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What Students Want: Findings from UB's 2013 Student IT Experience Survey

By Diana Tuorto

Published February 25, 2014

How does UBIT know the ways UB students use technology? We ask, and we listen to them.

Diana Tuorto (UBIT Staff) is responsible for CIT marketing efforts, including social media and the UBIT News. An active animal rescue volunteer and horse owner, Diana has published several children’s novels about horses.

The 17th annual UB Student IT Experience Survey was conducted over two weeks during October 2013. The survey appeared in UB cybraries and libraries, MyUB and other university communications.

The 2013 survey featured 37 questions, focusing on key services, inquiring as to which devices and technology are most utilized by UB students. Nearly 2,000 students responded: 69% of respondents were undergraduate majors, with graduate, professional and non-matriculated students making up the other 31%.

More Mobile

Consistent with 2012’s results, more students are using multiple devices (average remains 2-3) and are increasingly reliant on mobile technology (including laptops) as primary in-class resources. The overall use of laptops once again decreased slightly, likely due to rising tablet use.  

84% of UB students own laptops, but only around 50% bring them to class regularly, relying instead on more portable tablets and smartphones. Once again, adoption of Apple products rose, with 52% of students running Apple iOS on their smartphone. Verizon remains the cellular carrier of choice, with 40% of students using their service.

So, Tell Us…

In an effort to keep this year’s survey targeted and concise, only three open ended questions were asked:

·         What types of new, better or “cutting-edge” technologies would benefit your university experience?

·         What would have made it easier for you to get started with IT at UB?

·         Tell us ONE thing that your instructors can do with technology to better facilitate or support your academic success.

Responses were reviewed and categorized, with suggestions for improvements passed on to IT service teams.

We Want (More) Wi-Fi

Consistent with previous years, students continued to ask for greater Wi-Fi coverage on campus and wanted Wi-Fi available on Stampede buses. Students also asked for radio frequency ID (RFID) tags to be placed inside UB cards, eliminating the need to swipe before entering UB buildings and Stampede buses. There were also numerous requests for additional charging stations on campus.

Tips for Instructors

Students asked that instructors be more responsive to emails and were dissatisfied being required to purchase multiple clickers for class. Many students requested that instructors receive more training with institutional technology so it could be used more effectively as a teaching tool.

Getting To Know You

When it comes to getting started with technology at UB, students simply wanted to be more informed. 19% of responding students weren’t aware that UB offered free software. Students also said they would’ve liked more help connecting to UB’s network and accessing UBmail when starting their career at UB.   

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, and please email ubit-communication@buffalo.edu with your questions or comments.