IT Services survey 2014

IT survey prize 2014

The main survey prize, a Google Nexus 7, was won by Sarah Leach, pictured here with the Head of IT Services, Heidi Fraser-Krauss.

Thank you to those who completed the IT Services survey in February 2014, your feedback and comments form an important part of developing our services.

We received a total of 2,275 responses to the survey this year.

  • 57% of respondents were students
  • 35% were non-academic staff
  • 6% were academic staff
  • 2% other

A detailed report of the results is available to download:

The free text comments have been removed from the report in order to maintain privacy. However, the points made have been grouped by theme and responded to in the You said, we did section.

General

IT survey graph

Areas identified for improvement

These are areas where we are not currently meeting your expectations.

  • Printing and scanning
  • Wireless coverage
  • Internet reliability
  • Timely problem resolution
  • Web sites and online services

Areas where we are meeting your needs

These are areas where we are most closely meeting your desired level of service.

  • Email service
  • Courtesy of support staff
  • Calendar service
  • IT classrooms
  • Support staff knowledge

You said, we did

You saidWe did
Provide more widespread and reliable wireless coverage across campus.

Over the last year, there has been a significant increase in the number of devices connecting to the wireless network, with the peak number of concurrent connections doubling from 5,000 in 2012/13 to 10,000 in 2013/14.

This huge increase has put a strain on our wireless infrastructure, however, we are continuing to work on expanding and improving the wifi:

  • This year we have extended wireless coverage to an additional 2,815 study bedrooms. Almost all study bedrooms now have wifi access.
  • We’re continuing to increase wireless coverage across campus. For the latest information, please see:
    • Extending the wireless network
  • We've increased our external link bandwidth from 2Gb to 4Gb.
  • We're continuing to work on ways to improve wifi in high usage areas, eg the University Library.
Improve VPN access from off campus from any device, and provide clearer instructions on how to use it. We are aware that we need to improve ways of accessing resources from off campus. We will be reviewing and improving our VPN service over the next 12 months, making it easier to use and access.

Resources can also be accessed off campus using the Virtual Desktop Service
Printing is frequently slow and unreliable. We have investigated problems with slow printing and we are confident that we have now improved this by removing some software which we believe was causing the issue.

Further, we are currently checking software updates for beneficial fixes and functionality improvements before we apply them, in order to enhance reliability.
There is not enough out of hours support for printing.  Out of hours support for York Print Plus has been improved in the Library, which is open 24/7, as overnight Library staff are now replenishing stock and dealing with faults where possible. 
Provide single sign-on for web services. 

A number of the University's key IT systems now support single sign-on (SSO), including:

  • VLE (Yorkshare)
  • Staff and Student home pages
  • Student Enquiry Screen
  • Library Catalogue
  • Timetabling Gateway
  • e:Vision

We are keen to expand the use of single sign-on (SSO) across more of the services that we provide, and staff and students will increasingly feel the benefits as we do so. To improve the adoption of SSO across IT systems we are:

  • ensuring all new applications developed or deployed by IT Services use SSO, where possible.
  • working with our suppliers in order to encourage them to support SSO for existing systems.
You’re struggling with the transition from Outlook to Google Mail.

Although the survey results indicate that students are very satisfied with Google as an email provider, the satisfaction level from staff was not as high.

We are actively working with staff to understand the issues they face and to find solutions using the tools available through Google. This has involved shadowing staff to understand how they currently work, with an aim of ensuring that the outcomes which people need can be met and to create efficiencies in working practices.

Google Knowledge Sharing events have also been developed to give staff an overview of the various apps Google provides. These events have been extremely popular and training resources are being developed that can be used after the events and for those who can’t attend. These will include a series of case studies that highlight use of Google Apps at the University of York in a range of departments and centres.

More information can be found on our training pages:

I have concerns about Google data-mining our e-mails. 

Google are committed to ensuring your security and privacy on Google Apps for Education. Google are compliant with EU data protection legislation and data-mining does not take place on Google Apps for Education customers.

For more information, please see:

It can sometimes take a while to receive a response when issues are passed on to second line support. We are aiming to improve our response times to IT issues, and we have recently implemented a set of service standards, which include providing ongoing contact in relation to unresolved incidents and service requests.

We have also implemented random satisfaction surveys when issues are resolved, to ensure our customers are happy with the level of service they have received and to confirm their issues have been dealt with satisfactorily.
There are insufficient printing facilities at King’s Manor and the wireless network is unreliable.

An additional York Print Plus multifunction device has been installed in the King’s Manor common room and a device which was previously restricted to staff is now available to students. We hope this will improve access to printers.

Expanding and improving the wireless network at King's Manor is both costly and challenging due to the nature of the building, eg it has very thick walls and it is Grade 1 listed. However, we are actively investigating how we can make improvements. 

The Head of IT Services, Heidi Fraser-Krauss, is also planning to conduct a focus group at King’s Manor to discuss IT issues and potential solutions.

Poor wireless coverage on Heslington East  We have added additional wireless access points on Heslington East in areas which have been reported to have poor coverage. 69 wireless access points have been installed in Langwith College, and additional points have been added in the Computer Science building. 

Comments on other services

We also received a number of comments regarding services not provided by IT. However, the service owners have provided the following responses.

You saidWe did
It’s often difficult to find information on the University website and the search doesn’t always deliver useful results.

There are well over 100,000 web pages on the University's website. Building a simple way to find everything amongst them is very challenging.

The University's Digital Marketing and Communications team have been working in recent years to make the website more focused on user needs and have received positive comments about progress so far. This work will continue and accelerate this year.

The existing search infrastructure is also due to be replaced this year and the new service should deliver better results.

You use online resources on your mobile devices more and more, but they're not always easy to use away from a desktop PC. The vast majority of University web pages should work on mobile, albeit in their normal design. We hope to implement responsive designs (which adapt the design to suit the device it is being displayed on) for pages for prospective students this year and for internal information in 2015.
The VLE can be slow, and is difficult to navigate.

The VLE mobile app is unreliable and not available on some mobile devices.
The design of module and programme sites within the VLE is managed by each department and course instructor, but the E-Learning Development Team is happy to advise on this. We have worked with a number of departments in establishing programme and module templates, which help to create consistency in the way that information is managed. We have also helped to audit departmental VLE sites.

The Yorkshare VLE has a dedicated app to support mobile access for Apple, Android and Blackberry devices. Blackboard, who provide the VLE, is also dedicated to developing a responsive design for future releases for its core tools and functionality, which should lead to big improvements to mobile access.