Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Listening to feedback

Every year, we go through two IT input cycles:
In the Fall, we use the Big Block of Cheese Day to gather feedback, including in-person comments and thoughts left for us on a hallway whiteboard. It's a very efficient way to gather feedback; in two hours, we filled the whiteboard and came away with a list of other suggestions.

And in the Spring, we leverage a visit from the Office of Information Technology to listen in on campus technology needs. The OIT includes a Town Hall meeting with campus governance, to talk about how OIT can make systemwide technology investments to benefit students, faculty and staff. But not all suggestions are things that OIT can take action on, so we make note of them for our own local IT projects.
This Fall's Big Block of Cheese Day was very successful! In two hours, we gave away more than 10lbs of cheese. It's hard to be very exact, because we started with a smaller wheel of herb cheese before moving to the 10lb Vermont Cheddar loaf.

We heard lots of great comments about campus technology. And as people stopped by, I encouraged folks to add something to our hallway whiteboard. The whiteboard included two prompts this year: what new technology would you like to see on campus, and how can we make campus technology better for you? Students, faculty, and staff added their thoughts to the whiteboard, or star an item they agreed with. At the end of two hours, we had completely filled the whiteboard. I also had my own list of comments from the in-person discussions as we shared our cheese.

We will take these items back to the TechPeople group, so we can prioritize these into projects and working groups. But I think I can share some general themes and thoughts from the feedback:
Wireless networks continue to be a "hot" item this year. We continue to improve wireless every year.

Students want a better web experience, including MyU, registration activities, APAS and web search.

Students want more classroom technology. Specific feedback mentioned Smartboards and clickers.

Students expect more from classroom technology. For example, Moodle alerts for upcoming assignments.

Faculty would like the Scantron to be in a more accessible location.

Students would like more places to charge mobile devices.

Some comments reflect a need to raise awareness about current technology options: Google Hangouts and Google Apps.
I thank everyone who stopped by the student center for Big Block of Cheese Day this year. It was great to meet everyone! And it was especially nice to hear from a few students that "Big Block of Cheese Day is my favorite day." I think that shows that we are reaching out to campus in a very effective and engaging way!
photo: mine

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