Information and Instructional Technology Services
Message from ECAR, July 26, 2011:
We are pleased to share with you the results from your institution and, as a point of comparison, the aggregated results from other two- or four-year institutions. I hope you find them useful in planning IT services at your institution and in understanding your students' use of technology. I would like to take this opportunity to inform you of several significant improvements we are making to the Student Technology Survey. You will see some of the improvements as soon as this year, and will experience more in the coming year or two.
In the years since ECAR began conducting this study, we have seen many changes in higher education and in students' uses and requirements of information technology. The standards for and uses of research into these issues have also evolved. Academic and IT leaders are being held increasingly accountable for academic and administrative outcomes and thus are demanding more and better data to help inform decision-making and planning.
At ECAR, we have given careful thought to the new challenges and accountabilities, to the changing profile of our students, and to the ongoing transformation of technology's contribution to higher education. We have designed major improvements to our Student Technology Survey. To transition these improvements as quickly as possible, we collected two sets of data this year: One for individually participating institutions such as yours and one for the main report, which will be based on a nationally representative sample of undergraduate students whom we surveyed in May. This expanded sample will ensure our conclusions apply to full- and part-time students, two- and four-year institutions, non- and for-profit institutions, and so on. To ensure a representative sample, we changed our survey methodology, which also provided us with the opportunity to expand and re-tool the survey.
The main report will expand our understanding not only of which technologies students use, but which they value most and which they believe are being most effectively used by their colleges and universities.
We continue to explore additional ideas for improving the value of this survey, and will both consult and update you as our ideas become more fully developed. I hope you are pleased with the additional value you will receive from the Student Technology Survey, and thank you so very much for your commitment to it. I welcome your comments and suggestions. Sincerely, Susan Grajek
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