Techqual+ survey shows IT the way forward

In February, Washington State University Vancouver’s Information Technology department asked for feedback about technology on campus from students, staff and faculty during the second annual Techqual+ IT survey. The survey highlighted areas in which IT had improved over the last year, and also identified areas that still need improvement.

Michael Stamper, Chief Information Officer for WSU Vancouver, said that the Techqual+ survey was valuable for several reasons. It allows IT to “get something tangible, that’s quantifiable,” so that IT can make changes and decisions based on quantifiable data rather than personal opinions.

The Techqual+ survey is an industry standard measuring tool used by many universities across the country. The survey shows areas that IT needs to address, and allows them to be specifically targeted.

The survey measures the effectiveness of on campus IT services by quantifying the service adequacy gap of those services. This measurement shows to what degree “basic, minimum service levels are being met.” In addition, the survey also measures a service superiority gap, which is a measure of “the degree to which desired service levels are being met.”

2016 was the second year IT hosted the Techqual+ survey. As a result of improvements made based on the 2015 survey, 90 percent of IT service areas indicated positive changes.

Survey results were divided amongst students, faculty and staff, to get the most accurate determinations of what members of the university want and need from IT. The highest service need reported by students was IT staff who are better equipped to answer support questions. Faculty reported “reliable internet service” as the top need for IT services. Finally staff, like students, needed better equipped IT staff for answering technical questions.

The survey also measured what services each group most desired. These services were similar in many ways to the technology needs. Students, faculty and staff all showed that reliable internet service was a top IT “want.” Second only to reliable internet, students and staff both desired “internet capacity or speed,” according to the survey. Faculty uniquely reported that their second most desired service was tech support adequately trained to answer questions.

For 2016, reliable cellular service is still a major area that is lacking on campus, according to Stamper. The Techqual+ survey points to this, and allows IT to bring proposals to address the problem to campus administration, Stamper said.

The 2016 results indicate that improvements from 2015 have been made. According to Stamper, while problems with campus Wi-Fi connectivity still exist, Wi-Fi services, including outdoor wireless access in the quad, have improved greatly since the 2015 survey.

“Overall, we’re showing dramatic improvement,” Stamper said. Improvements are already being implemented based on the 2016 survey results. For example, IT is working to add Microsoft OneDrive and Office 365 to all campus student, faculty and staff University accounts. IT is also initiating training for student employees so that they are able to more readily answer technology questions.

“Please give us your feedback,” Stamper said. IT accepts complaints, questions and requests through several channels, such as email, walk in visits and especially the Techqual+ survey.

The 2017 Techqual+ survey will be available in Feb. 2017. Stamper encouraged WSU Vancouver community members to take the survey when it is available. The full 2016 survey is available to the public at admin.vancouver.wsu.edu/files/2016_Techqual_Report_Final.pdf. The WSU Vancouver IT department can be reached at 360-546-9770, or by email at van.evita@wsu.edu.

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