Methodology and Acknowledgments


The ECAR faculty technology study is conducted in the same manner as the annual ECAR student technology study. Both rely on respondents recruited from institutions that volunteer to partner with ECAR to conduct technology research in the academic community. ECAR works with an institutional stakeholder (the survey administrator) to secure local approval to participate in the research. Once the institutional review board process is successfully navigated and a sampling plan is submitted, ECAR provides each survey administrator with the survey link for the current year’s research project. The survey administrator then uses the survey link to invite participants from that institution to respond to the survey. Data were collected between January 30 and April 28, 2017, and 13,451 faculty from 157 institutional sites responded to the survey (see demographic breakdown of institutions in table M1 and respondents in table M2). ECAR issued $100 or $200 gift cards to 19 randomly selected faculty respondents who opted into a drawing offered as an incentive to participate in the survey. Colleges and universities use data from the ETRAC student and faculty surveys to develop and support their strategic objectives for educational technology. With ETRAC data, institutions can understand and benchmark what students and faculty need and expect from technology. There is no cost to participate. Campuses will have access to all research publications, the aggregate-level summary/benchmarking report, and the institution’s raw (anonymous) response data.


Table M1. Summary of institutional participation and response rates

Institution Type* Institution Count Invitations Response Count Group Response Rate Percentage of Total Responses U.S. Percentage
AA 38 8,751 2,449 28% 18% 22%
BA public 19 2,526 324 13% 2% 3%
BA private 6 1,305 271 21% 2% 2%
MA public 23 10,109 1,562 15% 12% 14%
MA private 12 4,732 702 15% 5% 6%
DR public 25 43,568 4,758 11% 35% 43%
DR private 3 781 233 30% 2% 2%
Specialized U.S. 5 3,306 842 25% 6% 8%
Total U.S. 131 75,078 11,141 15% 83% 100%
Outside U.S. 26 24,866 2,310 9% 17%
Grand total 157 99,944 13,451 13% 100%

* U.S. institutions not in the Carnegie universe were classified according to the Carnegie Classification framework.

The quantitative findings in this report were developed using 11,141 survey responses from 131 U.S. institutions. Responses were neither sampled nor weighted. Comparisons by faculty type and institution type are included in the findings when there are meaningful differences, and all statements of significance are at the 0.001 level (p < 0.001) unless otherwise noted. Findings from the 2016 EDUCAUSE Core Data Service and the 2017 ECAR student technology study are included, where appropriate, to contextualize the findings.

Table M2. Demographic breakdown of survey respondents

  U.S. Institutions Non-U.S. Institutions All Institutions
Basic Demographics
18–34 years old 10% 24% 13%
35–49 years old 38% 40% 38%
50–65 years old 41% 33% 40%
65 years or older 11% 3% 9%
Male 46% 57% 48%
Female 54% 43% 52%
White 84%
Black/African American 3%
Hispanic/Latino 4%
Asian/Pacific Islander 5%
Other or multiple races/ethnicities 5%
Faculty Profile
Percentage of respondents who work with undergraduate students 89% 75% 87%
Percentage indicating experience with technology for teaching and learning 97% 80% 94%
Percentage indicating experience with technology for research 43% 63% 46%
Five+ years of full-time teaching experience 62% 64% 62%
Five+ years of any teaching experience 78% 72% 77%
Median years in a full-time faculty position 8 8 8
Mean years in a full-time faculty position 11 10 11
Full-time faculty member 76% 90% 78%
Part-time faculty member 24% 9% 21%
Full-Time Faculty Status
Tenured 53% 42% 51%
Full professor 26% 14% 23%
Associate professor 19% 9% 17%
Assistant professor 20% 8% 18%
Instructor 20% 11% 18%
Lecturer/senior lecturer 7% 25% 11%
Adjunct 1% 3% 1%
Clinical professor 1% 0% 1%
Research professor 1% 1% 1%
Research associate 1% 8% 2%
Other or no academic rank 4% 21% 8%
Teaching/Research Areas
Agriculture and natural resources 4% 4% 4%
Biological/life sciences 8% 10% 9%
Business, management, marketing 9% 13% 10%
Communications/journalism 5% 4% 5%
Computer and information sciences 6% 15% 7%
Education, including physical education 11% 8% 10%
Engineering and architecture 6% 16% 7%
Fine and performing arts 6% 3% 5%
Health sciences, including professional programs 14% 11% 14%
Humanities 13% 11% 13%
Liberal arts/general studies 11% 2% 10%
Manufacturing, construction, repair, or transportation 2% 3% 2%
Physical sciences, including mathematical sciences 11% 16% 11%
Public administration, legal, social, and protective services 2% 1% 2%
Social sciences 14% 12% 14%
Other 9% 9% 9%


The amount of effort that goes into producing the ETRAC reports each year is considerable. From planning through publication, the process takes nearly 15 months of close collaboration between EDUCAUSE staff and subject-matter experts (SMEs), requires the coordination of scores of college and university staff, and depends on the goodwill of thousands of students and instructors to take the time to share their experiences with and thoughts about technology in higher education. In this space, we pause to acknowledge the contributions of those who have made the 2017 faculty and student studies possible.

First, we would like to thank the 43,559 undergraduate students and 13,451 faculty who completed the 2017 surveys, giving us the precious data we need to conduct our analyses. Second, we thank the faculty and student survey administrators whose behind-the-scenes collaborative efforts to secure approval to administer the surveys, to create the sampling plans, and to distribute the survey links to the populations are mission critical to this project. Third, we thank by name the five individuals who contributed their experience, knowledge, and time as subject-matter experts and whose feedback, comments, and suggestions throughout the life cycle of this project improved the quality of this report immensely. They are, in alphabetical order,

  • Jonathan D. Becker, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University;
  • Patsy D. Moskal, Associate Director, Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness, University of Central Florida;
  • Christopher S. Rice, Principal Consultant, Christopher S. Rice Consulting;
  • Richard A. Sebastian, Director, OER Degree Initiative, Achieving the Dream, Inc.; and
  • David Andrew Wicks, Associate Professor and Chair of Digital Education Leadership, School of Education, Seattle Pacific University.

Finally, we want to acknowledge our EDUCAUSE colleagues for their contributions to these reports. Perhaps the biggest thank you goes to Jamie Reeves, whose commitment to this annual project is unsurpassed and whose organizational skills are par excellence. Considerable thanks go to Mike Roedema, whose deep historical knowledge of these survey projects repeatedly proves invaluable and whose keen eye for statistical interpretations keeps us researchers honest in our analyses. Thanks also are due to Susan Grajek and Mark McCormack for their careful reviews, insight, and guidance in finalizing this project. We also want to thank Kate Roesch for artistic vision and creating figures that neither of us could conceive or execute; Gregory Dobbin and the publications team for their attention to detail, command of the written word, and ability to nudge us into making the right editorial decisions; and Lisa Gesner for her extraordinary ability to connect all of the dots all of the time.