Consistent with peers, UBC faculty are always connected and use technology frequently. Sixty percent are generally pleased with classroom based technology, less so with technology for research (44%), and physical (34%) as well as online (31%) collaboration spaces.
Twenty three percent of faculty believe that UBC has a clear strategy for online learning, compared to 37% at all other institutions. Only 14% believe that UBC has an agile approach to IT infrastructure. Most (78%) agree that UBC takes sufficient measures to keep student data secure.
One third of UBC faculty believe that online learning helps students learn more effectively and will lead to pedagogical breakthroughs. Seventy-one percent believe it makes higher education more accessible.
Faculty were asked to identify one thing that UBC could do with technology to better facilitate or support their faculty role. Almost all faculty responded to this question, with roughly one quarter related directly to the operation, the functionality and/or the viability of Connect, UBC’s learning management system. Other comments ranged widely from support to intellectual property. Some of these comments appear in the Table below.
Table 1. In their own words
|On strategy||Adopt a single, campus-wide ‘umbrella’ strategy that sets out the institutions long and short term vision, goals and objectives for embracing and deploying technology to support local and distance learning.
|On Connect||Improve the ease of use of CONNECT…the ham-handed interface is like trying to eat dinner while wearing hockey goalie equipment
|On the learning ecosystem||More agile and responsive technology that meets specific needs of faculty, rather than a one-size fits all approach.
|On support||When things don’t work we have to call a central number and wait on hold for 20 minutes only to be given a ‘ticket’ and then asked to wait some more… I do not have time to sit on hold, let alone wait for hours/days for a response.
|On information technology||Remember that IT is to support the academic mission, it is not a mission in itself.
|On cloud-based storage||The high performance computing situation at UBC is a disgrace for such a research-oriented university. Initiatives at the central level on things like drop-box, HPC, cloud computing are years behind what is happening in the world and with the embedded staff.|