In December 2015 the Office of Educational Technology with the EdTech Leadership Council emailed all faculty a link to a survey about their experiences teaching with technology. 114 faculty members responded to the survey. The respondents’ represented the following departments:
- Language & Cognition (6 respondents- 5%)
- Library (6 respondents- 5%)
- Allied Health (9 respondents- 8%)
- Education (9 respondents- 8%)
- Business (10 respondents- 9%)
- Humanities (12 respondents- 11%)
- English (14 respondents- 12%)
- Natural Sciences (14 respondents- 12%)
- Mathematics (15 respondents- 13%)
- Behavioral & Social Sciences (18 respondents- 16%)
73% identified themselves as full time faculty and twenty-seven percent identified as adjunct faculty. The majority (over 80%) had been teaching at Hostos for 6 or more semesters and the majority were in professorial titles (17% Professor, 17% Associate Professor and 36% Assistant Professor).
More than 75% of the respondents had experience adding a Blackboard component to their courses. This approximately aligns with the EdTech Office’s experience that approximately 60% of faculty activate the Blackboard sites associated with their courses, each semester. See chart 1 for additional info.
Faculty members had a variety of responses to the open-ended question of what needs to be in place in order for them to try teaching hybrid or online courses. Many indicated that they needed additional training, better supporting technology (both in terms of online resources in their subject areas and technology support on campus), and data showing that online courses were as good as, or better, than in-person courses.
Faculty members then responded to questions about their technology needs, their experiences with SmartClassrooms on campus, and their professional development needs. Blackboard, Computers on Wheels (COWS) and multimedia carts were commonly used technology resources. Faculty members indicated they used technology often to share audio, video and library resources with their classes. See Chart 2 (below) for additional info.
Faculty members who indicated that they taught in SmartClassrooms were asked a variety of questions about their experiences using the SmartRooms at Hostos. Of the respondents, the majority had taught in SmartClassrooms for at least 4 semesters:
- 16% taught in a SmartClassroom for 1 semester
- 24% taught in a SmartClassroom for 2-3 semesters
- 25% taught in a SmartClassroom for 4-5 semesters
- 34% taught in a SmartClassroom for 6 or more semesters
Faculty members responded to an open-ended question about other needs not asked about on the survey. A selection of their responses follows:
- Chairs- There are times you want to sit at the computer located at the teacher’s station. We do not have a chair that is high enough to see the screen. We need a chair that matches the height of the computer table.
- Room architecture: B-507 (smart classroom) only fits 23 students, because there is a big column which obstruct the view. You cannot put a table or chairs behind this wide column. I had 26 students, and it was real challenge. I called facilities and informed the Registrars, but noting has been done. In the future, this room should only be allocated to courses with small class size.
- Desks: The set-up of the desks is not conducive to group work. It is time consuming to move the desks around.
- WiFi: The wifi in Building A has not been working all semester despite reports to IT… 3rd floor B classrooms have such slow internet access that connecting to vital resources becomes a major hurdle.
- Cleaning: The area that houses the equipment needs to be cleaned more often. The accumulation of dust around the PC can cause the equipment to malfunction and also is unhealthy for the users.
Comments about the technology generally focused on outdated software, especially the problem of plugins not being updated, tech support not responding quickly enough, and broken hardware. Problems with class size and inadequate seating, or trouble access the room were also mentioned.
Faculty members responded to questions about training and their proficiency with technology tools. On Mondays-Thursdays the most popular timeslot was 2-4pm. On Fridays and Saturdays faculty members indicated that 11-1 would be their preferred time for training. The majority (54%) preferred traditional 1-hour workshops, but online self-paced workshops was the second most popular type of training (37%) and one-on-one trainings ranked third (29%). Faculty members indicated whether they were likely to attend trainings on a variety of topics. The following is the list of trainings ranked by the number of faculty who indicated they were “Highly likely” to attend.
1. Problem-solving skills- 35
2. Increasing critical thinking- 35
3. Increasing student motivation- 32
4. Project-based learning- 31
5. Experiential learning- 28
6. Blackboard tools- 24
7. Course development- 23
8. Core competencies across the curriculum- 22
9. Online collaboration tools- 22
10. Lecture capture- 20
11. Learning styles- 20
12. Plagiarism and cheating in online courses- 19
13. Flipping the classroom- 19
14. Game-based learning- 15
15. iPads in the classroom- 15
16. Using social media in your course- 15
17. Designing a syllabus- 14
18. Service learning- 14
19. Universal design- 13
20. Test taking strategies- 13
21. Disruptive behavior in the classroom- 11
22. Student services- 10
Finally, faculty members indicated their level of proficiency with a variety of technology tools. See Chart 5 for their ranking of their expertise with a variety of technology.