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Collaborative Technology Use UX Study

In Spring 2017, the UX Team explored how faculty and staff use collaborative technology in their work including teaching, research, professional practice and administrative activities.

Research Questions

  • How do staff and faculty use technology in their collaborative work?
  • Which technologies do they use? How?


  • We interviewed 14 staff and 7 faculty about the use of various collaborative technologies like video conferencing, phone, project management tools, document sharing and storage, and instant messaging.

What did we Learn?

  • Staff and faculty use email as the primary tool for communicating and sharing and storing files
  • Staff and faculty expressed frustration using OneDrive. They told us about challenges with version control, authentication, locating and organizing files, and the limitations of working in different browsers and operating systems
  • Collaborative technology use varies widely among faculty. Some are very willing to experiment with new tools (especially emerging project management solutions), while others are opposed to adopting new technologies
  • Faculty spoke frequently of the burden of paying for technology and would often use the free versions of software and refuse to upgrade to paid versions

Our Recommendations

  • Consider instituting an IM system that can be integrated with the campus directory
  • Consider investing in an institutional license for project management tools like Asana or Basecamp
  • Limit the use of paid communication software and encourage the use of free alternatives
  • Provide access and support for Adobe Connect and Camtasia
Year of Study: