Technology Survey of Curious University

Brief Overview of Curious University
Curious University is a comprehensive private liberal arts university located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The University enrolls students in both undergraduate and graduate courses. Two colleges comprise the University: the Undergraduate College and the Graduate College. The University offers undergraduate degrees in over 60 areas of study including Nursing, Religion and Business. The University also offers graduate degrees in Business, Religion, Nursing, Education, Social Work and Counseling. Enrollment for the 2012-2013 academic year is 1,322 undergraduate students and 698 graduate students. The majority of the undergraduate students are in the traditional age range of 18-22 years old and live on campus in residential student housing. Very few undergraduate students are older than 22 years old. The age range of the graduate student population is more extended and represents a greater amount of diversity. The vast majority of students (80.5%) are below 30 years old. Technological preferences exist between students in the Undergraduate College and the Graduate College. Students in the Undergraduate College are generally younger and have a keen preference for technologically progress education. They expect their professors to connect with them not only via email but through social media outlets such as Facebook. The students in the Graduate College are older, generally above 30, and not necessarily demanding when it comes to use of technology in their courses. The interesting bit of technologically related trivia here is that most graduate courses are offered in online only or blended formats and most undergraduate courses are in a faceto-face environment with an online component tacked on to the end, if at all. In many cases, the course management system is used in undergraduate courses only for course announcements, attendance, and the posting of syllabi. Student Description: Undergraduate and Graduate students Enrollment for the 2012-2013 academic year is 1,322 undergraduate students and 698 graduate students. The majority of the undergraduate students are in the traditional age range of 18-22 years old and live on campus in residential student housing. Very few undergraduate students are older than 22 years old. The age range of the graduate student population is more extended and represents a greater amount of diversity. The vast majority of students (80.5%) are below 30 years old.

Description of Faculty and Staff The faculty and staff at Curious University represent a wide range of educational background, age and tolerance for technological change. Since CU is an institution of higher education most of the faculty are over the age of 30, having completed at least a Master’s degree. Over 57% of the faculty are over the age of 50. This is in marked contrast to the much younger undergraduate students which account for 65% of the students matriculated at the University. 97 of the 112 full-time faculty members (85%) have an earned doctorate.

Support staff of the University vary in

age from 18-year old students at the University to retirement age individuals. Level of education varies greatly among support staff. Some employees have multiple graduate degrees and others have a GED. The need for technology on the job varies depending on the specific job duties. Some employees need to conduct complex financial and data analysis as this group includes those employed in the Financial Affairs office as well as Admissions. Others only need to use a computer to clock in and clock out of their shift and take part in infrequent training sessions. The age of all employees at CU remains, however, skewed to older ages. This is due in part to the fact that people tend to come to CU and stay there for a very long time and that the younger employees stay until they earn a degree and then move on to more gainful employment.

Technology Adoption by Incoming Freshmen Each year the CU Office of Information Technology conducts an informal survey of the incoming freshman class during New Student Orientation. The purpose of this survey is to gain an understanding of student adoption and use of technology. The information is used gauge the penetration rate of planned technologies (such as tablet computers and smart phones) and for future needs planning. The students are asked to fill out a short form and indicate which technology they have brought with them to school. Among the options are laptop PC, cell phone, smart phone, and Mac laptop. Students are asked to select as many devices as they have brought. Therefore, a single student could indicate that she has a cell phone, an iPod Touch, a Desktop PC and a Mac Laptop. The results of the 2012 survey are provided below. 213 of 257 new freshmen were surveyed. 192 students responded. The distribution of technologies provides a good

snapshot of how easily these young students adopt technology. Not a single student who responded to the survey indicated they did not have an computing devices. A personal computing device is regarding as a necessity among the incoming freshman at CU.

Rankings Administrative Filter: Intelligent Stage
The overall rating earned by my organization for the Administrative Filter is “Intelligent Stage.” We have a robust Course Management System that is used not only for official courses but also for departmental communication. A well-staffed and trained support group is in place to facilitate use of the system and to keep it updated and running smoothly. While the faculty are aging the majority of students will, by necessity of being traditional undergraduate students, always remain young and eager to adapt new technologies. The retirement of older faculty members who have been reluctant to change teaching methods and update course materials will allow for younger and more technologically savvy faculty members to take their place. The policies of the institution are technologically progressive and well-formed. Each college and all schools within them are required to account for the use of technology in their programs. Budgeting takes technology into account and area deans have a technology line item on their

budgets. They simply must account for technology. Comprehensive budgets for the University cover the need for technology enhancements, maintenance and repairs. Administrative functions are done almost entirely with electronic systems. When I started at CU several years ago this was not the case. Now, through planned upgrades and equipment replacements, key administrative functions in the Business Office and Registrar’s Office are shining examples of technological improvement. Policy - Behavioral: Intelligent Stage An appropriate technology use policy is present and on a formal review cycle. The policies have full support in all departments and offices. Grading, attendance and course work take place in the Course Management System. Even the functions of program audits and advising take place in an electronic environment. Students can print copies if they want but the system is stable and reliable and, should there be a problem, the support is so good that the need to print is minimal. People trust the systems we have in place. Policy - Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Stage Policies exist and are comprehensive in nature. All policies go through thorough development and review and receive authorization by the appropriate governing bodies. The Office of the VP of Academic Affairs has oversight of the Dept. of Information Technology which vets all policies governing the use of technology on our campus. We have a dedicated team of talented programmers and e-learning specialists. The Course Management System is the system of record. All administrative functions can be performed using an appropriate electronic system, either in the CMS or in a special reporting application.

Planning - Behavioral: Intelligent Stage Planning is done across schools and the graduate/undergraduate colleges. Committees with cross-campus representation which include faculty, staff and administrators are present and active. The Technology Advisory Group and the ELearning Committee provide valuable insight into the technology planning for the university. Deans and program administrators have seats on these groups. These are the two groups with authority over technology at the University. Any communication regarding technology comes through these groups including budget and purchasing reports. The VP of IT regularly provides reports to both of these groups, which is then communicated to the various schools and departments.

Planning - Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Stage A robust and flexible technology plan grounded in support of the curriculum exists and is reviewed by various campus committees and councils on a regular basis. Technology purchases, upgrades and repairs are all tied to support for the curriculum. It is understood by all decision makers that technology is a crucial part of the curriculum. Budget - Behavioral: Intelligent Stage Technology is budgeted for very carefully and precisely and is not altered without substantial review from area deans and VPs. Budgets are reviewed twice a year by a committee with campus wide representation. Through the course of the year, deans are responsible for reviewing the budget at monthly deans meetings. All decision makers understand the importance of technology to the overall mission of the University and the curriculum. Budget - Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Stage The university has a dedicated IT budget for school-wide technology needs. Line item budgets are also mandated at the departmental level and managed via a collaborative effort between the VP of IT and the school deans. Budget decreases are rarely made.

Administrative Information - Behavioral: Intelligent Stage The University runs at nearly a paperless level. The Business Office, Registrar, communication and other university functions are all electronic. Paper use is limited to mainly official documents. Many assignments are submitted in electronic format through the university's Course Management System (CMS), the official system of record. Attendance is taken in the CMS and course materials such as syllabi are posted there. Each department has an administrative assistant who receives advanced and ongoing specialized training on the CMS. This allows for a consistent and immediate support system which minimizes the submission of support tickets to the Help Desk. Administrative Information - Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Stage All administrative personnel have access to systems appropriate to their job function. This includes departmental specific infrastructure and applications for the registrar,

enrollment, library, and academic programs. All students and administrators have access to and use this system. It is the authority when it comes to student records be they financial or academic.

Curricular Filter: Intelligent Stage
My organization ranks at a solid Intelligent Stage on the Curricular Filter. The two scores of Integrated comes from the Assessment- Behavioral and Teacher Use Resource/Infrastructure filters. This comes mainly from the fact that the University has many programs which can be taught without enhanced technology and are being taught this way because the faculty members teaching these classes has been doing so for 30 years and because so many new technologies (tablets, smart phones) have entered the field. The faculty members are near retirement age and resistant to new technology which they view as an impediment to their instructional methods. It really comes down to how much value the faculty member thinks he or she will get out of the technology. The rest of the rankings are all in the Intelligent range. Students, faculty and staff are incredibly dependent upon technology. The library has a vast collection of electronic books and journal. The CMS is used for teaching and assessment by nearly all faculty. The instructors largely understand the value of technology and could not do their jobs without it. Faculty are encouraged to use Google+ to form groups with colleagues and students and to use LinkedIn to stay connected to distant colleagues and alumni. Students, by far, are deeply connected to technology and use it constantly. They use the CMS, keep track of courses and schedules using electronic calendars and stay in touch with family and friends with the use of email and social networking systems. Electronic Information - Behavioral: Intelligent Stage All students, staff and faculty are incredibly dependent on information resources. Uses range from teaching online in the course management system to using SmartBoards and clickers in face to face settings. Students are constantly using technology to study, complete assignments and communicate. Electronic Information - Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Stage The library has a robust collection of ebooks, videos, full text databases and other resources to support the curriculum. Many courses utilize the Course Management System for course materials, lectures, assignments, roll, grading and other functions. Assessment - Behavioral: Integrated Stage

Grades are posted in the course management system. All official grades are submitted to the registrar electronically. Access to grades is provided to all authorized individuals via a portal on the campus website. Some faculty are reluctant to change old assessment habits and so some assessment occurs in a traditional manner. This behavior is shifting through attrition as older faculty retire and are replaced by younger professors. Assessment - Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Stage Infrastructure exists to support electronic reporting and assessment. A robust suite of assessment tools is available through the course management system. A stable and flexible Course Management System is in place and all faculty and support staff are trained in its use.

Curriculum Integration - Behavioral: Intelligent Stage All curricular areas integrate technology into their programs and instruction. School deans encourage the use of technology in instruction. The office of the VP of Academic Affairs holds regular sessions where faculty share and discuss their use of technology in their classes and how better to use said technology. Curriculum Integration - Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Stage All curricular areas have substantial technology resources and support. Internet, disk space, A/V equipment, laptops, tablets, sets of classroom clickers and appropriate software are readily available. Teacher Use - Behavioral: Intelligent Stage All professors have to use technology in order to be proficient at their jobs. Faculty business, campus communication, teaching and grading all take place in a technologically facilitated environment. Many faculty members use mobile and smart communications devices. Teacher Use - Resource/Infrastructure: Integrated Stage

All professors have access to technology that is appropriate to their job. However, not all technology relevant to a particular job is always available. For example, the majority of Macs are available in a dedicated Mac Lab with a few interspersed into other locations. There are no Macs available in the library, which is the most accessible building on campus with the most operating hours. Also, tablet devices (Android, iOS or Surface) have not been extensively rolled out on campus. Professors have begun adopting ebooks for use as textbooks and the library has been purchasing ebooks as available. Current library policy is to purchase material in ebook format with multiple use licenses and one print copy for the permanent collection if the book is to be used in a class.

Student Use - Behavioral: Intelligent Stage Students use technology nearly exclusively to complete assignments and track their academic progress. Every class has a presence in the course management system and is used for attendance and official school communication even if the professor chooses to not further develop the course shell. Student Use - Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Stage All students at CU have consistent and regular access to appropriate technologies. Lab hours are accommodating although many are unstaffed for a large portion of the time. The dedicated Mac Lab is in a secure environment but can be accessed any time the building it is located in is open via keycard. Other technologies (cameras, recorders, lights, etc.) may be checked out from the Center for Technology Resources. Ereaders/tablets are not yet widely available on campus. However, this technology has not yet been officially adopted as an essential technology for use with the curriculum.

Support Filter: Intelligent Stage
The overall Support Filter ranking for my institution is a very strong Intelligent Stage. Stakeholder involvement is very high. All members of the campus community receive timely and relevant communication regarding technology matters. There is a robust support portal where tickets can be submitted and monitored. Alerts can be received via SMS or via VOIP message. Administrative support for technology is excellent and all decision-making administrators must monitor area technology activities and budgets.

Training opportunities are robust, varied and ongoing. Dedicated training personnel hold brown bag sessions, teach synchronous formal courses both face to face and in the CMS and create asynchronous training materials for posting in the CMS and on the support webpage. Technical infrastructure and support are well-developed. Full-time staff are available to assist with technological issues and are trained to deliver exceptional customer service. The two Integrated scores came from the Training section. Not all staff members participate in technology training. This is a matter of personal choice, not policy, as all deans and program administrators encourage their staff to attend all relevant training. Also, new directors were hired at the Help Desk and e-learning and there will be a curve while they learn the terrain. Training is very targeted and there is so much to do that sometimes training opportunities can be missed. The training system, while good, can use improvement. Stakeholder Involvement - Behavioral: Intelligent Stage All groups are aware of the planning and implementation procedure. Announcements of equipment and software application events are publicized across campus. Minutes of TAG activities are posted in appropriate group portals for distribution. Stakeholder Involvement - Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Stage All stakeholders have a place at the Technology Advisory Group (TAG) roundtable through elected representation. Students have two representatives on the TAG and both graduate and undergraduate programs have staff and faculty representatives. Reports are collected and published online in the TAG section of the portal which is accessible to appropriate personnel. Administrative Support - Behavioral: Intelligent Stage CU administration is deeply involved in the planning, practice and implementation of technology on campus. The VP of IT sits on the President's Cabinet. All school deans are members of TAG. Administrative Support - Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Stage There is a significant and substantial amount of time given to the planning and implementation process. TAG workshops are held at least twice per academic year. TAG and technology concerns more generally are included as a regular part of Dean's Council agendas and are part of a dean's workflow. Training - Behavioral: Integrated Stage

Most staff participate in technology training activities. Many seek additional training. It is perceived that most, if not all, staff at all levels want to receive training in the technology. However, due to schedules and or other work concerns it is not always possible for all staff to attend training sessions. Sessions are recorded for rebroadcast as the employee's schedule allows, but if a technology is not of immediate need for one's job then it often is ignored - and for good reason. Some staff are reluctant to give up "work time" in order to attend training on something that may not have a real value attached to it. Training - Resource/Infrastructure: Integrated Stage Training is provided on a very targeted basis in most cases. This is a result of a support staff that is not staffed in proportion to the size of the organization. Distributed training is utilized in order to maximize the reach of trainers. Better outreach efforts might yield higher training participation. A creative solution to the problem of limited trainers is in effect: each department has a staff member who specializes in a specific technology and can provide training and support to their immediate area. This works out well because departments are physically organized in such a way that there is a staff member with appropriate special training in each building and in many cases on each floor of a building. Technical & Infrastructure Support - Behavioral: Intelligent Stage All staff use formal and informal support for efficient help. Formal help is obtained by calling the Help Desk or by submitting an electronic help ticket through the support portal. The portal also allows for the efficient tracking of support tickets. Informal support is obtained by seeking help from the departmental technology gurus, individuals with specialized training in various technologies. Technical & Infrastructure Support - Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Stage Full-time personnel are available to address all technical support needs. There is a Help Desk for handling technical support needs in the offices and the classroom, both physical and virtual. The Help Desk is staffed during normal onsite class hours with limited staffing during holidays and weekends. The Help Desk is able to escalate support requests to specialized teams (Network, Programming, etc.) when appropriate.

Connectivity Filter: Intelligent Stage
This was the strongest and most consistent category for my organization. The whole campus network infrastructure underwent a massive upgrade to a full fiber-optic system

a few years ago. The connection from building to building is incredibly fast. Also, the connection to the Internet is very fat and exceptionally speedy. It has the capacity to scale to meet the networking demands for years to come. The slowness we see now comes from overall network lag during periods of high use do to Internet traffic on the public Internet in Idaho. This sluggishness will be resolved by moving to the statewide high-speed Internet that is dedicated to educational traffic. Wireless access is also available across campus for any member of the campus community to use. All staff and students use the Internet extensively in their daily work with direct access to the Internet at all locations. All members of the CU community have Gmail accounts and use of Gmail is integrated into academic and support communications. Local Area Networking - Behavioral: Intelligent Stage Staff use the high-speed WAN for video, voice and sophisticated data needs. Staff with mobile technology use the campus wide high-speed wifi network to connect their devices to the campus intranet and the Internet. VPN is available for faculty and staff who require a secure connection from off-campus locations. Satellite MaxFi cards are available for those faculty and staff who need ultraportable connectivity when not near a wifi hotspot. Local Area Networking - Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Stage Wired and secure wireless is available everywhere on campus. Networking services are expandable for all related technologies. A high-speed fiber backbone is installed throughout the entire campus and connects every building to the Internet. Wireless is available everywhere on campus. Network nodes are accessible and able to accept planned upgrades. District Area Networking - Behavioral: Intelligent Stage Staff use the high-speed WAN for video, voice and sophisticated data needs. Staff with mobile technology use the campus wide high-speed wifi network to connect their devices to the campus intranet and the Internet. VPN is available for faculty and staff who require a secure connection from off-campus locations. Satellite MaxFi cards are available for those faculty and staff who need ultraportable connectivity when not near a wifi hotspot. High-speed networks are used to connect the main campus to satellite campuses located in other parts of the region.

District Area Networking - Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Stage Wired and secure wireless is available everywhere on campus. Networking services are expandable for all related technologies. A high-speed fiber backbone is installed throughout the entire campus and connects every building to the Internet. Wireless is available everywhere on campus. Network nodes are accessible and able to accept planned upgrades. High-speed networks are used to connect the main campus to satellite campuses located in other parts of the region. Internet Access - Behavioral: Intelligent Stage Most staff and all students use the Internet for video, voice and sophisticated data needs. All staff use VOIP telephones. This rating is more of early Intelligent. This has a lot to do with course design and the age of faculty. Most older faculty, of which there are more or fewer depending upon discipline, tend to use course materials that have been in use for some time and are not ready adopters of newer technologies - especially as it impacts the design of their courses. The use of Internet for video, collaborative projects and flipped course lectures (video/voice/rich media) is shifting as younger professionals are joining the faculty. All students use the Internet in a rich and deep way for course work because of core courses required for all students that use the Internet extensively and in creative ways. Staff use of the Internet depends upon on specific job function so an Intelligent use of the Internet by the support staff varies. Internet Access - Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Stage Direct access to the Internet is provided across campus via high speed fiber network. Wifi is available across campus. Open LAN ports are available for those desiring a hard line connection to the network. Communication Systems - Behavioral: Intelligent Stage Email is essential to campus communication. All faculty, staff and students have school Gmail accounts and use them regularly. The entire school is standardized on Gmail.

Communication Systems - Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Stage

All faculty, staff and students are assigned a campus Gmail account that they are expected to use for school communication.

Innovation Filter: Intelligent Stage
My organization ranked solidly in the Intelligent Stage for the Innovation Filter. The one area of concern - and the single Integrated rank - for this section came in the New Technologies: Behavioral facet. Most technologies are readily accepted by the staff at CU, but some are either too scarce for most to get much exposure to (iPads and Tablet PCs, for example) or the educational value has just not become apparent to them. These new and disruptive devices do have a cool factor to them, but they are viewed as too novel for use in an academic setting by some personnel. The remaining sections are all strongly intelligent. There is a strong program in IT for testing out new technologies. Those that make the cut are strongly supported and systematically introduced to the campus. This was the process that brought clickers to campus a few years ago. Technology is also widely available on campus. There are numerous labs, computer kiosks are placed in strategic locations around campus and all the systems are intended for use as deliverers of robust educational content. New Technologies - Behavioral: Integrated Stage New technologies are readily accepted by most staff. Some faculty and staff resist new technology. Some faculty, for instance, still think that "paper journals" are superior to "full text journals" from a database. The same goes for ebooks. Similar activity has been observed with the adoption of Course Management System changes and upgrades. Change management is a constant challenge. New Technologies - Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Stage New technologies are systematically adopted by the school. The Technology Advisory Group (TAG) and the e-learning committee do a good job of purposefully introducing new technologies to the campus. Technology "evangelists" are recruited to learn, use and share new technologies with their colleagues. This helps to removed some of the discomfort associated with the introduction of new - and potentially disruptive technologies. Comprehensive Technologies - Behavioral: Intelligent Stage Comprehensive technologies are readily available and have a good usage rate. Adobe Connect is a popular tool that is used for recording lectures and tutorials for "flipped classroom" activities and for collaborating with colleagues. Meeting rooms equipped

with high quality cameras and microphones are well-used for virtual meetings. GoTo meeting and other virtual meeting technologies are also used by many faculty. Comprehensive Technologies - Resource/Infrastructure: Intelligent Stage Available technology is used to near full potential. This, again, is mostly dependent on the discipline and the age of the faculty. For example, older faculty in the Humanities are less likely to push the limits of the available technology in their courses where older faculty in the Hard Sciences are more likely to use the available technology more fully and demand upgrades.

In conclusion, I rank my organization at the Intelligent Stage. The few sections which were not already at an Intelligent Stage were a very strong Integrated rank. These are moving quickly toward the Intelligent Stage and should be there within a very short period of time. The greatest concerns were behavioral and most of that was the behavior of faculty. I once heard a wise person say that trying to get faculty to all do one thing was like trying to herd cats: It’s pretty much impossible. But I do detect a shift as older faculty retire and are replaced by younger faculty who have an affinity for technology. Our institution is highly reliant on technology and we have influencers in key roles to help us continue in a technology friendly direction. Any educational institution that wants to remain relevant, be competitive, and thrive in the 21st century has to embrace technology and learn to use it to maximize the learning experience. My analysis indicates that CU is poised to do just that.

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