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Actions resulting from the Student and Staff ... - University of Kent

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Item 14: CUP/08-09/110<br />

<strong>Actions</strong> Resulting <strong>from</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Student</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Staff</strong> Satisfaction Surveys<br />

2007/08<br />

1. Introduction<br />

The <strong>Student</strong> Satisfaction Survey took place in May 2008 <strong>and</strong> nearly 1,200 students responded.<br />

The <strong>Staff</strong> Survey took place in May/June 2008 <strong>and</strong> over 330 staff responded. A very large<br />

number <strong>of</strong> comments were given by staff <strong>and</strong> students on <strong>the</strong> provision <strong>of</strong> services <strong>and</strong><br />

facilities by Information Services (IS). These comments were analysed <strong>and</strong> have been used to<br />

develop IT <strong>and</strong> library provision at <strong>Kent</strong>.<br />

2. <strong>Student</strong> Survey<br />

2.1 IT <strong>and</strong> Library Websites<br />

A number <strong>of</strong> respondents to <strong>the</strong> survey commented on <strong>the</strong> IT <strong>and</strong> Library websites, in<br />

particular referring to difficulty with navigating <strong>the</strong>se sites. This is <strong>of</strong> particular concern given<br />

that students rated <strong>the</strong> importance <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Library website <strong>and</strong> access to resources as very high.<br />

Over <strong>the</strong> Summer Vacation 2008, <strong>the</strong> IT <strong>and</strong> Library websites have been totally redesigned<br />

<strong>and</strong> put into <strong>the</strong> new <strong>University</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Kent</strong> template. One specific suggestion <strong>from</strong> <strong>the</strong> survey<br />

has been acted upon with a much more visible link to library borrower accounts. It is hoped<br />

that this work has lead to significantly more accessible websites. However, work continues on<br />

<strong>the</strong>se sites to improve <strong>and</strong> extend <strong>the</strong> information available.<br />

2.2 Access to Course Materials<br />

A number <strong>of</strong> initiatives should address student concerns over access to core material,<br />

including <strong>the</strong> following.<br />

• Core Text Collection<br />

The creation <strong>of</strong> an open access Core Text Collection, <strong>and</strong> <strong>the</strong> introduction <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> new loan<br />

periods <strong>of</strong> 3 days <strong>and</strong> a rolling 24-hour loan, answer a number <strong>of</strong> student complaints,<br />

including those about 10am returns <strong>and</strong> faster access to core material not on 24-hour loan.<br />

An intensive review <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> new collection <strong>and</strong> loan periods will be carried out at <strong>the</strong> end<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> first year <strong>of</strong> operation in summer 2009.<br />

• E-books<br />

E-books were popular with survey respondents. A new policy has been introduced <strong>and</strong> all<br />

core texts on reading lists are now investigated for e-book availability.<br />

• Scanned material<br />

A full scanning service has been available <strong>from</strong> <strong>the</strong> start <strong>of</strong> this academic year. Articles<br />

<strong>and</strong> single book chapters required on reading lists are scanned <strong>and</strong> made available through<br />

WebCT whenever requested by academics <strong>and</strong> if <strong>the</strong>y are not o<strong>the</strong>rwise available online.<br />

• Book reservations<br />

A significant number <strong>of</strong> student complaints concerned reservations, particularly that<br />

material was returned too late to be <strong>of</strong> use. This has been addressed in a number <strong>of</strong> ways:<br />

o The new 3-day loan period will increase circulation <strong>and</strong> shorten <strong>the</strong> time that core<br />

material is unavailable<br />

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Item 14: CUP/08-09/110<br />

o Reservations are reviewed on a daily basis. If three or more reservations have been<br />

placed on an item, <strong>the</strong> loan period will be immediately shortened <strong>and</strong> <strong>the</strong> subject<br />

librarian informed <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> need to buy extra copies or review <strong>the</strong> loan periods.<br />

o During library training this year, all students were encouraged to place<br />

reservations to show <strong>the</strong> true usage <strong>of</strong> items.<br />

2.3 Support for Laptop Users<br />

The survey indicates that over 80% <strong>of</strong> students have laptops <strong>and</strong> it is <strong>the</strong>refore important that<br />

on-campus provision reflects this. IS has already rolled out wireless networking across <strong>the</strong><br />

Canterbury <strong>and</strong> Medway campuses – in <strong>the</strong> Templeman <strong>and</strong> Drill Hall Libraries, all teaching<br />

spaces <strong>and</strong> college social spaces on <strong>the</strong> Canterbury campus. The refurbishment <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> student<br />

PC rooms on <strong>the</strong> Canterbury campus has included <strong>the</strong> provision <strong>of</strong> laptop study spaces, with<br />

accessible power sockets. The number <strong>of</strong> laptop study spaces, with access to power sockets,<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Templeman Library, has been increased where possible.<br />

This term we have introduced a laptop loan scheme, based in <strong>the</strong> Core Text Collection in <strong>the</strong><br />

Templeman Library, for those students who do not have a laptop or do not wish to bring <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

own laptops on to campus.<br />

2.4 Quick Access PCs<br />

The Quick Access PCs that were introduced into <strong>the</strong> Library in 2006/07 were generally well<br />

liked <strong>and</strong> many students asked for more to be made available. Additional Quick Access PCs<br />

were installed in 2007/08 <strong>and</strong> IS will investigate suitable locations for <strong>the</strong> installation <strong>of</strong><br />

fur<strong>the</strong>r Quick Access PCs. Concern was raised that some students do not use <strong>the</strong>se PCs as was<br />

intended <strong>and</strong> fail to log <strong>of</strong>f after 10 minutes. We are investigating ways in which users <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong>se PCs are reminded when to log <strong>of</strong>f.<br />

2.5 <strong>Student</strong> PC Rooms<br />

Many students complained about <strong>the</strong> poor state <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> PC rooms in colleges. Information<br />

Services is half way through a programme <strong>of</strong> refurbishing all centrally-managed student PC<br />

rooms on <strong>the</strong> Canterbury campus. Newly refurbished rooms in Keynes, Darwin <strong>and</strong> Eliot<br />

Colleges have already generated some very positive feedback. It is planned that <strong>the</strong> remainder<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> PC rooms will be refurbished in 2009.<br />

We have also extended <strong>the</strong> monitoring <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se rooms to ensure that <strong>the</strong> rooms remain in a<br />

good condition. There is automatic monitoring <strong>of</strong> PCs <strong>and</strong> printers to ensure that equipment is<br />

functioning correctly for as much time as possible. There are also physical checks <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

rooms to ensure <strong>the</strong>y are kept clean <strong>and</strong> tidy. There has also been a major programme <strong>of</strong><br />

replacing old PCs <strong>and</strong> upgrading o<strong>the</strong>rs over Summer 2008.<br />

The project to improve <strong>the</strong> student PC rooms will continue throughout 2008/09 looking at all<br />

aspects <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se rooms, including signage, litter, recycling facilities <strong>and</strong> cleaning.<br />

2.6 Printing<br />

There were a significant number <strong>of</strong> comments on problems with printing in <strong>the</strong> Drill Hall<br />

Library. These have been addressed over <strong>the</strong> summer <strong>and</strong> technical solutions put in place.<br />

There was a significant drop in <strong>the</strong> number <strong>of</strong> critical comments on <strong>the</strong> printing facilities on<br />

<strong>the</strong> Canterbury campus in <strong>the</strong> 2007/08 survey. We can assume that this is due to both <strong>the</strong><br />

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Item 14: CUP/08-09/110<br />

upgrading <strong>of</strong> printers in student PC rooms <strong>and</strong> <strong>the</strong> introduction <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> utility on <strong>the</strong> PCs which<br />

automatically selects <strong>the</strong> nearest printer.<br />

2.7 Navigating <strong>the</strong> Library<br />

Some students felt that <strong>the</strong> start <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Autumn Term was <strong>the</strong> wrong time to schedule library<br />

tours. Audio tours <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Templeman Library are now available on <strong>the</strong> Library website <strong>and</strong><br />

MP3 players can be borrowed so that students can take tours at a time convenient to <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

The survey confirmed that many students have difficulty finding <strong>the</strong>ir way around <strong>the</strong> Library<br />

<strong>and</strong> locating <strong>the</strong> materials that <strong>the</strong>y require. New clear <strong>and</strong> consistent signage has been<br />

installed throughout <strong>the</strong> Library over Summer 2008. Display screens to help students locate<br />

free PCs were installed last year <strong>and</strong> have received much positive feedback.<br />

2.8 Training Provision<br />

IS runs a range <strong>of</strong> information skills <strong>and</strong> IT training sessions <strong>and</strong> <strong>the</strong>y were rated highly by<br />

those that had attended sessions. However, <strong>the</strong>re was very low awareness that <strong>the</strong>se sessions<br />

were available. This will be addressed in <strong>the</strong> coming year by raising awareness <strong>and</strong> ensuring<br />

training sessions are appropriate to student requirements.<br />

2.9 Mobile Computing<br />

A significant number <strong>of</strong> students indicated that <strong>the</strong>y owned a smart phone or PDA <strong>and</strong> many<br />

indicated that <strong>the</strong>y would like to access <strong>University</strong> services, such as email, via <strong>the</strong>se devices.<br />

There is a project currently under way in IS to look at how <strong>the</strong>se devices can be supported <strong>and</strong><br />

to develop appropriate services.<br />

2.10 Communication<br />

In <strong>the</strong> survey 43% <strong>of</strong> respondents indicated that <strong>the</strong>y wished to receive information by email<br />

<strong>and</strong> 18% by online newsletters. IS is already making more use <strong>of</strong> electronic methods to<br />

communicate with students <strong>and</strong> will continue to extend its use.<br />

3. <strong>Staff</strong> Survey<br />

<strong>Staff</strong> raised many <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> same issues as students, such as <strong>the</strong> IT <strong>and</strong> library websites, mobile<br />

computing <strong>and</strong> communication. Therefore many <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> actions described above apply equally<br />

well to staff. Below are some areas that relate specifically to staff.<br />

3.1 IT Helpdesk<br />

There was a lot <strong>of</strong> very positive support for <strong>the</strong> service provided by <strong>the</strong> IT Helpdesk.<br />

However, some felt that answers to enquiries were occasionally too technical or staff used too<br />

much jargon. This issue is being addressed.<br />

Some staff commented that support should be provided in <strong>the</strong> evening <strong>and</strong> at weekends. In<br />

fact, staff helpdesk hours are 8am to 9pm (Monday to Friday) <strong>and</strong> 12 noon to 7pm (Saturday<br />

<strong>and</strong> Sunday) during term time.<br />

From <strong>the</strong>ir comments, it is clear that many staff are unaware that <strong>the</strong> IT Helpdesk provides<br />

support for Apple Macs. Support is provided for connecting Macs to <strong>the</strong> <strong>University</strong> network<br />

(including via VPN <strong>and</strong> wireless); use <strong>of</strong> email; printing <strong>and</strong> accessing network filespace.<br />

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Item 14: CUP/08-09/110<br />

3.2 Email<br />

Many staff felt that <strong>the</strong> default email quota <strong>of</strong> 100Mbytes was too low <strong>and</strong> were clearly not<br />

aware that quotas can be increased by contacting <strong>the</strong> Helpdesk. When staff migrate to <strong>the</strong><br />

planned MS Exchange email service <strong>the</strong> default email quota will be 200Mbytes <strong>and</strong> it will be<br />

possible to request increases to this default.<br />

There were some complaints <strong>from</strong> staff about <strong>the</strong> level <strong>of</strong> spam that <strong>the</strong>y receive, however,<br />

<strong>the</strong>re were far fewer complaints about spam than in previous surveys. This reflects <strong>the</strong> fact<br />

that work over <strong>the</strong> past year has resulted in most spam being blocked at mail hubs before it<br />

gets to staff mailboxes.<br />

3.3 <strong>Student</strong> Training<br />

In <strong>the</strong> staff survey <strong>the</strong>re were a number <strong>of</strong> comments stressing <strong>the</strong> importance <strong>of</strong> library skills<br />

training for <strong>the</strong>ir students with some suggesting that it should be compulsory. The redesign <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> library elements <strong>of</strong> Welcome Week may have addressed some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se concerns, as<br />

training was booked <strong>and</strong> promoted by <strong>the</strong> departments <strong>the</strong>mselves. It was also possible to<br />

make <strong>the</strong> induction sessions subject specific for <strong>the</strong> first time. Comments by students<br />

concerning <strong>the</strong> need for more advanced training for Stages 2 <strong>and</strong> 3 is also being addressed<br />

with an increasing number <strong>of</strong> departments booking timetabled training for students on<br />

undergraduate dissertation modules.<br />

3.4 Book ordering<br />

A number <strong>of</strong> staff respondents were unaware <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> book ordering facility. This will hopefully<br />

be addressed, at least for new staff, by <strong>the</strong> inclusion <strong>of</strong> book ordering procedures in <strong>the</strong><br />

newly-introduced library element <strong>of</strong> new staff induction.<br />

3.5 Self issue <strong>and</strong> self return machines<br />

These were generally very popular with both staff <strong>and</strong> students, but a number <strong>of</strong> staff raised<br />

concerns that older barcodes do not work on <strong>the</strong> machines. Defective barcodes on active stock<br />

are being replaced as soon as <strong>the</strong> problem occurs.<br />

3.6 VPN<br />

Many <strong>of</strong> those staff that have used VPN to access <strong>the</strong> <strong>University</strong> network <strong>from</strong> <strong>of</strong>f campus,<br />

commented that it is not straight forward to set up <strong>and</strong> use. IS is developing web-based access<br />

to filestore <strong>and</strong> this will mean that most users will find it unnecessary to use VPN.<br />

4. Conclusion<br />

Information Services has undertaken a significant amount <strong>of</strong> work over <strong>the</strong> summer in order<br />

to improve services <strong>and</strong> facilities for staff <strong>and</strong> students – <strong>and</strong> much <strong>of</strong> that work has been<br />

guided by <strong>the</strong> feedback we have received in surveys <strong>and</strong> throughout <strong>the</strong> year. Clearly, we are<br />

unable to address every issue that is raised in surveys but all feedback is given serious<br />

consideration. Therefore, we encourage all staff <strong>and</strong> students to respond to our surveys <strong>and</strong><br />

when completing surveys we ask that students <strong>and</strong> staff are as specific as <strong>the</strong>y can be with<br />

comments <strong>and</strong> suggestions.<br />

Sam Thornton/Anna Miller 4 12/11/08

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