e-mail address and subject line of the message. Notification letters were not sent to students, but e-mail invitations were sent to each sampled individual at his/her published OSU e-mail address explaining the survey and including a uniquely coded URL link to the web survey. This code made it possible to track responses and reduced the chance of un-sampled individuals completing a questionnaire. In an effort to boost participation, undergraduate students were told they would be entered in a drawing for one of three Apple iPod Shuffles. The same incentive was given to the graduate students: a chance to be entered into a drawing for one of three Apple iPod Shuffles. To increase the response rate across all groups (faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduate students), a series of two reminder e-mails were sent to all individuals who had not yet completed the questionnaire. A summary of the questionnaire timeline is shown in the table below:

Table 1: Summary of the Questionnaire Timeline.

Date questionnaire launched


Date first reminder sent


Date second reminder


Date survey closed



Response Rate and Margin of Error
The response rates and margins of sampling error are presented in the table below. Margins of sampling error from 2006 to 2008 are also included in the table. The margins of error in the table show the +/- margins of difference between percentages estimated from the sample and those that would be obtained by interviewing all individuals in the population.

Table 2: Margins of Error for the 2007, 2008, and 2009 Surveys.







Margin of


Margin of


Margin of


= 23.8%


= 26.0%


= 27.0%



= 32.2%


= 33.1%





= 12.9%


= 23.2%


= 19.9%



= 18.2%


= 17.2%


= 13.2%


Note: For 2009 response rate calculations, the respondents who opted-out from taking the survey were removed from the denominator.

In addition to sampling error, the survey is subject to other potential sources of imprecision and bias. These sources may include question wording, question ordering, and low response rate. The low response rate can be attributed to biasing factors such as over-surveying by previous surveys and refusal of some individuals to complete the survey due to its excessive length. Non-participation in surveys is a growing problem. The goal of the notification letter sent to faculty and staff was to increase participation by making faculty and staff aware that they would receive the e-mail survey invitation. The use of Apple iPod Shuffles as incentives was also intended to increase participation among the graduate and undergraduate students. It seems this year, the Apple iPod Shuffles were not as effective an incentive as in the past. The response rate for undergraduate students decreased from 17.2% last year to 13.2% this year. Incentives should be re-evaluated if the survey is conducted again next year.

A major obstacle to higher participation rates for web surveys may be associated with the mode itself. Many individuals have more than one e-mail address and they may prefer an e-mail address that is not in the Human Resources database. Less preferred e-mail addresses may not be forwarded to preferred addresses and may be checked only occasionally or not at all. Software filters may identify e-mail survey invitations as spam, and individuals may be reluctant to open e-mails from sources unknown to them. Also, many student e-mail addresses are over quota on their allotted storage space on the OSU mail server.

Data Analysis
After downloading the data and performing basic exploratory analyses, the SCS staff generated frequency tables for each of the questions in each of the respondent groups (faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students) and stored them in files by the group. Percentages on the frequency tables were calculated in one of two ways. First, for questions where individuals could select only one response from a set of options, the percentage was calculated using percent of total number of individuals responding to that question in the group. Second, for those questions where individuals could select more than one response, the percentage was calculated by dividing the number of selections of a given response by the total number of individuals responding to the questionnaire in the group. They prepared crosstab calculations comparing questions across all respondent groups (see Appendix B).

Survey Rationale
The CIO Technology Poll data are used as metrics to help benchmark progress on the implementation of the university's technology strategic plan and to capture performance indicators for the budget guidance process. To continue benchmarking future trends on the use instructional technologies and Informational Technologies (IT), the CIO's Office added new or revised questions to the 2009 technology poll. The findings derived from the survey continue to indicate a general satisfaction with IT services and resources offered by the Offices of CIO; however, campus awareness of CIO communications and initiatives remains an issue.

Computers, Internet Access, Security

Primary Personal Computers
Like previous years, almost all faculty, graduate, undergraduates, and staff have access to personal computers (99% in 2009, no change from 2008). Some differences in type and number of computers continue to be found between faculty and students. Among the respondents reporting primary computer use, there is a decrease of laptop use as the primary computer across faculty and staff populations: 37% of the faculty (down from 46%) and 26% of the staff (down from 34%), and the use of laptop use as the primary computer remains high across the student populations: 73% of the graduate (no change from 2008) and 79% of the undergraduate students (up from 73%). The platform for the primary personal computer (desktop or laptop) overwhelmingly remains Windows PC (75% of the graduates, down from 84% in 2008; 86% staff, no change from 2008; 76% undergraduates, down from 85%; and 72% among faculty, down from 75%). Macintosh computers are used by only 20% of the faculty, down slightly from 22% reported in 2008) as their primary platform. In the other groups, Macintosh platforms accounted for a significantly smaller percentage of the primary computer environment among graduate students (15%, slightly up from 14% in 2008), undergraduates (16%, up from 12% in 2008) and staff (5%, down from 10% in 2008).  

Secondary Personal Computers
Having a secondary personal computer is commonplace among many members of university community (58%). Eighty six percentage (up from 77% in 2008) of the faculty, over half of graduates (54%) and staff (55%) compared to only 28% of undergraduates report having access to secondary personal computers.

Secondary computers were laptops for 52% of faculty (down 14% from the previous year), 46% of the graduates students (a decrease of 14% from 2008), 44% of undergraduates (down 6%), and 45% of staff (1% down from the previous year). As with the primary computers, the platform for secondary computers remains overwhelmingly Windows (faculty 72%; graduate students 82%, undergraduates 86% and staff 86%), with Macintosh being used in numbers similar to its use on a primary computer (faculty 20%; graduate students 7%, undergraduates 4% and staff 6%).

Internet Service Provider for Home Computers
Between 1999 and 2006, ISP use from home steadily increased. 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 had remained in the neighborhood of 90% between 2002 and 2007. This year, it (89%) has slightly decreased from last year's level of 92% for a connection to campus from a local residence.
Use of Roadrunner for connection slightly decreased from 46% in 2008 to 44% in 2009. HomeNet (45% in 1999, down to 1% this year) and other dial-up services (2%) both declined in use eclipsed by high-speed, broadband service (83% in 2009, up from 77% in 2008, 68% the previous year and from 45% in 2003) as the primary connection to the university network. Additionally, differences were observed among the four groups not having an ISP, with 11% overall reporting no home connection to OSU, up from 8% in 2008. While only 6% (up from 4% in 2008) of the undergraduates and 8% (up from 5% in 2008) of graduate students lack a home connection to the university network, only 6% of the faculty (up from 4% in 2008) and staff continue to lag somewhat behind the other groups (18% in 2009, up from 15% in 2008).

Internet Explorer remains the most popular web browser (52%, decreased from 57% last year) followed by Firefox (27%, basically no change from 28% in 2008), Safari (9%, 8% last year) and Mozilla (9%, significantly increased from 3% reported in 2008). The reported hourly usage varied among those who do connect to a home Internet Service Provider, but increased for students and slightly decreased for faculty and staff in 2009 for usage over 20 hours per week. Graduate students lead in hours connecting from home (44% up from 38% reported in 2008), reporting more than 20 hours or more per week, followed by undergraduates (41%, up from 36% in 2008).. On average, 28% of the faculty reported connectivity over 20 hours per week to a home ISP (down from 30% in 2008) and staff reported the least hours (9% down from the reported 11% in 2008).

Computer Lab Use by Students
Computer lab use was reported at ten hours or fewer hours per week for 80% (down from 90% in 2008) of the graduate professional students and 79% (down from 83% last year) of the undergraduates. An additional 9% (up from 6% in 2008) of the graduate students and 12% (up from 8% in 2008) of the undergraduate students reported the use of labs between 10 and 20 hours per week. An increase is also observed for labs use between 21 and 60 hours per week as reported by 7% undergraduates (up from 5% in 2008) and 7% graduate students (up from 3% in 2008). Two percent undergraduates and 3% graduate students report the use of computer labs above 60 hours per week.

Use of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) or Smartphones
The PDAs or smartphones are used most among faculty (40%, significantly up from 31% in 2008) than the other three populations (30% among students, 28% of staff). In 2009, the use of PDAs or smartphones among undergraduate students significantly increased from 14% in 2008. The overall use of this type mobile technology (32%) within the university community also significantly increased from 25% during the past three years.  Unlike last year, the use of Blackberry, iPhone or Smartphone increased among the four campus populations in 2009 (19%, significantly up from 6% in 2008).  Palm device, Blackberry and iPhone are almost equally popular among faculty and graduate students.  While Blackberry is a popular device across four groups of respondents, iPhone is most popular among undergraduate students and faculty (9%).

Network and Computer Security
Ohio State implemented the Minimum Computer Security Standard (MCSS) in 2007 to help protect the university's central and distributed telecommunications and computing environment from accidental or intentional damage and from alteration or theft of data while preserving university community members' appropriate access and use. Overall, only 50% (no change from 2008) of the university community is aware of this standard. Seventy-one percent (no change from 2008) of the faculty and 62% (significantly down from 68% reported in 2008) of the staff indicated awareness of the OSU Minimum Computer Security Standard compared to fewer of the undergraduates (20%, significantly down from 33% in 2008) and graduate students (30%, up from 24% in 2008). The poll results show that across all four groups, computer firewalls are activated and kept up-to-date (overall 84%, significantly up from 78% in 2008; faculty 89%, staff 88%, graduate students 78% and undergraduates 73%).  As reported, the majority of the four populations (89%) keep their operating systems current with security patches (91% of faculty, 90% among staff, 89% graduate students and 83% among undergraduate students). Of concern, 28% of faculty and 45% of staff computers still contain sensitive data such as names and social security numbers compared to 44% of graduate students and 39% of undergraduates who may have used earlier student Degree Audit Report prior to its recent changes.  Over one-half of respondents (54%) reported that they encrypt their data on their portable data storage (41% faculty, 58% staff, 59% graduates and 79% undergraduates) compared to only 30% of the respondents confirmed that they encrypt the data on their computers (40% faculty, 34% staff, 20% graduates and 18% undergraduates).

Viruses and Virus protection
In 2009, 16% of the faculty experienced viruses (slightly up from the 14% reported in 2008 and significantly lower than the 58% noted in 2002), compared with 29% of the undergraduates (down from 31% in 2008 and significantly down from 51% reported in 2006), 25% of graduates (compared to 22% in 2008), and 20% of staff (up from 17% reported in last year). These findings represent a considerable improvement over the previous years, yet the current level of viruses still remains problematic and may be attributed to individuals either not installing or failing to update their anti-virus software. Among all populations surveyed, there were fewer viruses experienced on personal computers (undergraduates 27% and graduate students 21%, basically same as 28% and 21% respectively reported in 2008 by these two student groups), although these same populations experienced almost no viruses on computers in university-owned facilities (undergraduates 1% and graduate students 2%). This finding likely reflects the virus protection programs and controls placed on computers located in campus computer labs. Seven percent of the faculty (slightly down from 8% in 2008) and 11% of the staff (unchanged from last year) experienced viruses on their personal computers in 2009. Similar to the student populations, both faculty (6%) and staff (7%) experienced few viruses on OSU computers. Almost all (86%, slightly up from 83% in2008) of the poll respondents have an anti-virus program installed on most primary computers (faculty 90%, staff 86%, graduates 83% and 81%).

Awareness and Use of Different Services

Concern about Security of Electronic Data and Privacy of Electronic Communications
Security and privacy remain two areas of marked interest in the 2009 CIO Poll. Overall, security of their electronic data found to be a serious concern among the OSU community members. Seventy-seven percent of graduate students, 75% of undergraduates, 73% of staff and 65% (down from 68% last year) of faculty are very concerned or somewhat concerned about the security of their electronic data. Additionally, over three-fourths of the community (77%) expressed various levels of concern about the privacy of their electronic communications (students 80%, staff 76% and faculty 73%).

Awareness and Use of OIT System Status Webpage
In 2006, a question was added assessing the campus community's awareness of the Office of Information Technology (OIT) System Status web page monitoring e-mail, Carmen, authentication, People Soft, college, or department services. Overall, there was only a modest increased (57% compared to 55% in 2008) awareness of this service across three of the four populations with 60% of the staff (up from 56% in 2008), 53% of the graduate students (up significantly from 46% reported in 2008) and 56% of the faculty (up slightly from 55% reported in 2008) aware of this resource compared to 59% of the undergraduates (down from 63% in 2008).

Awareness and Use of OIT Anti-Spam Service
In the fall of 2005, OSU implemented an anti-spam filtering technology to reduce and block increasing amounts of commercial junk e-mail before it reaches the central server. Awareness of the anti-spam service on the central e-mail system to filter spam from the osu.edu mailbox was assessed as well as perception of its benefits in reducing unwanted e-mail. Ninety-five percent of the faculty (significantly up from 78% in 2008) and 80% of the graduate students (this question was not available for graduate students in previous years) are aware of the anti-spam service. Responding to its perceived effectiveness in reducing unwanted e-mail, 65% of faculty (significantly up from 55% reported in 2008) and 50% of graduate students agree it is helpful.

Awareness of BuckeyeBar Service
In 2009, an option (Not aware of BuckeyeBar service) was added to an existing question to assess the OSU student community's awareness and use of the Office of Information Technology (OIT) BuckeyeBar service. Overall, 60% of the student community indicated that they are not aware of this service (63% graduate students and 55% undergraduates).

Awareness other CIO-Area Service
This year, a question was added assessing the faculty and staff's awareness of various services that are provided by the Office of CIO. Among faculty and staff, over half are not aware of the Digital Union (overall 61%, faculty 49% and staff 69%), classroom equipment checkout service (overall 59%, faculty 43% and staff 70%), the 4-HELP classroom helpline (overall 56%, faculty 44% and staff 65%) and desktop support (overall 55%, faculty 57% and staff 54%). Over two-thirds of faculty and staff reported that they are unaware of video streaming service (overall 74%, faculty 71% and staff 75%) and eLearning consultation service (overall 70%, faculty 68% and staff 72%). And over three-quarters of these two populations indicated that they are not aware of classroom design service (overall 85%, faculty 84% and staff 86%), laptop checkout service (overall 77%, faculty 72% and staff 81%) and digital recording equipment checkout service (overall 76%, faculty 71% and staff 80%).

Use of Instructional Technologies

About three-quarter of the faculty who are teaching classes indicated  that the current instructional technology environment supports somewhat well or very well their teaching or instruction (72% v. 74% in 2008) compared to a 85% favorable response of graduate students (somewhat well or very well), down from 90% last year. Faculty generally strongly agreed or agreed (78%, compared to 77% in 2008) that OSU computing and electronic resources can be accessed from their lab or office compared with 58% that strongly agreed or agreed the same resources also can be accessed from home (61% reported in 2008). Additionally, 57% of the faculty either strongly agreed or agreed that IT helped increase their impact or productivity (compared to 64% in 2008). More than two-thirds of the faculty (72%) either strongly agreed or agreed that being able to use Information Technology contributes to their professional development (basically unchanged from 71% in 2008).

More than two-third of the faculty (69%, significantly up from 59% in 2008) who are teaching classes report using instructional technologies such as the Internet, visual simulations, MS PowerPoint presentations, discussion forums, Carmen, or another course management system, course web site or distance learning technologies in nearly every class. An additional 12% confirm the use of instructional technologies in several class sessions, compared to 15% in 2008. The number who report never using these tools remained about the same as last year (5% compared to 6% the previous year). E-mail remains the most widely used instructional technology (79%), followed by computer projected materials (64%), locally-produced web-based materials (64%), online grade books (35%), online quizzes, surveys, or tests (26%) and then online discussion forums (24%). The first three of these technologies remain the most commonly used instructional support strategies as noted during the past five years. Further, more than two-thirds of the faculty strongly agreed or agreed that IT was important to their students' success (67% compared to 70% last year, up from the 63% reported in 2006 and 60% in 2005). Somewhat expected, most faculty either strongly agreed (37% compared to 29% in 2008) or agreed (46% compared to 50%) that majors in their discipline should be required to demonstrate a certain level of knowledge regarding computer applications in their discipline.

Rated by faculty very important considerations or as important in their decision to implement instructional technology in their classes was ease of use (85%, down from 87% in 2008), access to software equipment and network (79% in 2008 v. 82% last year), help and support to use instructional technologies (57%, unchanged from 2008), maintaining ownership of the intellectual property developed within the context of instruction (42% in 2008 v. 38% last year), followed by rewards for using instructional technologies (29%, up from 24% last year).

Three-quarters of the faculty (76% compared to 75% in 2008 and up from 58% in 2007) reported using Carmen, the university-supported course management system. Also, Twenty-nine percent of faculty indicated that they have a class website outside of Carmen. Among the recurring reasons faculty provided for not using Carmen, 16% (up from 11% in 2008) did not know how to get started, 13% (significantly down from 23% last year) opted for using their own course web site, 12% (unchanged from last year) did not know what Carmen is, and 9% (slightly down from 11%) had no time for development. With regard to technologies that faculty would be interested in using, 29% showed a preference for webcasting or web-conferencing, 27% indicated Clickers, 26% cited online sharable tools for collaboration and an additional 26% cited desktop video conferencing.  

In terms of the technical support needed to learn and use technology, 10% (up from 7% last year) of the faculty report having everything, 45% (basically no change from 46% in 2008) report having much of what is needed to learn and use technology and 25% (compared to 26% in 2008) indicate a few things needed to learn and use technology are still lacking. Same as last year, only 10% indicated not having the technical support needed to learn and use technology.

For several years the poll has tracked faculty's responses in ways that would be of interest in learning about instructional technology. Generally, the most preferred methods have remained about the same during the past four years; in 2009 faculty cite the following means most often: workshops with their college in the proximity of their offices (41%), followed by self-paced tutorials (40%), hands-on workshops with instructors (39%), self-instruction such as with manuals (38%), one-to-one consultation (37%) and online workshops (24%). Hands-on workshops and Self-instruction remain the most frequently selected format for learning about technology for the past four years.

For the past eight years, faculty have been asked, when given adequate support, would they be interested in offering a fully online, distance education course? Faculty responses reflect an increase of their desire to offer online/distance education courses. Of the 459 faculty polled this year, only 17% expressed interest (up from 12% reported in 2008), 44% responded they would not (slightly up from the 41% response in 2008); however 34% (significantly down from 41% in 2008), indicated possibly.

Only 15% percent of the faculty who are using the CIO's services and support for eLearning reported being very satisfied. But, the faculty's overall level of satisfaction (very satisfied or satisfied) was much higher (60%), and only 9% were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the instructional support services.

Both undergraduates and graduate students combined (98%, almost unchanged from 97% last year) overwhelmingly feel that Information Technology is either very important in their education (undergraduates 82% v. 77% last year and graduate students 79% v. 77% in 2008) or somewhat important (16% undergraduates, down from 20% in 2008 and graduate students unchanged from 20% last year). Eighty-six percent (up from 82% in 2008) of the undergraduates and 78% (up from 74% last year) of the graduate students strongly agreed or agreed that use of Information Technology makes them marketable to future employers. Both student populations strongly agreed or agreed (85%) that the use of IT helps make them more likely to succeed in their future academic work (88% undergraduates v. 77% in 2008 and 84% of the graduate students unchanged from 2008).

With regard to classroom use of instruction technology, 88% of the undergraduates (up from 84% in 2008) and 78% of the graduate students (significantly down from 85% in 2008) report taking courses that incorporated instructional technology in nearly all or several of their classes during the last quarter. Fifty-eight percent of the undergraduates (up significantly from 43% reported in last year) and 56% of the graduate students (down from 60% in 2008) report having instructors who incorporate instructional technology in nearly every class. Only 2% (unchanged from 2008) of the undergraduates and 9% (up from 4% last year) of the graduate students report enrollment in courses that never incorporated instructional technology. Given that graduate students likely enroll in focused areas of study rather than in university-wide study, the variations in use of instructional technologies are not unexpected.

More than half of undergraduates indicate interest in taking self-paced fully delivered online classes (55%, significantly up from 35% last year) compared to 40% graduate students (significantly up from 26% in 2008). Preference for instructor-led only online courses also tracked about the same for undergraduates (49%, significantly up from 32% last year) and 37% (significantly up from 21%) for the graduate students. Interest in hybrid courses that occasionally meet "face-to-face" and the rest of the time online has significantly increased this year for both groups with undergraduates responding 61% (compared to 44% last year) and 50% of the graduate students (34% reported in 2008). It is surprising to observe that the interest in taking courses that meet primarily "face-to-face" has also increased this year. Undergraduate preferences for "face-to-face" teaching significantly increased from 64% in 2008 to 75% this year while graduate students interest in this mode of instruction also significantly increased from 67% in 2008 to 76% this year.

General Satisfaction with CIO Services

Approximately three-quarters (74%, no change from 2008) of all the university community respondents agreed that the communications produced by the Office of the CIO help to keep them informed about technology-related events and services on campus (staff 78%, undergraduates 72% followed by 71% of the faculty and graduate students). The majority (63%, significantly down from 72% in 2008) of the respondents felt that IT resources at OSU met their technology needs (69% of the undergraduate students versus 78% in the previous year, 64% of the graduates versus 80% in 2008, 62% of staff and 59% of faculty versus the response of 66% from these two groups in 2008).

Instructional Support Resources and services
Sixty-three percent of the faculty and graduate students reported that they are either satisfied of very satisfied with Office of the CIO's instructional support services provided through the TELR Office (Technology Enhanced Learning and Research) compared to 28% are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied and only 8% are dissatisfied.  Over two-third (67%) of the graduate students and 60% of the faculty reported being satisfied with the support services. Eighty-five percent of these two groups combined indicate that the current IT environment either somewhat well or very well support their teaching (faculty 82% and graduate students 89%).

Information Technology Support Resources and Services
About two-third (72%) of the university community, according to 2009 CIO Survey, are satisfied with the overall IT services on campus compared to 24% neither satisfied nor dissatisfied and only 4% are dissatisfied. Seventy-five percent of the staff and undergraduates are satisfied followed by 73% of the graduates and only 66% of the faculty. More than two-thirds (78%) of the total population are satisfied with the assistance and service received from 8-HELP call in and web user support compared to 15% are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied and only 6% are dissatisfied. Eighty-four percent of the staff, 78% percent of the faculty and 75% of the graduate students showed a higher degree of satisfaction than the undergraduates (65%). Similar response pattern is observed among the four populations on the helpfulness and responsiveness of other Information Technology support resources at OSU (All groups 74%, staff 79%, faculty 71%, graduate students 71% and undergraduates 70%).

The Office of CIO as IT Leader on Campus
In 2009, one new question was added to the survey to assess OSU community's perception of the Office of the CIO, including OIT and TELR, as IT leader on campus. More than three-fourth of all the community respondents (78%) either agreed or strongly agreed that they perceive the Office of the CIO as the IT leader on campus. Seventy-nine percent of graduate students, 85% of undergraduates and 85% of staff indicated a higher degree of agreement on this than faculty with only 64%.