Spring 2012 Student Survey

VCU Technology Services conducted the 6th annual satisfaction survey of VCU faculty and staff, spring 2012, using the TechQual+ survey instrument. TechQual+ is a 6 year old survey based on the same methodology used successfully for many years by the Association of Research Libraries’ LibQUAL+ survey. This year, the TechQual+ project modified and shortened the survey which was an improvement, but also made comparing our results to previous years more difficult. As always, we evaluate the survey and comments to provide us with insights into where we need to concentrate on improving services and put serious efforts into making improvements.


VCU Technology Services greatly appreciates the time and effort that many of you put in to complete the Spring 2012 Student Satisfaction Survey. 

We are pleased that for the third consecutive year students reported that their perceived level of service above their minimum service level expectation on every question. This is in spite of rising expectations on virtually every question over each of the last 2 years. 

This year the survey instrument was somewhat modified and shortened from 18 to 12 questions from the instrument used to survey VCU students the previous 3 years, making comparisons more difficult. However, it is clear that expectations continue to rise. Of the 9 questions that can be directly compared to last year’s survey responses, the “Minimum Service Level Expectation” rose for 8 of those questions. The “Perceived Service Performance” rose this year over last year for 6 of these 9 questions. 

For the second year, we asked two open-ended questions about what VCU Technology Services is doing well and what VCU Technology Services most needs to improve upon. We received a number of positive comments similar to these from different students,


“Email is great, the portal and blackboard are awesome. I have never had a problem with them. The help center is great I've only had to go to them once but they helped out so much and accommodated me. ”


“Everything from the VCU helpIT center, email, eServices, classroom technology and myVCU Portal. ”


“VCU wireless coverage is very good. Tech services is helpful and fast. ”

But, of course, there are areas needing improvement. Based on the survey findings and on analysis of the open-ended questions and suggestions, students would most like to see improvement in the following areas: 
  1. Wireless coverage 
  2. Network reliability and speed
1. Wireless - While many students were pleased with wireless coverage and service, coverage and ease of use were identified by other students as areas needing improvement. Student Technology Fees have been used over the last several years to improve wireless services in the most common student areas. Since the entire campus is not covered, some students still find coverage spotty. In addition, a number of students find connection to wireless cumbersome.
  • At the time of this survey, there were 1461 wireless access points, of which 1140 are the ‘N’ standard (up from last year’s 1050 (894 the previous year) wireless access points, 170 (10 the previous year) of which are the ‘N’ standard) across both campuses. Central funding has not been provided for wireless. Funding to implement wireless access points comes from individual schools, departments and student technology fees.
    • Modest expansion implementing the wireless “N” standard in targeted areas will be done as funding permits.
      • Update April 2013:
        • There are now 1,973 wireless access points installed between both campuses.  Of these 1,718 are the ‘N’ standard.
      • Update April 2014:
        • There are now 2,218 wireless access points installed between both campuses.  Of these 2,020 are the ‘N’ standard.  The access points now being installed also provide support for the new 'AC' standard.
    • Develop plan and present cost estimate to the IT Governance Committee for fully covering both campuses with wireless.
      • Update April 2013:
        • Plan under development, but not yet presented to IT Governance Committee. 
      • Update April 2014:
        • Plan developed, but not presented to IT Governance Committee.  Additional funding provided to further increase coverage in student areas summer, 2014.  Funding model for non-student areas is under consideration.
    • Simplify and improve wireless connections by reducing the networks to only SafeNet and Guest.
      • Update April 2013:
        • New SafeNet web configuration simplifies installation of Windows client. 
        • Target date to reduce wireless networks to only SafeNet and Guest is December 2013.
      • Update April 2014:
        • SafeNet client remained problematic for Windows clients, so December 2013 date was not met.  New authentication technique to be implemented summer, 2014 will eliminate need for the SafeNet client, greatly simplifying use of SafeNet.  New target date for reduction of wireless networks to SafeNet and Guest is now October 2014.

2. Network reliability and speed -The need for a reliable, high performing network continues to have the highest expectations of all the survey questions.

  • Complete implementation of improvements to network devices to increase the network capacity 10 fold from (in some buildings) 100 Mb/sec (megabit per second) to 1 Gb/sec (gigabit per second) from the backbone to all buildings on campus.
    • Update April 2013:
      • Complete. 
  • Increase total Internet bandwidth.
    • Update April 2013:
      • Total Internet bandwidth for the University increased from 2 Gb/sec to 3.5 Gb/sec.
    • Update April 2014:
      • Total Internet bandwidth for the University will be increased to 7 Gb/sec summer, 2014.
  • Present plan and seek funding through the IT Governance Committee for the next phase of a network modernization plan.
    • Update April 2013:
      • Presented and received approval to add second network path to the University Computing Center from Sanger Hall to eliminate a single point of failure in the network.  Work is underway with expected completion Summer 2013.  This project is the small first step of the next phase of network modernization.  Funding beyond this step is not yet approved.
    • Update April 2014: 
      • Second fiber path from the University Computing Center to the MCV Campus completed.  Due to the flood in Sanger Hall B3, the path was terminated in a different building and network equipment relocated to a different building.
Again, thanks to the many of you who took your time to provide your feedback about how we are doing and make suggestions on how we can improve. This document will again be updated over the next year with our progress as we work to address the issues that were pointed out. It is always helpful to us for you to report problems that you have to the VCU helpIT Center (828-2227, helpIT@vcu.edu) with as many specific details as possible. 
Your comments on these plans are welcome. You will be asked to authenticate to ensure that comments are from VCU, but your comment will be stored anonymously. Please include your name and contact information if you would like a response.

Complete Survey Results




SpringĀ 2012 Student Technology Satisfaction Survey (Comments Removed)

Comparison of faculty/staff and student responses for computing and mobile device use from the Spring 2012 surveys.


This article was updated: 06/20/2014