2023 Faculty and Technology Report: A First Look at Teaching Preferences since the Pandemic
During the spring of 2023, EDUCAUSE conducted a survey of 982 higher education faculty in the United States (for more information, see the Methodology section). This is the first faculty survey conducted by EDUCAUSE since 2019. Since then, the higher education landscape has been through a lot, including COVID-19, fluctuating enrollments and changes in public funding, and the rapid adoption of multiple instructional modalities and new technologies. Three years out from the onset of the pandemic, faculty continue to teach online, in hybrid mode, or in a combination of modes. And, though cognizant of the need for multiple modalities, many still prefer on-site (in-person) teaching because they feel that courses that are online and hybrid present challenges when it comes to student engagement and gauging student understanding and needs. So what do faculty need to teach more effectively across modalities? In addition to increased or improved instructional and technology support, faculty want more choice in deciding modality and more time to devote to course development, teaching, and training and professional development.
In this report, we describe the findings of the survey in four key areas:
- Modality preferences and the impacts of teaching in non-preferred modes
- Experiences teaching online and hybrid courses
- Technology and digital availability of course components
- Types of support needed and utilized for teaching
- A slight majority of faculty (53%) prefer to teach courses that are completely on-site.
- Faculty who prefer on-site teaching feel that it allows them to more easily read the room, in addition to promoting positive learning outcomes such as engagement and better student learning and academic performance.
- Many faculty (68%) who teach multiple courses in a term prefer to teach all of their courses in the same modality.
- Although many faculty are currently teaching in their preferred modes, a significant number still do not (31%).
- Teaching in non-preferred modes impacts both faculty and students, and the largest impacts are felt by faculty who prefer to teach on-site.
- Faculty experiences with technology are largely positive, and nearly all faculty (96%) feel that they are advanced or competent in their technological skills.
- Faculty experiences with technology do not appear to be the driving force behind modality preferences; rather, engagement, flexibility, student needs, and health and safety concerns are.
- When it comes to hybrid courses, most faculty prefer to decide which sessions are online versus on-site and want all of their students to be in the same mode for any given class session.
- Faculty rated a number of instructional supports as being important for their teaching; however, they don't use many of these often due to time constraints.
More Faculty Research Resources
For more information about the 2023 EDUCAUSE research about faculty and technology, visit the research hub.
© 2023 EDUCAUSE. The text of this work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License.
Nicole Muscanell. 2023 Faculty and Technology Report: A First Look at Teaching Preferences since the Pandemic. Research report. Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE, August 2023.