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Get the Most from the IT Help Desk

Distance Learning -- Fri, 10/24/2014 - 12:00am

The staff in the Office of Distance Learning has a unique opportunity of working with faculty across many departments and colleges. This vantage point allows us to observe common challenges being experienced by faculty in all disciplines and modes of teaching. One consistently observed challenge involves interactions with our university IT Help Desk as members of our learning community report technical issues and request assistance. In full disclosure, the Office of Distance Learning is an investor in the IT Help Desk, through financing of after hours and weekend tech support. Thus, it benefits our investment when faculty use the resource. This post about helping faculty understand how to get the most from the IT Help Desk also applies to students and staff as well.

IT support professionals rely on specific, detailed information in their interactions with their customer base (students, faculty, staff, staff, and administrators). Reporting that “Moodle is broken!” or “The server is down!” does not provide the depth of information needed to resolve the issue. Below, we are empowering you with information in order to have a more meaningful IT Help experience and to discover a resolution more quickly. When reporting an information technology issue, answer these questions:

  • Who? Provide your name and course (number and section) in which you are experiencing the problem.
  • What? Provide a detailed description of the incident. Please include screenshots if possible as these may reveal exact error messages and lead to quicker resolution.

Screenshot Tips

  • (Windows) You can easily create screen shots using the snipping tool if you have a Windows operating system or a whole screenshot by pressing CTRL + Print Screen.
  • (Mac) Use the keyboard keys: Command + Shift + 4 (then click and drag the crosshairs across the specific area for the snapshot). Picture appears on your desktop.
  • (iOS) Take a screenshot by tapping the home button and the Sleep/Wake button (top right of iPad) simultaneously. The screen will flash, you’ll hear a sound. Screenshot will be in the Photos app.
  • (Android) Android 4.0 and newer. To take a screenshot on your device, press the Volume Down and Power keys at the same time. The screen will flash, you’ll hear a sound, and you’ll see a framed image appear and fade into the notification bar. The “Saving screenshot” notification will appear.
  • When? When did the problem(s) happen (time of day)? Report every time you face an issue.
  • Where?
    • Identify your location (particular building if on campus)
    • Identify if you are using a desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone when experiencing the problem.
    • Identify your computer’s operating system: Windows (OS 7-9), Mac (OS 10.6-10.10), Linux, iOS (7 or 8), Android (version number).
    • Identify the software applications you are using (for example: web browser name and Moodle).
  • Why?
    • Identify how are you connecting to the Internet (Wireless or Ethernet).
    • Identify your Internet browser and version of that browser (On the Mac computer look to the top left and click on the web browser name you have active, then select About…, here you will see the browser version number)

IT Help is committed to serving faculty, staff and students in the IT needs. If you have not had an optimal experience and stopped reporting issues, we urge you to consider reporting again using the quick tips above. When this “complete” information is provided to IT Help, we observe a quicker resolution to an issue and a higher degree of faculty satisfaction with the service received.