TechQual+ Fall 2013 Survey Results

Thank you for your participation in the Fall 2013 TechQual+ Survey, which is designed to capture the user perspective on Information Technology (IT) services at the College. There was an encouraging 28% increase of submissions from last year. By conducting an annual TechQual+ survey, IT is able to assess the strength and performance of IT’s services using an approach that focuses on College end users.

IT thoroughly reviewed the responses and created a summary that highlights the broad themes reflected by the results and the planned IT actions to address them. The IT summary is available at

For the full TechQual+ 2013 report, please visit For a print version of the Interpretation of TechQual+ Results and IT Action Plans, please visit


The core TechQual+ survey contains 13 items that assess the quality of services as related to the three core commitments. Each core commitment is measured through four or five separate items reflecting IT service outcomes.

For each IT service outcome, respondents specified (on a scale of 1 to 9) their expectations for minimum service level (the lowest level of performance acceptable), desired service level (the level of service they want), and the perceived performance (the current service level being provided). The range between end users’ minimum expectations and desired expectations constitutes what is known as the “zone of tolerance”. The range between end users’ minimum expectations and current perceived service level constitutes what is known as the “adequacy gap score”.

The 2013 TechQual+ survey also contained a College of Charleston specific additional survey question regarding preferred characteristics and options for online communications.


Invitations to participate in the survey were sent to every member of the College community. Overall, 1,548 members of the College completed the survey: 241 faculty, 327 staff, and 964 students.

TechQual+ advises the exclusion of outlier data and therefore outlier data is omitted in this report. TechQual+ defines outlier data as observations that are numerically distant from other cases and have the potential to result in misleading results. Also, only responses from completed and submitted surveys were included in the analysis.

Analysis of the effectiveness of technology service by role (students, staff, and faculty), yielded the following conclusions:

  • Significantly, the perceived service level provided by IT increased in 2013 as compared to 2012 for every one of the 13 survey questions. The amount of increase ranged from 4% – 12%. The desired service level indicated by all constituents remained about the same in 2013 as it was in 2012 while the minimum service level increased slightly (2% – 6%).
  • The results of the survey show that the current perceived service level that IT provides exceeds what users specified as their minimum service level for ten of the thirteen questions asked. The connectivity and access area is where users felt that perceived current service falls below minimum level expected. Though dissatisfied in these three areas, these are the same three areas that showed the largest improvement in the perceived service level from 2012 to 2013 (10% – 12% increase).
  • Even though the perceived service level in three areas is still below the constituents’ indicated minimum service level, this is an improvement from 2012 when the perceived service level was less than the minimum service level in six areas. Faculty felt the strongest about the perceived service level still being less than the minimum service level in most areas.
  • The minimum service level faculty and staff are willing to accept is much higher than the level accepted by students.
  • Students were the most dissatisfied with the perceived service level while staff was the most satisfied with the current perceived service level.
  • Faculty, staff, and students all have very similar desired service levels (rated 8.3 – 8.55).
  • The perceived service level being provided is less than the desired service level in all 13 areas.
  • The top three desires from the additional survey question regarding preferred characteristics for online communications at the College were searchable content, desktop and online whiteboard sharing, and real-time interactions.


In addition to rating each of the thirteen questions, constituents were given the opportunity to also submit comments. The wordle below is generated from the TechQual+ survey comments of the faculty, staff, and students. Wordle is a tool for generating “word clouds” from provided text. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the received comments.

Wordle Analysis


IT analyzed the comments received on the survey and attempted to summarize the broad themes present. Below is a list in no particular order summarizing these comments.

  • Users want reliable network service (including wireless) especially in the classrooms. Users expressed that the network service is intermittent, slow, and hard to connect with devices. Users did notice improvements from last year but noted that more work is needed to meet the growing needs of the campus. The questions did not distinguish network services between the campus wired/wireless network, ResNet wired/wireless network (outsourced), and Internet service to/from campus therefore it was difficult to analyze results and comments.
  • There is a large need and desire for faculty, staff and students to be provided with basic technology training (through either self-help resources or group training sessions). Users often asked for more SMART board training.
  • The campus would like to see more classrooms with consistent, reliable and easy-to-use technology. Improvements were noted, however, users want faster boot up times and proactive classroom checks (software updates, etc.) for computers located at the teacher station.
  • The majority of comments cited difficulty navigating MyCharleston, the College website, and OAKS. Some examples include non-intuitive interfaces, poorly organized content, and too many clicks to access content. Several respondents reported lack of search functionality or inaccurate search results as areas for improvement for online services.
  • Overall, IT employees were cited as being courteous and thoughtful. Users expressed that more in-depth technical and customer service oriented training would be beneficial.


  • An IT Strategic Advisory Committee (ITSAC) has been formed to provide input and planning guidance to IT. The faculty, staff, and student representatives have been tasked with developing and annually updating a 3-year strategic advisory plan to IT.
  • IT will actively continue the major classroom upgrade, wireless rollout, and network replacement projects.
  • IT will enhance underlying technology for the College’s websites and improve the website search and usability functionalities.
  • IT will identify, upgrade and add additional apps to CofC Mobile.
  • A subcommittee of the Faculty Education Technology Committee (FETC) will explore the topic of online community at the College. Working with representation from the Staff Advisory Committee (SAC), Student Government Association (SGA), and the Graduate Student Association (GSA), the subcommittee will incorporate the TechQual+ feedback with assessed needs for online communication and apply that data to a matrix of currently available communication solutions. The outcomes should provide policy and services which meet the identified needs. Information Technology will then implement these recommendations.
  • Additional technology training will be provided for faculty and staff.


Lastly, congratulations to Varunkumar Patel! Varun was randomly selected as the winner of the TechQual+ survey drawing! He is a freshman at the College majoring in Astrophysics. He chose the Dell Latitude 10 tablet.