4:00 – 4:05 – Announcements:

Ken Rogerson welcomed all and there were no announcements.

4:05 – 4:20 – Incoming Student Technology Survey, David Jamieson-Drake

What it is: Each year, incoming students are surveyed to assess their technology usage. David will review insights from this assessment, covering technology topics such as devices, operating systems, and social media.

Why it’s relevant: Analyzing the latest trends in students’ technology needs, preferences, and habits offers insight into changing patterns across campus and can influence IT plans and strategies for years to come.

The Consortium on Financing Higher Education (COFHE), an institutionally-supported organization of thirty-five highly selective, private liberal arts colleges and universities, committed to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of admitted students, conducted one of its crafted surveys that allows for a systematic and robust examination of the undergraduate student experience.

The results highlighted the following findings for alternate years:

  • The response rates were 69%, 77%, 70%, and 65% for 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 respectively.
  • Most students carry an Apple mobile device on campus.
  • Significant time is spent accessing information on mobile devices.
  • Most students already have a laptop before they arrive on campus.
  • iOS was the most used operating system.
  • Over 60% of the students had experience editing media.
  • The most used social media platforms were Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook.

Comments: The student body will help craft more varied questions for future surveys that include usage of IoTs and smart devices as well as emerging technologies.

4:20 – 5:00 – Undergraduate Student Presentation - State of IT, Tommy Hessel, Sanya Kochhar, and Shrey Majmudar

The Duke Student Government representatives conducted the State of IT survey with goals of reaching a large portion of the undergraduate student body, to Identify aspects of IT that can be improved upon, and to gauge ongoing success of newer IT initiatives.

The Undergraduate survey released on January 26, 2019, advertised through DSG email blast, classes, All-Duke Facebook groups, and class Group-me, included a random drawing for $50.00 Amazon gift card provided through DSG funding. As in previous survey findings, areas of potential bias may include dissatisfied student respondents.

Of the 262 students who attempted the survey, 227 completed with the highest responses being from first-year students. All campuses were represented but East campus had the highest percentage of responses and all areas of study reflected the student demographics. It was also noted that iOS was the most used Operating system and Chrome the preferred browser.

The survey consisted of 3 main areas of focus:

  1. Academics:
  • Sakai: Although the faculty had some difficulty with syllabus uploads, usability, and consistency across multiple tabs, the students found Sakai to be more user-friendly as compared to DukeHub.
  • DukeHub: Students wanted the ability to open multiple tabs, be able to use the browser back button, be faster, and streamlined but found it somewhat outdated.
  • Mail: The students in general were satisfied but felt that the implementation of Multi Factor Authentication seemed to be impeding the frequent use of mail in spite of the 72-hour expiration window to reenable sign on.
  • Duke Outlook Vs. Gmail: Students clearly preferred Gmail and Google Apps over Outlook for its ease of organization and filter mechanisms.
  • Box: Students were generally satisfied but there was some confusion between OneDrive and Box and students preferred to have either Box or OneDrive and be allowed more storage.
  • Duke Mobile: Students want to make the mobile and web interfaces the same, and found it slow and frustrating as it requires their credentials for every site.
  • ePrint: Students were mostly satisfied to very satisfied and wished to have some funds allocated towards printing in color, work with any Duke-approved Wi-Fi not just Dukeblue, and also be accessible off campus.
  • Mobile ePrint: Students who used it, loved it and were very satisfied but this was also the best kept secret on campus and wanted to increase awareness.
  • Transloc/Rider: Students were very dissatisfied and found this to be inaccurate with a lot of “ghost busses” and hoped it would use GPS Tracking to estimate accurate arrival times.
  • Other (not so popular offerings): Students who use these systems were generally satisfied, but found 25Live, Cisco Campus TV systems, and Duke VMs to be slow, cumbersome, and in need of re-imagined updates.
  1. Information Technology:
  • Wi-Fi: Of the 227 responses to the question of satisfaction level with Duke Wi-Fi, the responses were split in half between satisfied and unsatisfied. Consistency, speed, and outdoor availability were major issues with the service as well as dropped connections. Locations with Wi-Fi issues included busses, hallways/bathrooms, Keohane 4E, East, K-Ville, Duke Gardens, 300 Swift and Wannamaker. Poor outdoor connectivity affected food delivery and vendor transactions with Merchants on Points.
  • Cellular: The students were overall satisfied with most carriers, however, a few dropped calls were reported in hallways etc. especially with T-Mobile.
  • Mobile Duke Card: Students “absolutely love” this. The android users will be getting a fix soon to resolve some connectivity issues.
  • Duke Licensed Software: We found the need to increase awareness and students want to be able to use some software like Adobe and Photoshop after graduation as well.
  • Innovation Co-Lab: Students “absolutely love” this service and want to be able to use the 3D printers more often and also have more Roots courses.
  • Cyber Security and Methods of Protection: Students considered this a priority but weren’t sure how to protect themselves other than using basic security software.
  1. IT Related Services:
  • Digital Signage Technology: These are large displays with announcements and campus information. A little more than half did not believe these were being used effectively. Comments suggested that relevant information to the students like the short-list from the provost, bus and dining schedules be added as well as interactive maps and events of the day.
  • TV’s: Very few students use the TV’s in the dorms and some felt that they did not have access to reset configurations or user guides.
  • IT Help and Equitable Resources: Students usually turn to their friends for help but found that the Service Desk and IT Help Desk were very helpful. Students believed that the services, although leaned more towards STEM, were still equitable.

The survey also collected areas of general frustration and ways to improve services like the Help ticketing system, faster diagnosis and resolutions for laptops and hardware issues, initial printer setup, inability to renew Link rentals online, checkout and return times, fines, and accessibility to OIT and the DukeCard offices.

Questions & Comments:

Q1: What are some of the ways we can reach students and promote awareness?

A: Advertise on large platforms that are already in use such as Sakai and also have the RAs disseminate flyers in dorms which do get noticed.

Q2: Over the years, I have noticed more cases of computer breakdowns and inability for students to complete assignments on time and wonder if there are ways to avoid this both from a student and faculty perspective?

A: From a student perspective, it would be helpful if students have a repository in the cloud to which they can backup and uploaded automatically. Professors in general are quite accommodating if there are laptop breakdown and student also have access to computers in Lilly and Perkins if necessary.

From a faculty perspective, teachers may not always be able to allow exceptions especially in large, complex classes and also due to fairness and established policies, and therefore students should be prepared for computer breakdowns.

Q3: As far as a quick overview, what do you feel about this process? Was the timing good, were you able to cover the basis, what would you do if anything different or encourage more participation?

A: We can definitely use more incentives as far as gift cards, the timing was good, we should keep new technology on radar such as IoT devices and door locks with Alexa for next year’s survey. It was also noted that crafting a survey that is short, covers all areas and encourages higher participation is a challenge.

Q4: Would it be better to do more frequent short surveys or is there a survey fatigue?

A: Smaller shorter surveys every month may be difficult to keep track of and students feel that they are already over-surveyed and fatigued.

Tracy congratulated and thanked the student representatives for their fantastic job in conducting the survey, collecting data, analyzing responses, and presenting their findings to the audience. Tracy appreciated both the good and bad news and also asked the student representatives to individually specify one thing that they would try to change or do better. Tommy mentioned improving Wi-Fi connectivity outdoors and especially accuracy of bus arrivals and adding outdoor hotspots, Sanya wanted Duke card on Android to be more user friendly, and Shrey specified that use of Google Apps for Education will be better received than Office 365 and provide continuity as students already use these Apps at their elementary, middle, and high schools

5:00 – 5:30 – Graduate Student Presentation - State of IT, Kyle Burris, Jeff Lasser, Isaac Lavine, Ezinne Nwankwo

What it is: ITAC Student Representatives appointed by the Duke Student Government and Graduate & Professional Student Council will present on the state of IT from the student perspective.

Why it’s relevant: Feedback from the students allows IT administrators to hear firsthand the challenges that students face on a regular basis. This information can help set goals and priorities for various IT projects and initiatives. By presenting these viewpoints earlier in the spring semester, IT leadership can respond to the students’ issues and concerns before the end of the academic year.

The graduate student representatives were thrilled to have 300 responses to their survey as compared to 57 from the previous year. Most respondents were in Graduate school, in their first or second years and the split between STEM vs. non-STEM programs was even. About 10% to 15% of respondents expressed some form of dissatisfaction with one or more areas of the survey. The areas of focus were as follows:

  • School Wi-Fi: Most students were between moderately satisfied and extremely satisfied.
  • ePrint services: Most students used ePrint services frequently, 44% were moderately satisfied and 33% were extremely satisfied. 11% of students had never used ePrint services.
  • Duke Box: About half of the students used Duke Box and about 1/6th of them had never heard of it.
  • Security of personal data and research data handled by Duke: Most students believed that the security of their personal data and research data handled by Duke was extremely important and were also extremely satisfied with its handling but were more concerned about their personal data.
  • Duke Email: More than half of the students used Office 365 webmail, a third used an Office desktop client, and less than 10% forwarded their emails to Gmail. The students were also moderately satisfied with Duke email.
  • Sakai: Most graduate students are using Sakai frequently and half were moderately satisfied. Open feedback included comments showing dissatisfaction with the User Interface, they believe that the downloading resources could be easier, and many students especially from Fuqua recommend using Canvas.
  • 3D Printing: Not frequently used but students who use it are extremely satisfied.
  • Duke Software Licensing: Most students have obtained 3 or more software applications through this service. Open feedback comments suggested that some students were not fully aware of this service as they requested software that was already available such as Adobe and Photoshop. Other common suggestions for software licensing were for Logos, Free SPSS/Stata, Anti-virus software, writing support software like Grammarly and Scrivener, Video editing software and Lucid Chart.
  • OIT Help Desk: A third of the students had not received any help but the remaining had either used phone, live chat, or walk-up services and were extremely satisfied. A few dissatisfied respondents had varied suggestions ranging from having more chargers and dongles available for longer loan periods which is already available to automatic refill of printing budgets.
  • Messaging Systems: More than half of the students did not use a messaging system, about a third used Slack, and the remaining used Jabber or Google apps.
  • Computing Resources: Most students used their desktop computers and the Duke Computing Clusters or VMs and were moderately to extremely satisfied. The comment feedback suggested that VM reliability and especially the stability of connection could be improved, also many students would like easy GPU access and the Stats Dept. students would like more servers.
  • Specific IT functions: Open feedback comments suggested that VMs and Clusters have grown in importance for many people, and Software licensing is a service that students really appreciate. Online printing is a common request, however, there are some Wi-Fi concerns, particularly in (Jones/Sands/Carl/CIEMAS/MSRBIII). Students want to have easier tutorials for common issues like how to configure emails on phone and forwarding to Gmail etc.

In conclusion, additional feedback included having more time between Duo Multi-Factor authentications, printing and Wi-Fi was consistently mentioned for improvement, students clearly preferred the Gmail interface over Outlook, and many students expressed their thanks for doing a great job.

Questions & Comments:

Q1: Was the response rate of 300 only due to the gift card?

A: The gift card was definitely a big incentive but we advertised through several channels including representatives.

Q2: What was different from the undergraduate survey or is it fairly consistent?

A: The areas did overlap but the graduate survey had more requests for increased hardware.

Q3: There seems to be a lot more acceptance and adoption for Gmail and what is the driving factor?

A: Gmail seems to be a preference but we will need to investigate further.

Tracy congratulated and thanked the graduate student representatives for their superb job in conducting the survey and especially being able to collect 300 responses, analyzing data, and presenting their findings to the audience. Tracy also asked the student representatives to individually specify one thing that they would try to change or improve. Kyle specified use of Gmail and Google education, Jeff noted that more computing cluster power with increased hardware that is easily available, and Isaac suggested having one-page write-ups on how to do things and better communication and collaboration.