Monday, July 14, 2008

Why aren't faculty using a Course Management System?

I just uncovered a previously unreported piece of data from a 2007 survey conducted by the University of Wisconsin System. In our 2008 Milestone Review of Desire2Learn at UW-Madison, I included much data from the "2007 UW System Web-based Teaching and Learning Survey". Somehow, I managed to overlook this particular item.

Over 500 UW-Madison faculty responded to that 2007 survey, and 138 of them responded to the question:
If you are not using any type of course management system (CMS) or learning management system (LMS), what are your reasons?

28.3% Not necessary / Not applicable
25.4% Not familiar with them / Don't know about them
21.0% Use other tools or my own website
11.6% No time to learn how to use
7.2% Not convinced enough about their usefulness
2.9% Disagree with their use
2.2% Lack of support
1.4% Will use in the future

The second-most common reason ("not familiar/don't know") jumps out at me. These respondents account for 7% of all faculty responses to the '07 survey. It seems reasonable to believe that our efforts to raise awareness of the course management system still seem prudent.

What fraction of our faculty will never use a CMS? A conservative approach would be to combine all these respondents less those who stated "not familiar/don't know" and "will use in future" and divide by the total respondents (517). This exercise shows that approximately 20% of our faculty might never be inclined to use a course management system at UW-Madison.

I very much hope that UW System continues to deliver this survey in the future. The 20% figure is one I want to track over time.

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