Information and Educational Technology (IET) launched a pilot project with students in mid-January to test Gmail, Google's email service, as the campus email program for students. The feedback was strongly positive.
More than 300 graduates and undergraduates participated in the six-week pilot, which included two surveys. Both received high response rates (73 and 82 percent, respectively). Each survey asked the students if they would recommend the UC Davis Gmail service to their friends; more than 90 percent said they would after the first survey, and that number grew to just shy of 94 percent at the end of the pilot.
In a comments section, one student wrote, "the storage space is excellent, the search mechanism in which I can quickly find specific emails is convenient, the chat feature is interesting, and the simple format is visually appealing." On April 10, the Senate of the Associated Students of the University of California Davis unanimously approved a resolution "recommending the implementation of the UC Davis Gmail program."
The Campus Council for Information Technology, Gmail pilot advisory group, and other groups have reviewed or been updated on the pilot this spring; IET expects to have a decision soon on possibly expanding the service to all students later this year.