Results of the 2016 Student Technology Needs Assessment

SMU’s Office of Information Technology will use the assessment results to improve existing services, support, and create new and innovative technology initiatives. Delivered during fall 2016, the Student Technology Needs Assessment surveyed over 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students at SMU, and focused on three major areas:

  • OIT Systems and Resources
  • Technical Support and Help
  • Teaching, Learning, and Technology

OIT 2016 Student Needs Assessment infographic
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Student responses generated the following recommendations for SMU’s IT Services:

  • Expand faculty training related to eLearning systems such as Canvas.
  • Develop and deliver faculty training on classroom technologies.
  • Offer student-focused training events and resources on IT services and resources.
  • Modernize the interface and increase performance speed of my.SMU.
  • Expand wireless network coverage across main campus.
  • Provide every student the ability to charge his or her own device(s) in classrooms and labs.
  • Develop and implement a long-term strategy to revitalize classrooms and instructional labs with modern technologies that support 21stcentury best practices in pedagogy, particularly collaborative learning.
  • Collaborate with the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) on the development and delivery of next generation faculty training on instructional design and delivery strategies that enhance on-campus courses and ensure common experiences and quality across online course offerings.

The report from the Student Technology Needs Assesment is available at

For their part in contributing to the survey, students were entered into a drawing for one of three sets of Apple AirPods. Academic Technology Services is pleased to announce that Mazen Barzani, Sheena Khan, and Xu Chang have each won a set of Apple AirPods for completing the Academic Technology Services first annual, Student Technology Needs Assessment.

Academic Technology Services will be delivering their second annual Faculty Technology Needs Assessment this spring. The next Student Technology Needs Assessment will be offered in fall 2017.

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Michael Robertson

Dr. Michael Robertson, Assistant Provost for Global, Online and Continuing Education, works with a collaborative team at SMU, building upon the ongoing vision of student-centered, external-facing educational offerings to enrich lives, foster innovation, and enhance productivity. His expertise is in technology planning, user training, instructional design, eLearning systems, and emerging technologies. He has published and presented on topics including innovation diffusion, instructional delivery methods, assessing user needs, and digital gaming. Prior to SMU, Dr. Robertson was Dean of eLearning at North Central Texas College where he oversaw all distance learning services, including systems administration, course development, and user training and support.