Attention Must be Paid (AAUP Conference, June 2013)

Lunch keynote session at the AAUP conference in Washington on 14 June 2013.   The presentation focuses on five key IT issues that affect faculty and institutions:

  • plus ca change: how do we get faculty to use technology
  • "MOOC Madness" and Online Education
  • OER and Digital Curricular Resources
  • Big Data
  • The Potemkin Campus
 
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Campus Computing 2012: Mixed Assessments on IT Effectiveness

2012 EDUCAUSE Conference Presentation (VIDEO)
PRESS COVERAGE

  == Chronicle of Higher Education
  == Inside Higher Ed
  == Joshua Kim:  Technology and Learning Blog
  == Ed Tech Magazine     
The 2012 Campus Computing Survey

A Mixed Assessment on the
Effectiveness of Campus IT Investments
        New data from fall 2012 Campus Computing Survey offer a mixed assessment about the effectiveness of institutional investments in information technology.  The new survey also confirms big gains in the proportion of institutions that are activating mobile apps and services for their students. Additionally, the 2012 data document the continuing decline in the number of campuses that have experienced IT budget cuts as a consequence of the economic downturn that began in 2008.
Assessing the Effectiveness of Campus IT Investments
         A new question on the 2012 Campus Computing Survey reveals that senior campus IT officials offer a very mixed assessment about the effectiveness of various institutional investments in information technology.  For example, three-fifths view the institutional investment in IT for library resources and for administrative information systems to be “very effective,” while just over half  (55.2 percent) cite the investment in IT for on-campus instruction as “very effective.” In contrast, less than a fourth (22.7 percent) view the IT investment in “data analysis and managerial analytics” as very effective.  Among CIOs at research institutions, only a two-fifths (41.7 percent) at public universities and a third (32.6 percent) in private universities assess current IT investments to support research and scholarship as “very effective.”
         “These new data suggest that CIOs recognize the need for their institutions to extract more value from the continuing and significant dollars their campuses invest in information technology,” says Kenneth C. Green, founding director of The Campus Computing Survey. “Although colleges and universities are doing many things well with IT, for many campus officials the return on the institutional investment in information technology often falls short of both expectations and need.” 


        
          The numbers on the effectiveness of campus IT investments become even more striking when compared to the data from two national surveys of college and university presidents and provosts that Green conducted for 
Inside Higher Ed in 2011.  Taken together, the three surveys reveal that many presidents and provosts are less sanguine about campus IT investments than their IT officers:  just 42.1 percent of presidents and 50.0 percent of chief academic officers view the IT investment to support on-campus instruction as “very effective,” compared to 55.2 percent of CIOs.  Although 61.5 percent of CIOs report the institutional investment in administrative information systems to be “very effective,” only 39.0 percent of presidents and 33.4 percent of provosts offer a similar assessment.  Interestingly, CIOs offer a lower assessment about effectiveness of IT investments to support campus analytical efforts: just 22.7 percent of CIOs view the investment in IT to support data analytics as very effective, compared to 28.6 percent of provosts and 37.7 percent of presidents.



         Green says that this gap in the assessments of IT effectiveness among presidents, provosts, and CIOs could be explained in several ways: “For some campus officials these numbers reflect unfulfilled expectations, while for others it could be that both technology advocates and technology providers have frequently over-promised and under-delivered.  And in other instances it may well be that institutional IT officers have failed to communicate the effectiveness of IT investments at their campuses.”  Green adds that whatever the cause, campus IT advocates, IT officers, and technology providers "must acknowledge and attend to the issue of technology effectiveness."
More Colleges Go Mobile
         Across all sectors of higher education, the 2012 survey documents another year of big gains in the proportion of colleges and universities that have activated mobile apps.   Three-fifths (60.2 percent) of the campuses participating in this year’s survey have activated mobile apps as of fall 2012 or will do so in the coming academic year, compared to two-fifths (41.5 percent) in fall 2011 and 23.1 percent in fall 2010. Across sectors, public universities lead the move to mobile: more than three-fourths (77.8 percent) report active or impending mobile apps for fall 2012, compared to 67.5 percent for private universities, and a range of 50-60 percent for public and private four-year colleges and also for community colleges.



         “Several factors explain these continuing gains, “ says Green.  “Colleges and universities are clearly playing catch-up with the consumer experience.  Students come to campus with their smartphones and tablets expecting to use mobile apps to navigate campus resources and use campus services.  Also important is that compared to two years ago, more firms – both LMS and ERP providers – now offer mobile options for their campus clients.”  Green adds that some technology providers now offer free mobile apps, which also means that the costs of going mobile have changed significantly in recent years.  
Fewer Campuses Experience Budget Cuts
         The 2012 data indicate that just over a fourth (27.0 percent) of the surveyed institutions experienced cuts affecting the current (A/Y 2012-13) budget for central IT resources and services, down from more than a third (35.8 percent) in fall 2011, 41.6 percent in 2010, and fully half (50.0 percent) in fall 2009.  
         Among public institutions, about a third of universities, four-year campuses, and community colleges reported reductions in the central budget for IT fall 2012, down dramatically from 2011, when more than 54.7 percent of public universities, 43.6 percent of public four-year colleges, and 39.0 percent of community colleges experienced central IT budget cuts.



         Private/non-profit institutions continue to fare better than their public counterparts: 16.3 percent of private universities experienced central IT budget cuts this year, compared to one-fourth (24.9 percent) in fall 2011 and 56.9 percent in 2009.  Among private four-year colleges, the percentage reporting budget cuts fell to 18.3 percent, down from 24.7 percent in fall 2011 and 41.9 percent in 2009.
          “The new data offer some generally good news, as fewer institutions experienced IT budget reductions this year than last,” says Green.   “But the IT budget cuts continue for many and the proportion of public campuses experiencing IT budget reductions remains high, about a third across all sectors.” Green cites the rising demand for an array of campus IT resources and services – mobile apps, high speed wireless, IT user support services, instructional design assistance for faculty teaching online, and IT security, plus the need to refresh an aging campus IT infrastructure – as major sources of pressure on campus IT budgets, and by extension, major challenges for campus IT leaders.
Small Gains in Cloud Computing
         Despite the continuing discussion in both the campus and the corporate sectors about the operational and financial benefits of Cloud Computing, the 2012 survey data show only small gains in the movement of mission-critical campus operations to the Cloud.  Just 5.9 percent of the survey participants report that their campus has moved or is converting to Cloud Computing for ERP (administrative system) services, up from 4.4 percent in 2011 (range: from 10.2 percent for private universities to 2.1 percent for private four-year colleges).Similarly, just 9.8 percent have moved to Cloud Computing for storage, archiving, or business continuity services as of fall 2012, compared to 6.5 percent last year.   And although Cloud Computing should offer significant benefits for research and high performance computing (HPC) activities, just 8.3 of public universities have migrated these activities to the Cloud as of this fall, compared to 6.6 percent in 2011; among private universities, 7.0 percent report cloud-based HPC activities, compared to 1.1 percent last year. 


  
         Other Cloud services post higher numbers.  This fall almost two-fifths of the survey participants (38.1 percent, up from 27.8 percent in 2011) report that they have moved or are migrating LMS applications to Cloud services, while a sixth (16.6 percent, up from 10.9 percent last year) indicate that their institution is using a Cloud-based CRM (Customer Relationship Management) application. 
         “The gains on Cloud Computing posted this year should be encouraging to both campus IT leaders and to technology providers,” says Green, although he notes that the major ERP providers only recently begin to offer Cloud-based services to their campus clients.   Even as the performance benefits and cost savings of migrating to the Cloud appear compelling, “trust really is the coin of the realm: many campus IT officers are not ready to migrate mission-critical data, resources, and services to the Cloud services offered by their IT providers.”
Continuing Shifts in the LMS Market
        The 2012 data also document an increasing competitive campus market for Learning Management Systems (LMS).  The proportion of survey participants reporting that their institution uses various versions of Blackboard (including Angel and WebCT) as the campus-standard LMS fell to 44.8 percent in fall 2012, down from 50.6 percent in 2011, 57.1 percent 2010, and 71.0 percent in fall 2006.  Concurrently, Blackboard’s major LMS competitors – Desire2Learn (11.1 percent in fall 2012), Moodle (20.1 percent), and Sakai (6.1 percent) - have all gained share during this period. Additionally, Canvas by Instructure has emerged as an aggressive new competitor: 4.6 percent of the 2012 survey participants report that their institution has selected Canvas as the campus-standard LMS application, up from zero percent just three years ago.
        “The campus LMS market remains a textbook example of a mature market with immature, or evolving, technologies, and that’s a prescription for both volatility and competition,” says Green.   “Two-thirds of this year’s survey participants report that their campus is or will soon begin a review of the institutional LMS strategy, affirming the assessment that higher education can be a very volatile market for LMS providers.”
        The 2012 Campus Computing Survey is based on survey data provided by senior campus IT officials, typically, the CIO, CTO, or other senior campus IT officer, representing 542 two- and four-year public and private/non-profit colleges and universities across the United States. Survey respondents completed the online questionnaire from September 20 through October 26Copies of the 2012 Campus Computing Survey will be available on December 15th from The Campus Computing Project in Encino, CA (campuscomputing.net).  Price: $45, which includes shipping to US addresses. 
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Podcasts from CES 2012 / HigherEdTECH summit

Higher education came of age at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).  The January 11th  HigherEdTECH summit drew a standing room-only crowd of campus officials, policy-makers, and technology innovators.  Below are links to two of the plenary sessions and two podcasts.   

From Dewey to Digital: Are e-books, Tablets and Digital Content Coming of Age?  (video link)

Is 2012 the year that e-books and digital content take hold in academe? Or will the textbook continue to reign? Casey Green leads a lively, provocative discussion of the promise, potential, and market realities of moving from Dewey to digital in higher education.

WAYING INTO EDUCATION: A Candid Conversation with Scott McNealy  (video link)

From iconic high-tech pioneer to education visionary, Scott McNealy, co-founder and CEO of Sun Microsystems and now founder of Curriki.org and chairman of Wayin, continues to offer blunt assessments about the status quo and as well as original thinking about the potential of technology to shape the future. A passionate voice for improving the quality of education, McNealy shares his thoughts about doing business with higher ed, how the current wave of tech expansion differs from the dot.com experience,  how leaders can stay current with new technologies, and injecting innovation into our current system.

 

PODCAST:  An Interview with Matt MacInnis, CEO of Inking  (audio)

Matt MacInnis, CEO of Inkling, talked with Casey Green of Campus Computing about the challenges of moving textbooks to tablets for the higher education market.

PODCAST:  An Interview with Vineet Madan, Senior Vice President at McGraw Hill Higher Education  (audio)

Vineet Madan, senior vice president at McGraw Hill Higher Education, and Casey Green of Campus Computing discuss the role of adaptive learning technologies as part of the movement of college curricula from print to digial formats.

Campus Computing 2011: Big Gains in Going Mobile

PRESS CONVERAGE OF THE 2011 Survey
  - Chronicle of Higher Education  (20 Oct 2011)
  - Inside Higher Ed (20 Oct 2011)


The 2011 Campus Computing Survey

Big Gains in Going Mobile; Slow Movement Towards Cloud Computing

     Colleges and universities have made significant gains in deploying mobile apps over the past year according to the 2011 Campus Computing Survey, the largest continuing study of computing, eLearning, and information technology in American higher education. However, the new survey data reveal that campuses have been slow to move key operational and research functions to Cloud Computing and also document the continuing consequences of the budget cuts that have affected many institutions in recent years.

Colleges Go Mobile

     Across all sectors of higher education, the 2011 survey documents big gains in the proportion of campuses that have activated mobile apps.   More than half (55.3 percent) of public universities have activated mobile apps as of fall 2011 or will do so in the coming academic year, compared to a third (32.5 percent) in fall 2010; public four-year colleges also posted good gains (43.6 percent in 2011, up from 17.8 percent in fall 2010) while the numbers more than tripled among community colleges (40.9 percent this year vs. 12.4 last fall).

     Private institutions also posted big increases: for private universities, the number deploying mobile apps rose to 50.0 percent from 42.2 percent in fall 2010; among private four-year colleges, the number was up by a third, from 25.2 percent in fall 2010 to 43.6 percent in 2011.

      “Several factors explain these dramatic gains, “ says Kenneth C. Green founding director of The Campus Computing Project.  “Colleges and universities are playing catch-up with the consumer experience.  Students come to campus expecting to use mobile apps on their smartphones and tablets to navigate campus resources and use campus services.  Also important is that compared to a year ago, more firms – both LMS and ERP providers – now offer mobile options for their campus clients.”  Green adds that some technology providers now offer free mobile apps, which means that the options for and cost of going mobile have changed dramatically in the past year.  

Slow Movement to the Cloud?

     Despite much discussion in both the campus and corporate sectors about the operational and financial benefits of Cloud Computing, the 2011 survey data reveal that colleges and universities have been slow to move mission-critical operations to the Cloud.  Just 4.4 percent of the survey participants report that their campus has moved or is converting to Cloud Computing for ERP (administrative system) services (range: from 1.3 among public universities to 7.1 percent for private universities).  Similarly, just 6.5 percent have moved to Cloud Computing for storage, archiving, or business continuity services.  And although Cloud Computing should offer significant benefits for research and high performance computing (HPC) activities, just 2.4 percent of public universities and 6.6 percent of private universities report migrating these activities to Cloud Computing.

     Other Cloud services post slightly higher numbers.  For example, more than fourth (27.8 percent) of the survey participants report that they have moved or are migrating their LMS application to Cloud Computing, and a tenth (10.9 percent) indicate that their institution is using Cloud-based CRM (Customer Relationship Management) services. 

     “The major ERP providers have been slow to offer Cloud Services to their campus clients,” says Green   Although the cost savings may seem compelling, “trust really is the coin of the realm: many campus IT officers are not ready to migrate mission-critical data, resources, and services to the Cloud Services offered by their IT providers.”          

Mixed Data on Budget Cuts

     New data from institutions participating in the annual survey reveal that a third (35.8 percent) of colleges and universities experienced a budget cut in central IT services for the current academic year, down from 41.6 percent last year and half (50.0 percent) in fall 2009.   

     The proportion of public institutions reporting budget cuts fell slightly in fall 2011, although the number that experienced budget cuts still remains significant.   For example, just over half (54.7 percent) of public universities report budget cuts for central IT services for fall 2011, compared to three-fifths (59.8 percent) for fall 2010 and two-thirds (67.1 percent) in fall 2009.  Among public four-year colleges, budget cuts declined slightly to 43.6 percent in 2011, compared to 45.8 percent a year ago and 56.9 percent in fall 2009.   Two-fifths (39.0 percent) of community colleges experienced cuts in their budget for central IT services for the current academic year, compared to 46.2 percent in 2010 and 37.0 percent in fall 2009.

     Private/non-profit institutions generally fared better than their public counterparts: one-fourth (24.9 percent) of private universities report IT budget cuts for fall 2011, about the same as a year ago (24.4 percent) but still well below the 56.9 percent posted in 2009.  Among private four-year colleges, the percentage reporting budget cuts fell to 24.7 percent this fall, compared to 31.9 percent in 2010 and 41.9 percent in 2009.

     “As was the case last fall, the new survey data provide a only modicum of good news about IT budgets: yes, fewer institutions experienced budget reductions this year than last,” says Kenneth C. Green, founding director of The Campus Computing Project.  “But the budget cuts continue for many institutions and the proportion of public campuses experiencing IT budget reductions remains high.  The consequences are particularly daunting for community colleges where enrollments are exploding while the financial resources for IT services to support online and on-campus courses are eroding.”

Continuing Shifts in the LMS Market

     The 2011 survey data also document an increasingly competitive campus market for Learning Management Systems (LMS).  The proportion of survey participants reporting that their institution uses various versions of Blackboard (including Angel and WebCT) as the campus-standard LMS fell to 50.6 percent in 2011, compared to 57.1 percent last year and down from 71.0 percent in fall 2006.  Concurrently, Blackboard’s major LMS competitors – Desire2Learn, Moodle, and Sakai - have all gained share during this period.   Additionally, several new LMS providers, including Epsilen, Instructure, and Loudcloud, among others, are generating significant interest and beginning to sign some interesting campus clients.

     “The campus LMS market remains a textbook example of a mature market with immature, or evolving, technologies, and that’s a prescription for a volatile market,” says Green.   “Blackboard’s plans to retire legacy LMS products have been a catalyst for many institutions to review the campus LMS strategy and to evaluate other LMS applications.”

eBooks and Digital Content

     Senior campus IT officers remain bullish on the future of eBooks.  Nine-tenths (90.1 percent) of the survey participants agree or strongly agree that “eBook content will be an important source for instructional resources in five years,” up from 86.5 percent in 2010 and 76.3 percent in 2009.  Additionally, more than four-fifths  (81.7 percent, compared to 78.6 percent in 2010 and 66.0 percent in 2009) agree/strongly agree that “eBook readers (hardware) will be important platforms for instructional content in five years.”

      “The platform options, market opportunities, and enabling technologies for eBooks continue to improve,”  says Green.  But he notes that for most students, eBooks and eTextbooks do not yet offer a competitive alternative to used textbooks.  He cites a recent survey by Student Monitor in which a fifth of undergraduates opted for a used book priced the same as a new textbook, a rented textbook, or digital textbook, suggesting that many students see real added-value in a textbook that other students have already highlighted and annotated.

     The 2011 Campus Computing Survey is based on survey data provided by senior campus IT officials, typically, the CIO, CTO, or other senior campus IT officer, representing 496 two- and four-year public and private/non-profit colleges and universities across the United States. Survey respondents completed the online questionnaire from September 16 through October 13th.   Copies of the 2011 Campus Computing Survey will be available on December 10th from The Campus Computing Project in Encino, CA (campuscomputing.net).  Price: $42, which includes shipping to US addresses.

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The 2010 Campus Computing Survey (14 October 2010)

IT Budget Cuts Slowing;

Campus LMS Strategies in Transition

 
The results of the 2010 Campus Computing Survey.

 

PRESS COVERAGE OF THE 2010 CAMPUS COMPUTING REPORT
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e-Literate's Michael Feldstein Interviews Casey Green of Campus Computing (16 Oct 2010)

e-Literate's Michael Feldstein interviewed Casey Green of The Campus Computing Project at the 2010 EDUCAUSE Conference. The conversation focused on the results of the 2010 Campus Computing Survey.

WCET Webcast: "D3 = Data Driven Decisions: It's Trendy”

WCET's Big Audacious Conversation on October 5, 2010 webcast, “D3 = Data Driven Decisions: It's Trendy” brought together Ellen Wagner, executive director of WCET and Kenneth C. Green, the Founding Director of the Campus Computing Project.  Wagner and Green discussed the significance of using survey data to make decisions for online education programs, focusing on the results of the 2009 Managing Online Education Survey, sponsored by WCET and The Campus Computing Project.   The chat box was active with many excellent questions posed and numerous resources shared.    

IMS Interview with Kenneth C. Green (March 2010)

Ahead of the May 2010 Learning Impact Conference in Long Beach, the IMS interviewed Kenneth C. Green from The Campus Computing Project about the state of technology in higher education.

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