2014 IT student survey: the results

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[02 September 2014]

Every two years IT Services conducts a survey of students with the aim of understanding better how students use our IT services, facilities or support and how these are valued or perceived.

2014 Student Survey

The most recent survey was conducted in May which generated just under 2,000 responses from across the University. The results have provided valuable information for planning future improvements to IT services.

A report of the survey results is available on the IT Services website.

The results show that students are, on the whole, happy with most of the services that we provide for them and that satisfaction with our services has improved significantly since the last survey two years ago.

Activity by IT Services following the 2012 survey

The 2012 survey highlighted certain key services that were important to students but which were not performing adequately, such as open access computers, printing and Blackboard. As a result of those findings IT Services implemented a number of initiatives to improve these services:

  • In 2012 only 53% of students thought that open access computers were satisfactory, so we invested in replacing the oldest computers across the University and standardising software. This year 85% told us that open access computers are performing well.
  • 52% of students thought that printing was a good service when surveyed in 2012, this has risen to 71% since we introduced Print Release in many locations.
  • Satisfaction with Blackboard has leapt from 58% in 2012 to 80% in 2014, after much work has been carried out to upgrade the design and move the system to more powerful and resilient hardware.
  • Eduroam , the wireless network, now covers all lecture theatres, study spaces and rooms in University-managed halls of residence. 84% of students are happy with the service, compared to 65% two years ago.
  • 67% of students were happy with MyBristol, the University portal, in 2012. So we upgraded the service and the new design has gone down well, with 86% of students now liking it.
  • Only 44% of students were happy with the old legacy email service in 2012. Now that all students are using Gmail a whopping 96% are happy with the service.

The 2012 survey also identified growing trends towards new services or ways of accessing IT resources, so we have introduced new services and support to meet these demands:

  • The increase in use of mobile devices to access services led to us making changes to the Student Laptop and Mobile Clinic, which now runs five afternoons a week during term time and helps with tablet and smartphone problems. This has led to an increase in satisfaction with it from 75% to 89%.
  • A pilot project for capturing audio and presentations from lectures and making these available online will start in this academic year.
  • Google Apps , including Google Drive, are now available to students.
  • Better information is available on facilities in study spaces.
  • Key course-specific software is available more widely, on open access computers or the Remote Desktop service. Matlab is now site-licensed, so that it is available for more people to use concurrently.

National Student Survey

These improvements to IT have also been reflected in the National Student Survey this year, where final year undergraduates are asked how much they agree with the statement, "I have been able to access general IT resources when I needed to". In 2012 88% agreed with this statement, in 2013 this was 89% and this year we scored 90%.

Next steps

The 2014 survey has highlighted areas which need to improve, including file storage and remote access to services and specialist software. Plans are in place to continue improving printing and support for the increased use of mobile technology. We are already working to improve support for researchers and will continue assessing our services to ensure that they meet the needs of all students.

Our thanks to everyone who completed the Student IT Survey.