Higher education is grappling with multiple critical disruptions, including a shift toward more online and hybrid modalities, diminishing budgets and enrollments, increased demand for wrap-around supports, and the wide-scale introduction of generative AI technologies. Admin are situated at the center of these shifting demands, responsible for making the types of campus-wide decisions that will determine the institution’s direction into the future. Often, these decisions are based on varying levels of data, pressures from faculty and students, financial constraints, and long-standing financial and political agreements that contribute to innovation inertia. Any misstep can have a ripple effect on the rest of the institution, detracting from the teaching and learning experiences of faculty and students. 

To gain insights into how administrators perceive and experience these challenges — and complement the insights obtained from our student and faculty surveys — the College Innovation Network (CIN) at WGU Labs launched the CIN Administrator EdTech Survey. The survey, which included 214 administrators from diverse colleges and universities across the country, explores how administrators perceive and make decisions about educational technology, how they view the future of higher education, and how their institutions are approaching new generative AI technologies. The goal of the survey is to identify challenges in administrators' experiences and opportunities to streamline the integration of technology into instruction moving forward. 

Key findings include:

  • Fewer than half of administrators (47%) are confident in their ability to choose effective EdTech products — and they aren’t making data-informed decisions.
  • 58% of administrators prioritize EdTech that integrates with their Learning Management System (LMS). Beyond integration with existing systems, administrators want products that are backed by evidence, which is noteworthy given less than 10% of EdTech products currently on the market are backed by rigorous evidence of their efficacy.
  • 78% of admin believe instructors will spend more time delivering course content online in the future, but they are split on whether a tech-centric future will be more personalized (54%) or standardized (52%) for students.
  • Administrators have mixed perceptions of AI (52% are positive about the use of AI tools in higher ed, 30% are neutral, and 19% are negative) and are choosing inaction in the face of uncertainty.

Download the full report to learn more about our findings.

This report was written by Dr. Stephanie Reeves, Dr. Betheny Gross, and Dr. Omid Fotuhi.