Frederick Kelly IT Administrator University of Tennessee Knoxville
Mary Lee Stewart University of Tennessee Knoxville
Rosie Sasso Instructional Technology and Research Support Specialist III, University of Tennessee Knoxville
Background: Knoxville has 1,400 Instructional Faculty, Student Enrollments 27k, Colleges 11, Degree Programs 300+, Course Delivery staff of 5.
Course Delivery Tools: Bb Learn, Bb Collaborate
Bridging the Gap –
When You are in Support – Every Day is Different!
We are ambassadors among different groups and people with unique backgrounds and traits with which to synthesize superior support.
Don’t be THAT guy. – It’s okay to say “I don’t know”, Investigate, Give Users Options
User Real Life examples and practical experiences – even if anecdotal – and then apply them to tech.
– Use analogies, metaphors, and/or similes. “Like drinking a milkshake through a cocktail straw”
– Computing Systems are like a fingerprint – browsers, operating systems, java, security, MS Office, third party- All users are diverse (verbal, visual) get to know users and needs
The only thing constant is change – Heraclitus, Greek philosopher (535 BC – 475 BC)
- Change is often forced on users, but it’s constant, so roll with it.
– Know you are a change agent. (Make it as not scarey as possible)
- Browsers are on accelerated schedule
– Best browsers for BbLearn? More than one.
– Your browser is the window for the internet like your windshield is a window to the interstate
- Sites like Amazon tweak GUIs all the time and no one freaks out.
– Literal people may view a GUI change as catastrophic
- Focus on positives from the change. Yes, things an break, but new features are helpful
- Find balance between experimentation and frustration.
– If something looks different play with it.
– If you’ve got the time to experiment, do.
– If you start to get angry or frustrated, call support.
“For every ailment under the sun there is a remedy, or there is none; if there be one, try to find it; if there be none, never mind it.”
– W.W Bartley American Philosopher (1934-1990)
- Provide cheat sheets, walkthroughs (printable & Postable)
- Myth: Technology is supposed to make things easier – not true, just different
- Hold users accountable and foster a sense of personal responsibility. (“let’s schedule a time to get together an set up Grade Center BEFORE next semester.”)
- Take the Heat when its applicable
– Know when to say no. Do not be run over.
- Make a checklist for Instructors to get them started
Fortune favors the brave! – Publius Terentius After the roman playwright.
- What did you do BEFORE BbLearn or BbCollaborate?
– I hate BB, but I want it to paint my house and do magical things
- How far did you get?
- Would you be willing to try this a different way?
- Are you interested in learning a potentially more effective way of doing this?
- Are you willing to come in and meet with us?
Workshops – F2f, Online, your place or mine? (5 or 6 a month f2f)
Consults – Brief topical – how do I do x with y? one-on-one or group, where can i find? But what about..
Faculty Assist – Detailed, specific need (ID work) Was, Is or Will Be, Across support groupsKnowledge Base – Online constantly updated
Offer multiple avenues of support, consistent message. Be Technical & Practical, Address Expectations, Expect change!!