TechQual Survey – Assessment of Technology Services

21 07 2014

Just a reminder to all faculty members: Please take some time to fill out the TechQual survey!

Associate VP for Information Technology Robyn Dickinson sent emails out to all faculty last week with survey information (including a link and an individual ID#). The survey asks about minimum, desired, and perceived levels of service on technology and information services, and it’s important that faculty voices be heard on these issues.

This is the third time TechQual has been has been administered on campus – previous surveys were in 2008 and 2011. After the 2011 survey, Information Resources discussed the results for faculty members with TAG as part of their planning process.

The survey will be open until August 15. If you did not receive a survey email from Robyn, contact Jordan Knicely ( in Institutional Research.

TechQual Survey Results

8 12 2011

Last month, members of TAG met with representatives from IR’s Office of Planning & Institutional Effectiveness to discuss results from the TechQual survey that faculty were asked to fill out over the summer.

At this point, IR is working through the results and meeting with focus groups to get a deeper understanding of what the results mean for planning and operations.  IR will not be sharing the full results directly with the University community, but the next IT Matters newsletter will include evaluation and reflection on the survey results as a whole.

During the TAG focus group, we looked specifically at faculty responses to the survey.  Only full-time faculty were included in the survey, and there was a 21% response rate.  This is the second time TechQual has been administered on campus – it was first administered in 2008.  The survey respondents were split differently in 2008 than in 2011, so IR is not able to compare the answers directly, but there is some indication of changes over time.

The TechQual survey looks at three major areas: Connectivity & Access, Technology & Technology Services, and End User Experience. The survey instrument asks respondents to rate each item in three ways: in terms of 1) minimum service level, 2) desired service level, and 3) perceived service level.

Overall, the survey results indicate that for faculty, IR is not meeting mean desired expectations. In some areas, IR is not meeting mean minimum expectations.  Adequacy gaps, or the difference between minimum and perceived performance, were larger for faculty respondents than for staff.  There was evidence that faculty user experiences varied significantly, with some responses being overwhelmingly positive while others were negative.

Although direct comparisons could not be made to the 2008 survey data, there was a trend of rising user expectations for minimum service levels. At the same time, users’ perceived service levels were generally about equal or slightly higher, suggesting that IR is holding steady or improving in some areas.

The good news is that some of the key areas identified for improvement have already been addressed or will soon be addressed. For example, faculty respondents’ perceived level of service for wireless connectivity was below their reported minimum levels of service, but the campus wireless network is scheduled (pending the approval of funding) to undergo additional upgrades that will significantly improve connectivity in academic and administrative buildings.

Classroom technology had the largest adequacy gap for faculty respondents. We spent some time discussing what kind of classroom technology needs faculty experience.  Most campus spaces are designed either for using technology (e.g., all seats face a display screen; projection screen requires dimming lights) or for not using technology (e.g., seminar-style seating). TAG members asked for classroom environments that allowed spontaneity and collaboration.  We also discussed how faculty and IR can best communicate about technology problems in classrooms (e.g., if a broken projector is reported, can the instructors of the next scheduled classes be notified?). Jim is currently working with OIT and the Technology Support Center staff to figure out solutions to these kinds of questions.

On a more TAG-specific note, in the End User Experience portion of the survey, faculty respondents noted that for “Opportunities to Provide Feedback” their perceived service level was approximately equal to their minimum service level. This result suggests that TAG needs to continue to raise our profile as a communication channel between faculty and IR.

We ran out of time to fully discuss all of the faculty results, but other areas identified for improvement included mobile access and the website/my.scranton portal – aspects of which are currently being addressed by IR teams with faculty representation (the Mobile Apps Work Group and the Luminis Work Group).

[My notes on this meeting were a little rough, so if anyone notices errors or omissions, please let me know and I’ll correct it ASAP! – KY]

TAG Meeting Notes 10/27/11

27 10 2011

TAG met this morning to catch up on our projects. Here’s the latest:

  • A Learning Management System (LMS) Work Group is forming to review and evaluate alternatives to Angel. Connie Wisdo in ITDA will lead the group. There are six spots available for faculty participants, and (as of a few minutes after our meeting!) we now have a full slate of volunteers:

Tara Fay, Biology
Julie Nastasi, Occupational Therapy
Keith Yurgosky, Communications (part time)
Maureen Carroll, Math
Teresa Conte, Nursing
Wesley Wang, Economics/Finance

The group will also include 3 representatives from CTLE (including Eugeniu), 5 representatives from IR, and 4 students (graduate, undergraduate, and adult).  CTLE and IR will begin drafting evaluation criteria this month in preparation for the first full group meeting in December. The goal is to make a decision by May so that we can run both Angel and the new LMS in parallel in 2012-2013.

  • The Mobile Apps work group is forming to guide the design and development of mobile applications for teaching and learning. This group will begin meeting in November. Connie will lead this group as well, and it will include representatives from Alumni and PR. Faculty member participants are:

Ben Bishop, Computing Sciences
Sandy Pesavento, Education
Kristen Yarmey, Library

  • The University now has an in-house WordPress Network (, available to be used for University blogs. Currently the only users are the Admissions office, though the Library will be migrating its blogs to the local server during Intersession. Anyone interested in migrating or starting a University blog should put a request in Project Tracking under “Systems.”
  • Continuing education opportunities. Wilkes University is hosting an Apple Education Seminar on November 17. Villanova University is hosting a Technology Expo on April 26, 2012.
  • IT Roadmap. Jeremy and Kristen met with IR to discuss their project list for 2011-12. The email conversion timeline is still uncertain, but IR expects that the first test conversions will begin in November and that student conversions may be done after final exams end. Faculty and staff conversions will likely be in January. IR will continue to communicate with TAG about the most optimal time for faculty conversions. Questions about the conversion came up during the last Faculty Senate meeting.
  • Faculty directory. TAG shared concerns with IR about the faculty directory’s inability to list more than one department affiliation for a single faculty member. The fix for this problem is more complex than we anticipated and will involve working with several University departments.
  • TAG will meet with IR on November 10 to discuss results from the summer TechQual survey.
  • CTLE has two upcoming events for faculty. On November 9, Margarete Zalon will lead a faculty-to-faculty exchange on management of bibliographic resources. On November 17, there will be a Faculty Advancement Series event on peer review and writing for journals. CTLE also has hired a new associate director, Brian Snapp.
  • CTLE is exploring options for classroom response systems (also known as clickers).  They have a demo scheduled with Top Hat Monocle, and a TechCon is researching other options. Sandy mentioned that there are tools like PollEverywhere available that utilize text messaging rather than clickers.
  • Jeremy, Sandy, Anne Marie, and Jim all attended the recent EDUCAUSE conference. Items of interest included Penn State’s open source WebLion application for program assessment, Pearson/Google’s new OpenClass learning management system, QR codes, mobile education, Google+, and Google Hangouts.
  • At the last Faculty Senate meeting, a motion passed that asks the Provost to provide updates on various academic initiatives.  The motion included the Academic Technology Plan that TAG members have contributed to.
  • The newly reconstituted IRAC group met, with two TAG members (Dave and Paul) serving as faculty representatives. Their recent meeting focused on the TechQual survey results, which will be discussed with TAG on November 10.
  • Teresa provided further insight on the Nursing department’s need for computerized testing. We discussed several options, including the purchase of Chromebooks or the use of specialized, restrictive software. OIT’s budget cannot maintain any new mediation, so the construction of a full computer lab would mean that other mediation could not be maintained. Jim would like to know if any other departments have this kind of need. TAG will continue to explore possible solutions to this issue.
  • This week’s IT Forum was on Data Security and Classification. (Kristen will post specific notes.) We discussed how faculty might be exposed to and educated about different data types and security procedures.
  • Jeremy reported on a classroom mediation issue in the Loyola Science Center. He asked if OIT could provide email updates to faculty to let them know if/when a computer or projector is not functional in one of the classrooms where they teach. Jim is exploring this idea with OIT.

TAG Meeting Notes 9/29/11

29 09 2011

We had our first TAG meeting of 2011-2012 this morning.  We had a lot to catch up on from the summer, so apologies for the long notes! As always, post a comment if there are any questions or concerns.

  • New members. Teresa Conte joined us from Nursing as a replacement for Cathy Lovecchio. Ben Bishop (Computing Sciences) joined us late last spring, as did Lori Nidoh (representing Public Relations). S.P. Chattopadhyay is currently on sabbatical, and Kevin Wilkerson has returned from his.
  • Novel Pedagogy Cohort. Jeremy and a few other CAS faculty members have formed a small group to explore and implement new pedagogy techniques in their classes – some of which involve technology while others don’t.  Tools to be explored include lecture capture and clicker systems. If any other faculty are interested in innovative pedagogy, let Jeremy know.
  • Lecture capture.  A team of stakeholders (including TAG members Jeremy, Kristen, Sandy, and Eugeniu) met several times in the spring and summer to review possible products for lecture capture.  The final recommendation was a hybrid solution of Media Site (as a back end) and Crestron HD appliances for the actual capture. Implementation will start in the Science Center and then spread to other departments. Right now, IR is working on setting up the back end servers while VistaComm is implementing the front end capture devices. The goal is to have LSC lecture capture ready to go by Spring 2011, and then expand to other departments next year as funding allows. Sandy and Teresa noted that Education and Nursing would be very interested in implementing lecture capture in their classrooms. Thanks to Jason Oakey over in Instructional Technology for taking the lead on this project!
  • Office 2010.  The upgrade to Office 2010 for faculty and staff is tied to the email conversion (see below) due to the incorporation of Outlook.
  • Windows 7. The upgrade to Windows 7 for faculty and staff machines currently running Windows XP is held up due to a security issue. XP users are currently admin users on their computers. While this gives us a lot of flexibility and control over our own machines, it also introduces security risks – users can accidentally install malicious code.  When we move to Windows 7, IR will change XP users’ roles from admin to standard user accounts. By default, standard users wouldn’t be able to install or delete applications, but ideally there will be a way for users to obtain temporary admin status when they need to install programs. IR is currently working out these privilege management issues, so Windows 7 deployment is pushed back to (tentatively) Spring 2011.   Wesley asked about 64 bit vs 32 bit machines – Jim said that by default new machines will be 32 bit, but faculty who need 64 bit should let him know.
  • Email conversion. The Microsoft Live @ Edu email transition has been delayed by issues with identity management (e.g., automatically assigning set permissions to new hires, and removing permissions from retirees, departing employees, etc). IR is working on a workaround plan that would let us go forward with the email conversion while temporarily skipping over identity management. IR is aware of “crunch times” in faculty schedules, so faculty email conversion will probably wait until intersession or beyond.
  • Personally identifiable information.  Ben asked about security concerns for faculty members who don’t use University email.  Jim recommends that any University business, and especially any University business that involves confidential information, be done using University services (like Angel and Royal Drive). The Identity Finder tool is available to help faculty and staff find any PII that might be on their machines. IR also has security training videos that faculty can watch to get an entry-level awareness of PII.
  • Information Resources Advisory Committee.  IRAC had been inactive for a year but is now reconstituted. IRAC members will be providing input on IR’s service portfolio. TAG members Dave, Paul, Eugeniu, and Lori will be on it as CAS faculty, PCPS faculty, CTLE, and PR representatives, respectively.
  • TechQual. IR ran this customer service survey over the summer. Preliminary results just came in, but IR is still processing them and will present them to IRAC next month.
  • Loyola Science Center. Most of the IT work in LSC is done, but there are still a few equipment issues popping up in classrooms. IR will continue working on this. Remaining projects include lecture capture, the auditorium, and RoomView, a tool that will allow Instructional Technology to monitor and maintain classroom equipment (e.g., whether or not a projector has been left on).
  • Wireless. The wireless upgrade project was approved.  Phase I (freshmen residences, the new Mulberry Street residences, and the LSC) is complete and adds 350 new WiFi points to the campus. Phase II is currently underway and will add 252 WiFi points in 21 buildings (residences, St. Thomas, and the Long Center). Phase III is scheduled for summer 2012 and will include the remaining academic and administrative buildings as well as outdoor coverage.  This is a big improvement – many thanks to the Network Infrastructure staff!
  • CTLE liaison. CTLE used to have two faculty liaisons who focused teaching and pedagogy. They have now added a third faculty liaison, TAG member Sandy Pesavento, to provide input on faculty interests and needs regarding pedagogical uses of technology.
  • Mobile access to Angel. CTLE and IR experimented with Blackboard’s iOS app for Angel, but found it to be a very limited tool, particularly for teachers (e.g., faculty can’t enter grades or interact with Angel dropboxes).  So mobile access to Angel still isn’t conveniently available at this time.
  • LMS review. Our contract with Angel expires in 2013, so a review committee will begin exploring other learning management system (LMS) options in January. Connie Wisdo in ITDA will lead the group. Eugeniu said that we might have an opportunity to use a “free” installation of Blackboard temporarily (on top of our existing Angel installation) so that faculty could try it out. Dave asked whether or not we would be able to migrate courses from Angel into a new LMS. Eugeniu said that from our current version of Angel (7.4), we could export/import single courses into Blackboard, with some imperfections. If we upgraded to v8 of Angel, we’d be able to batch migrate courses. Blackboard would also complement our Royal Card and emergency notification systems, since they’re Blackboard products (Transact and Connect), but it might not be easily tied into Banner.
  • Academic Technology Plan. The Provost’s office has no updates on the Academic Technology Plan.
  • Mobile website and app. Lori shared some analytics to give us an idea of how the mobile website and mobile app are being used. The app has been downloaded 7,604 times (mostly by iOS rather than Android devices). An in-app poll asked about the user’s identity, and 57% of the poll-takers were current students, 28% were alumni, 10% were prospective students, with faculty, staff, and other community members making up only 6%.  New app modules include Admissions and the Library (live but still being tweaked), with an Alumni module on the way. An iPad version is also on the timeline for this year, and hopefully mobile authentication is on the horizon.  The m.scranton mobile site is getting plenty of traffic. The most commonly viewed mobile pages are the home page and the admissions and academics home pages. [Note: Stats on the mobile app are here (in PDF). Stats on the mobile site are here (also in PDF).] PR is also setting up automatic redirects from the full site to the mobile site for recognized mobile devices – right now, the only active redirect is from the full site home page to the m.scranton home page.
  • Faculty websites. We’ve figured out a good workflow for faculty websites with CTLE. Any faculty member who wants to create a new website in the CMS should contact Aileen McHale in the CTLE. The CTLE TechCons will set up the faculty member’s web space, and then can help him or her as needed with templates or other support.  Sandy and Anne Marie would like to encourage faculty members (and any other page admins) to keep their websites current.
  • Continuing education. TAG members interested in learning more about academic uses of technology should keep an eye out for continuing education opportunities, since funding may be available. Jeremy and Sandy will each attend a day of the EDUCAUSE conference, courtesy of the Provost’s office.  Anne Marie and a few representatives from IR will also attend. TAG members who do participate in continuing education are asked to report back and share conference highlights.
  • Computerized testing. Teresa reported on concerns from the Nursing department. Nursing licensing exams are all online, so the department uses computerized testing to help their students prepare for the licensing environment.  Nursing faculty have run into trouble finding places to conduct their computer tests – there isn’t enough space to accommodate large classes, and classrooms that do accommodate that many students have been booked for other courses.  An ideal solution would be a large “shared resource” lab (possibly run by CTLE/Library) that faculty could schedule for tests, with computers set up to restrict access to the testing environment. Anne Marie suggested that we look at how other schools have solved this problem. Teresa will get more details on Nursing needs. Jim asked if other departments have this need, and for what class sizes. Once we have more information, we can agree on a good solution and then seek funding.
  • Our next meeting will be October 27. TAG members are asked to keep collecting (specific!) feedback from other faculty members on technology concerns or issues, and we’ll keep sharing information here as projects continue.


Note: Updated 10/24/11 with PDF docs of mobile app and website statistics shared during the meeting.