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Student IT Experience Survey Report Revealed

Published March 4, 2013

By Diana Tuorto, dianatuo@buffalo.edu, and Gabrielle Bailey

How does UBIT know the ways UB students use technology? We ask them.

The 16th annual Student IT Experience Survey was conducted over two weeks during October 2012. The survey appeared in UB Cybraries and libraries, MyUB, and other university communications, offering one lucky winner the chance at a $200 shopping spree at Campus Tees.

The 2012 survey was streamlined to 30 questions, focusing on key services, inquiring as to which devices and technology are most utilized by UB students. Nearly 3,000 students responded, an increase of roughly 500 responses from 2011.  75% of respondents were undergraduate majors, with graduate, professional and non-matriculated students making up the other 25%.

Consistent with 2011’s results, more students are using multiple devices and are increasingly reliant on mobile technology (including laptops) as primary in-class resources. For the first time in several years, the overall use of laptops decreased slightly, likely due to rising tablet use.  

Just under 90% of students own laptops, but barely over 50% bring them to class regularly, relying instead on more portable tablets and smartphones. The adoption of Apple products rose once again, with 50% of students running Apple iOS on their smartphone. Verizon is still the cellular carrier of choice, with 39% of students using their service.

UB web services saw a dramatic increase in use through tablets and smartphones this year. During 2012, UBmail, UBlearns, MyUB and HUB were accessed by over 90% of students, with most nearly doubling usage from 2011 (see Figure 7). With more students going mobile, it’s little surprise that 74% are using the UB Secure Wi-Fi network, a slight increase from last year.

In an effort to keep this year’s survey more targeted and concise, only two open-ended questions were asked: What technology resources can UB provide to be more helpful to your study and research needs? and What would have made it easier for you to get started with IT at UB? Responses were reviewed and categorized, with suggestions for improvements passed on to IT service teams. Many students reported a need for better communication of UBIT services—they suggested more information be included in seminars, written materials, emails and tutorials.  Students also stated that connecting to the Internet could be made easier and many asked for instructions to be more readily accessible during orientation.

Many thanks to the students who participated in this year’s survey to help improve IT services at UB. Be sure to read this year’s final report in its entirety.