Student satisfaction with IT services remains high

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[29 September 2017]

Student satisfaction with IT at the University remains high, according to results from the:
  • National Student Survey (NSS)
  • Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES)
  • YourBristolSurvey, (YBS).

National Student Survey (NSS) and YourBristolSurvey (YBS)

Both the NSS and YBS ask the following IT-related questions:

  • Q18 - The IT resources and facilities provided have supported my learning well.
  • Q20 - I have been able to access course-specific resources (e.g. equipment, facilities, software, collections) when I needed to.

83% of taught students who responded in the YBS agreed with question 18, the same as in 2016. 84% agreed with question 20, up 2% from last year.

Low response rates from final year undergraduates in the NSS, due to the student boycott, mean that the results do not meet the threshold for publication.

Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES)

In PRES, 82% of research postgraduates agreed that there is an adequate provision of computing resources and facilities, which is down 1% from 2016. This was significantly lower in the faculties of Arts and of Social Sciences and Law, where a lower percentage of research postgraduates are given their own desk and computer, than in other faculties.

What do students want?

Responses to freeform questions in both surveys highlighted

  • the importance of key services, such as Blackboard and Mediasite. Many students love these services and the ease of access to resources and revision materials. They also want to see all courses using Mediasite (now renamed as Re/Play), lecture notes uploaded before lectures take place, (to use in lectures) and for better organisation of Blackboard courses, (standardisation across courses).
  • the cost of printing
  • the availability of open access computers and specialist software

What actions have we taken?

  • Improvements to Re/Play and Blackboard services are being implemented, as we continually seek to improve them. Blackboard is now externally hosted and Re/Play hardware will be installed in more teaching rooms, both projects being led by the Digital Education Office.
  • Work was undertaken over the summer to improve the stability of MyBristol, online timetables and Blackboard. We also invested in improving online and physical registration services and these operated very smoothly at the start of the Autumn Term.
  • Students in several faculties raised the cost of printing, particularly in areas where they are expected to print documents. We recognise this and are helping academic departments to reduce the need for students to print, to reduce the overall cost to students. A small charge for printing is expected to remain, to reduce the environmental impact of choosing to print when this is not necessary.
  • There remains high demand for open access computers and better access to course specific software, though space for more computers is limited and redevelopment work on Tyndall Avenue means that some computer facilities are currently closed. To mitigate this, 80 loan laptops will shortly be provided in the Arts and Social Sciences Library, whilst new computers have also been added into the Grace Reeves Study Centre. The Tyndall Place project will eventually provide new study spaces in Senate House and provision for a large computer room in those spaces is a requirement for the project.

IT Services remain committed to providing excellent IT services and facilities for students across the University.