Completed project: Free workshops for IU faculty and staff pilot program in support of EP 26

Primary UITS contact: Chris Payne

Completed: June 21, 2012

Description: UITS IT Training sponsored a pilot program for the spring 2012 semester to enable IU faculty and staff to enroll in its regular end-user workshops at no charge. The goal of this program was to determine if standard workshop enrollment fees have been inhibiting staff and faculty workshop participation.

Outcome: The pilot was overwhelmingly successful. IT Training's total spring 2012 faculty and staff enrollment was more than six and a half times greater than for spring semester 2011. Comments from participants were overwhelmingly positive as well, making clear that this is a much desired service.

Milestones and status:

  • In December 2011, IT Training enrolled more than twice the number of participants it had ever enrolled in that month in previous years.
  • January 10, 2012: Faculty and staff enrollments for spring 2012 exceeded enrollments made by January 10, 2011 for the spring 2011 semester by more than 1500%.
  • As of early February, spring 2012 was IT Training's highest enrolling semester ever.
  • As of March 25, 2012, the following were also noted:
    • 81 spring 2012 workshops had filled up, compared to 21 that filled up in all of spring 2011.
    • 735 staff members registered for a spring 2012 workshop who had taken nothing from IT Training in 2011, and 195 faculty members registered for spring 2012 who had taken nothing from IT Training in 2011. 466 of those staff members and 138 of those faculty members had never taken anything from IT Training before spring 2012.
    • In workshops that faculty and staff paid to attend in spring 2011, faculty and staff enrollments for spring 2012 were more than six and a half times what they were for all of the spring 2011 semester.
    • Average enrollments for workshops that faculty and staff had to pay to attend in spring 2011 but could attend for free in spring 2012 increased from 13.6 to 17.9, a 32% increase. This was done while the number of those workshops was increased from 211 to 332 to meet demand, a 57% increase.
  • The staff and faculty no-show rate (11%) has remained virtually unchanged from spring 2011 when faculty and staff had to pay to attend workshops.
  • Faculty and staff have driven from as far as the South Bend campus to the Bloomington campus to take advantage of free workshops in the topics in which they need training.
  • Two regional campuses have requested IT Training staff to travel to their campus to teach a special request workshop, covering travel, lodging and per diem, since that is less expensive than a normal for fee special request workshop.
  • January 2012 was IT Training's highest-enrolling month ever, and enrollments in December 2011 and February 2012 set records for those months as well.
  • By the end of the spring 2012 semester, staff and faculty enrollments for the entire semester were more than six times what they were in spring 2011.
  • The UITS ERC Committee identified funding to sustain this service for the foreseeable future.

Comment process: IT Training has gathered comments from faculty and staff via email and phone conversations and from workshop evaluations. Select comments are shown below:

  • Workshop evaluation comments from staff:
    • "Great class! Thanks for offering free classes!"
    • "Thanks for offering free classes to us."
    • "I really appreciate being able to take these courses for free as an employee and hope it continues. I am finding it is helpful with my daily work. Thank you."
    • "Keep these workshops free to staff!!!!!!!!!!"
    • "I appreciate the workshops being free for staff. It makes things easier considering all the budget cuts."
    • "Thanks for offering this program for staff without charge"
    • "I like the opportunity to take a class without my dept paying for it."
    • "Thanks for offering these classes! They are a great benefit!"
    • "I really appreciate the free workshops for staff. I've taken several -- including this one -- that will help me in my job, but would be hard to justify because of my tight budget."
    • "I was very excited that IU offered these ITTRAING classes free of charge. Please continue to do so!"
    • "I loved the class. Thanks for offering free classes!!"
    • "...the free workshops are wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks"
    • "Please make the pilot program of allowing IU faculty & staff attendance at training classes for no cost PERMANENT!"!
    • "I love that these are available to staff for free!!"
    • "1. It was FREE! 2. It was FREE! 3. It was FREE!"
    • "LOVING the free workshops for staff!!! Keep up the good work."
    • "Love having the workshops available for free as they are this semester. It's a great encouragement to getting staff the education they need to do their jobs better."
    • "Please continue offering these classes. I don't get paid much, so being able to take these classes for free is critical for me to continue my professional development. I use these skills directly in my work at IU and will have taken advantage of 6 design classes by the end of the semester. Would love to continue my education over the summer."
    • "I have taken several classes this semester including work toward the desktop publishing certificate and appreciate that they are free of charge. It was a great incentive for professional and personal development."
    • "Thanks for offering this course for free. Cost has prevented me from taking it in the past."
    • "I enjoy attending the IT steps class so that I can better do my job. With these workshops being offered FREE to staff it is going to help me do my work better. Thanks for offering these classes to Staff/Faculty free of charge. I look forward to learning much more with these classes to help me better my job here at IU!!!!!!!!!!!"
    • "Thank you for doing this. I've been hoping to find a class but with a full time job it's difficult plus I didn't have the money."
    • "I really appreciate the free classes being offered this semester!"
    • "I hope UITS will continue to offer free classes to IU personnel beyond this semester. THANKS!"
    • "I really appreciate that this class was being offered to Faculty & Staff free of charge. It is extremely helpful to my work and as a non-profit organization on campus, even the small charge makes a difference. More of my co-workers can sign-up and come to the training when it is free - rather than having to learn things second-hand from a designated staff person. Thanks!"
    • "Please continue to keep these free for faculty/staff."
    • "Continue the no charge for IU employees!"
    • "What a GREAT opportunity to have this available at no cost!! Excellent! Very much appreciated!"
    • "I am very very happy to be able to take this workshop at no cost to me or my department! I am very hopeful that these workshops will be made available to staff at no cost in the future. If that happens, I will take EVERY one! Wonderful!"
    • "Offer it for free to staff ALL THE TIME."
    • "Thanks for offering this for FREE!!!!"
    • "LOVE the free courses - haven't taken many due to department's inability to pay for training. MAKE THS PILOT PROJECT (free courses for staff/faculty) PERMANENT!!!!!"
    • "I am so glad you are offering these free to staff!! I probably wouldn't have been able to take them otherwise!"
    • "Really like the free workshops for staff. If the program continues I will continue to take workshops. Thanks!"
    • "I have enjoyed the Free Workshops!!! They have been very helpful and have allowed me to utilize Excel the way it was meant to be used. This workshop should run continuously or be allowed to schedule a training year around!!! Again this was VERY HELPFUL!!!"
    • "Thanks for offering this for free! I plan to sign up for more of these sessions now!"
    • "I like the no charge for staff."
    • "Thanks for the pilot for free training to staff/faculty."
    • "Continuation of pilot program please!"
    • "I really appreciate that faculty/staff are able to take these courses for free and hope this continues."
    • "I really enjoy learning in this workshop. I'm very happy that IU has decided to offer FREE training in these classes! Please IU keep offering these FREE classes!"
    • "Thank you for offering these free workshops to staff members."
    • "Glad that IU offers these classes for FREE."
    • "I hope that the workshops will continue to be free for staff."
    • "It was great for staff to be encouraged to attend any of the sessions without cost!"
    • "LOVE the free workshops for staff!"
    • "I appreciate the opportunity to take classes for free this semester."
    • "I also really appreciate that the class was free. I definitely could not attend if it wasn't. I'm looking forward to the classes I have here in the future! Thank you for making the classes free this semester!"
    • "MORE FREE CLASSES, PLEASE, FOR FOREVER AND EVER! Some of us support staff simply cannot afford STEPS or any other computer classes on our own and can't get them paid for by our departments if they are not directly related to our present jobs. Ergo, no chance to expand our horizons, get a raise, get a promotion or a better job! Please, more of the free classes! From: Bottom of the Barrel support staff member at IU (can't even afford Union dues!); formerly held numerous professional positions elsewhere, but have only a bachelor's degree. You can't get ANYWHERE at IU without a MASTERS degree! :("
    • "I liked very much that this course was free as I am a staff member. I have not been able to attend classes in the past as my department could not afford to send many staff to them. This pilot is VERY MUCH appreciated -- and if at all possible -- MAKE THIS TRAINING POLICY PERMANENT !!!!!!"
    • "Keep these workshop as free opportunities for IU employees."
    • "This was my first free IT course, and it was so well done I'm sure I will attend others. Thank you!"
    • "I'm an IU staff member, and cost for UITS is prohibitive for my department. Make sure that faculty and staff of the University can attend FREE OF CHARGE as a standard practice. I REALLY appreciate UITS doing this pilot project of offering University faculty and staff free training courses. I certainly believe that the pilot project for lynda.com was extremely important, and this is even more so. Bravo!"
    • "Thanks for offering these classes for free!"
    • "I'm glad that IU is offering FREE classes so I can learn more to help me at my job."
    • "I enjoy these FREE workshops. I am able to get training on the stuff that I use at my job. Thanks for offering these FREE of charge. Please keep offering them."
    • "Make the pilot program of offering free training classes to faculty and staff a permanent policy!!!!!!!"
    • "Keep these workshop as free for staff!"
    • "Please make the current pilot program of providing classes for no cost to faculty and staff a permanent policy!!! Thanks!"
    • "Great class-keep the free workshops going for staff. Departments are short on money right now."
    • "The pilot program has been great! A great encouragement to gain this extra knowledge."
    • "I love the free classes!"
    • "I believe that the staff option to attend these sessions is very valuable and I hope to see them continue."
    • "Thank you for providing IT Training workshops to faculty and staff for free! I LOVE being able to take these class and expanding my technical knowledge as an IU employee (staff) for free. I have taken courses that will help me in my work, but that my department would not have likely paid for. THANKS!"
    • "This was incredibly helpful and is a very useful asset for my future research endeavors. The pilot training program is brilliant and I would love to attend future training sessions. Soooo helpful! Well done. :)"
    • "Love the pilot program allowing employees to take classes for free -- KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!"
    • "I like the fact that the University is giving the staff and faculty free classes. This is a way for us to improve our skills to work for the University."
    • "Thanks for offering this workshop free to staff members!!!! My department is more open to me attending these if they are free since the budget is so tight."
    • "I love that these classes are free for staff. I will be taking many more classes."
    • "Please make the current pilot program of allowing faculty and staff attendance at no cost permanent. Great class, and the instructor was great!"
    • "Please continue the pilot program for staff and faculty, especially the 5:30 PM offerings."
    • "LOVE THE FREE CLASSES!"
    • "I think this was an excellent refresher for me. I truly enjoy and appreciate the Pilot program. It has helped me to be able to receive a certificate and I like learning and will try to continue to attend the workshops."
    • "I REALLY have appreciated these free workshops! Please continue!!"
    • "Thanks for having these workshops free. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to take them."
    • "I liked that the workshop was finally free for staff."
    • "I love the free workshops and I hope they continue to offer them so that I can take more."
    • "I'm really appreciating the free workshops this semester for staff."
    • "I love the free workshop! Thanks!!"
    • "I like the free workshops for staff."
    • "Please continue the pilot program for faculty and staff!!! Please!"
    • "Please keep offering these for free! They add huge value to my job at IU."
    • "Thanks. Love the free classes for low paid support staff."
    • "Thank you for the free classes. They make a huge difference in the university's staff development."
    • "I want to strongly suggest that the pilot project of allowing faculty & staff to take training classes at no cost a PERMANENT policy. Thanks!!!!!!"
    • "I appreciate the free classes this semester."
    • "I like that the university is offering classes to staff for free to help us increase our knowledge in order to serve the university better."
    • "I LOVE that we can attend these workshops free of charge. I am new to IU and enjoying being able to enhance my skills in the various programs."
    • "Thanks for the free classes."
    • "LOVE that we are able to attend these workshops for free!!!!! My presentations are going to be A*M*A*Z*I*N*G!!!!!!"
    • "These workshops are fantastic! Please keep offering them for free to IUPUI staff/students/faculty."
    • "Love the free classes!! Hope they are offered in the fall too!"
    • "As a staff member, I think it would be great if the UITS Steps courses were always free to staff members. I've really enjoyed taking a number of these courses for free during this trial spring semester."
    • "Please make the current UITS pilot project of allowing faculty & staff to attend classes at no cost PERMANENT. Thanks!"
    • "Great class. Please consider making the pilot project of allowing faculty & staff attend classes at not charge PERMANENT !! Thanks!!!!"
    • "Thank you for allowing staff to take these classes free of charge. I really appreciate it and hope it continues. I have learned a lot that I will apply to my job."
    • "Love that I got to attend the class free of charge. Please keep it up."
    • "Love the free workshops!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
    • "PLEASE continue the pilot program for staff and faculty, especially the after-hours 5:30 PM classes. I also wanted to take a XHTML class, but the topic is not related to my position, so probably wouldn't be able to attend during the day under normal circumstances. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE...and thanks!"
    • "I am a new employee, and I am taking as many IT classes as possible. This is a fabulous opportunity for staff to improve / learn new skills, and I am thrilled to be able to do this. Keep the free classes coming!!! Thank you so much."
    • "Please make the pilot program of faculty & staff being able to attend classes at no charge PERMANENT !!! THANKS."
    • "I enjoy the free workshops."
    • "I love the fact that we are able to further our skills with these no-cost workshops. They are a great asset to my knowledge base."
    • "Please keep the free workshops for staff --- they are awesome!!!"
    • "Thanks for the free workshops!"
  • Workshop evaluation comments from faculty:
    • "I loved that it was free for faculty! I highly encourage you to keep this up!"
    • "Thanks for offering this workshop to faculty for free. We appreciate it!"
    • "Thank you so much for the opportunity for faculty to take these workshops for free! I hope this continues. It is very much appreciated."
    • "Thanks for offering this for free!! Very helpful!"
    • "Very useful and grateful that this workshop was offered free of charge. It will improve my ability to manage data and work more effectively. I could not have paid the cost for the number of workshops I am attending. VERY helpful. THANK YOU!"
    • "Thanks for offering classes free to faculty and staff this semester!"
    • "I am VERY glad these courses are being offered as I need them very much and am using what I am learning immediately. Thank you!"
    • "Sincere thanks for making these workshops available free to faculty. I am learning many, many things that will be useful to me and my students. I would never have been able to justify paying for so many workshops. Thanks again!"
    • "Thank you for providing this worksheet at no cost to faculty."
    • "As a faculty member, I greatly appreciate that the workshops are free. I have taken all of the Dreamweaver courses and would not have been able to do so if there was a cost involved."
    • "Please keep this available during the summer and the fall for faculty."
    • "I can't thank you enough for allowing faculty to take these workshops for free. I'm trying to fit in as many as I can this semester because we haven't heard if the workshops will be offered for free in the future. I can't wait to find out if you will continue offering these workshops for free in the coming semesters."
    • "Thanks very, very much for making these workshops free to faculty!!!! I am learning a tremendous number of things that will make my work both easier and much more efficient. I'm learning things that I needed to know but never had time to figure out, as well as things that I didn't even know could be done."
    • "I like the free workshops."
    • "The opportunity to take these courses for free as faculty is outstanding. As a physician/educator, I use PowerPoint quite frequently, but have never had the chance to learn about how to use it more efficiently. Thank you!!"
    • "The free classes are great! The classes will be more helpful than I ever imagined. Thanks!"
    • "Thank you so much for offering these courses to faculty and staff for free. I would not have taken these courses without this promotion, and I am so thankful I did."
    • "Thanks for the free classes! You've tripled (at least) my productivity."
    • "Thank you so much for offering these lectures for free to faculty and staff. What a great benefit!"
    • "I learned a lot through all my workshops and would be glad to know you could offer free training for faculty on a more regular basis. To be honest with you, it was the fees that always hindered me from taking classes. This time I took the leap and explored topics like Access (or Wordpress in the coaching session) I otherwise would have not. Thank you all. Looking forward to more training!"
    • "I love the free classes! They will be infinitely helpful to me."
  • Relevant comments from 2012 UITS User Survey
    • "Thank you for making the training courses (like Photoshop workshops, etc.) free to faculty this year!"
    • "I appreciate the free IT training that is offered. I hope to have time to take advantage of it soon."
    • "I liked having the free STEPS classes this semester."
    • "Keep providing training to IU staff for free."
    • "I really appreciate that you offered free training courses this fall to faculty and staff."
    • "The classes I've taken are always very good and informative, very well thought out and executed with expertise, and are friendly and encouraging, and yes - I have taken good advantage of the free classes this term."
    • "Make the current pilot program that is underway where IU faculty and staff can attend training courses at no charge a permanent policy. Many University departments have such small training budgets that staff often cannot attend the training courses that they need. They end up learning the "bits and pieces" of software, etc., just to get the basic job done. With so much knowledge and expertise available yet not being accessed due to cost restrictions -- within the same organization -- seems like the wrong way to go. The situation where training necessary to staff jobs essentially being withheld due to a given department's inability to pay should not exist. If we truly are one of the leading institutions of higher learning in the nation, it seems obvious to me that said institution should also be striving to provide its staff with the best training/advantage that it can afford as well."
    • "I have LOVED the IT courses offered free to faculty and staff this semester. Very helpful and enjoyable."
  • Additional comments received by phone or email:
    • "Very happy with free workshops being available, department doesn't have much funding."
    • "I'm loving the fact that the workshops are free!"
    • "I'm really appreciative that staff are being afforded the opportunity for personal development at no charge, especially with all of the budget constraints we are feeling. It comes at a great time!"
    • A staff member wrote us the following letter:
      "Dear IT,

      I would like to take this time to thank you for the FREE STEP classes you are offering this semester.

      The classes are a great addition to the many FREE benefits we have at Indiana University. I believe that your classes are helping individuals like me gain skills that I cannot afford to pay for at this time.

      We are all in tough economic times. The fact that IT recognizes this and has gone the extra step to make the classes FREE is a blessing.

      Please consider keeping these classes FREE in the future.

      Thank you for being so considerate!

      Have a wonderful IU day!!!"

Benefits: A demonstrated benefit is that IU faculty and staff are getting access to the training they need in the modality they want. This fully supports the objectives laid out in EP Action 26.

Additional benefits:

  • Getting the training they need will help faculty and staff be more productive in their jobs.
  • This will enable Indiana University as a whole to increase its ROI in Microsoft and Adobe software site licenses.
  • Making this service permanent will make it easier to make training on central systems available to faculty and staff at no charge, thereby also improving their job performance.
  • Getting the training they need will increase job satisfaction for faculty and staff.
  • Faculty will no longer have to pay to attend workshops out of their own pockets, which they had done often in the past since they could not get departments to pay for the training they need to do their jobs.

Related information: The goals of EP Action Item 26 are documented here.

Client impact: See benefits. The pilot program is clearly benefiting IU faculty and staff.

Project team:

  • Chris Payne - Manager, IT Training
  • Veronica Mount - Assistant Manager - IT Training IUPUI
  • Carol Rhodes - Assistant Manager - IT Training IU Bloomington
  • Denise Brown
  • Robert De Roeck
  • Greg Hanek
  • Susan Hanns
  • Andy Hunsucker
  • Donna Jones
  • Tom Mason
  • Kim Murday
  • Jen Oakes
  • IT Training hourly staff

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Last modified on 2015-03-05 00:00:00.

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