May 2011 GoogleApps@Brown Survey
Recently we asked the Brown faculty, staff and students to evaluate the migration we made over the last 18 months to Google Apps for Education (GAE). Over 1100 people completed the survey.
In addition to the statistical responses, we were were given many suggestions, questions to answer and problems to solve. Some of the problems identified were simple misunderstandings about how to make something work. Other issues reflected shortcomings that existed last year, but have since been addressed by Google with new features. Other problems are still inherent in GAE and have yet to be addressed. CIS has begun to provide information back to those individuals who asked to be kept informed of tips and ideas.
Gmail was the most widely used of the GAE with 98% of the respondents identifying themselves as users. Overall, 9 out of 10 Gmail users noted that they were "Very Satisfied" or "Satisfied." The following subgroups expressed these Gmail satisfaction levels:
- Faculty - Over 4 out of 5 faculty respondents noted that they were "Very Satisfied" or "Satisfied."
- Undergrads - Nearly 5 out of 5 undergraduate respondents noted that they were "Very Satisfied" or "Satisfied."
- Grad/Prof - Nearly 5 out of 5 graduate/professional student respondents noted that they were "Very Satisfied" or "Satisfied."
- Staff - Over 4 out of 5 staff respondents noted that they were "Very Satisfied" or "Satisfied."
How satisfied are you with Mail?
Calendar. Docs, Sites and Chat
Google Calendar was used by 79% of the respondents and more than 9 out of 10 responses were positive.
Google Docs were used by 85% of the respondents and nearly 9 out of 10 responses were positive.
Google Sites were used by 36% of the respondents and 9 out of 10 responses were positive.
Google Chat was used by 66% of the respondents and 99 out of 100 responses were positive.
From our initial deployment to the time of the survey, satisfaction increased and dissatisfaction decreased. We've included lines in the chart below to help illustrate this trend.
Overall, how satisfied were you with Google Apps when you first received your account?
Overall, how satisfied are you with Google Apps now?
Frequency of Use
What percentage of the Brown Community uses these Google Apps on a daily or weekly basis?
How often do you use the following apps?
How comfortable are you with using the following apps?
What resources have you used for help with Google?
We saw trends in the comments section. If you also have concerns like these, we'd love to share some tips and tricks in an upcoming "Optimize Your Gmail" training.
- I'm still uncomfortable with conversations
- I wish we could sort like in Outlook
- I'd like to color code calendar events (good news - color coding is now available!)
Only a handful of the respondents did not fall under the four categories provided. We combined Post-Docs and Graduate/Medical into a category and counted Emeriti Faculty as Faculty. Graduate or Undergraduate students who also held staff positions were counted as Staff. We felt that this categorization provided more meaningful information than creating an "other" category.
With over 1100 members of the Brown community responding, the results appear to be similar to those observed at some other universities. The trend seems to show satisfaction levels around the 90% level after six months have passed and higher levels of satisfaction expressed as time goes on. We're pleased that we have gone through such an enormous change with what appears to be a positive impact. Brown was able to avoid a great deal of new spending at a time when it could afford it the least. We recognize that we made many of your lives more difficult during this transition and for that we're deeply sorry. We are glad that most of you now appear to like new services.
With the information we've gathered from the survey, we'll be able to help more of you use the tools more productively. For example, we've learned:
- Searching email is much, much faster in a web browser than when using the Outlook client;
- Chrome and Firefox work much better with Google Apps than Internet Explorer.
We're thankful to all of you for helping to make this work. No product is perfect, and Google is no exception, but we are pleased that GAE has saved us money, has allowed us to collaborate in new ways, and has turned out to be a step in the right direction for the Brown community.