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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


DoIT survey reveals UW pleased with tech services

A survey released by the University of Wisconsin’s Division of Information Technology revealed students at UW are more connected than ever.

DoIT spokesperson Brian Rust said the annual survey focuses on three or four main areas each year, including the types of tools and resources students use, their satisfaction with UW technological services and improvements they would like to see.

From these responses, Rust said DoIT has seen a large increase in the number of students who own handheld Internet devices, especially smart phones.


According to the survey, 45 percent of respondents own a handheld Internet device such as a Blackberry, iPod touch, iPhone or Droid.

The survey also found that those with smart phones use them to access the news, weather and sports.

In addition, 70 percent reported using their phones to access social networking sites including using Facebook and LinkedIn.

The survey also reported 91 percent of students own a laptop computer, with Windows users dominating the populous at 73 percent.

Conversely, students using Mac OS operating systems account for 35 percent of respondents.

With so many tools available to surf the Internet, the survey analyzed how students connect to the Internet, with 75 percent of students utilizing UW’s wireless network as their primary source.

Another improvement DoIT is working on enacting is a contiguous network, which Rust said means students who log-in at one campus building would not have to re-authenticate when they access the network in another.

In this increasingly connected world, students rely heavily on technology in class, something professors have had to adjust to.

As a professor with more than 400 students in his lecture, UW Professor of African languages and literature Harold Scheub said he does not allow students to use their cell phones during class.

Students are told to turn their phones off, he said, but laptops are fine as long as students use them to take notes.

This eliminates them from taking phone calls and sending text messages.

“My theory is if all they do is come to class to do something else, what are they doing here?” he said.

Despite academic frustrations, the large increase in handheld devices sparked DoIT to create a UW-specific set of applications students can use on their smart phones, Rust said.

“We notice students using more smart phones, and at some point we develop and we respond to the need for more smart phone applications,” he said.

DoIT’s study also found students were satisfied with UW’s services, including WiscMail, software training classes, web storage space and the DoIT Help Desk, Rust said.

In fact, 94 percent of students surveyed said they used Learn@UW for a class.

Of those students, 84 percent listed the experience as “positive or very positive.”

Student satisfaction has remained consistently high over the past several years, Rust said, however he added this year’s 86 percent is considered much higher than other years.

Potential improvements students identified involved a greater selection of discounted software and additional computers in campus computer labs.

In total, 377 students responded to the survey out of 1,200 chosen at random, according to the report.

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