Friday, 15 May 2009

IT peer support project update

Just about managing to keep up my once a week blogging habit. I posted a couple of weeks back about our IT peer support project and this is a bit of an update. The paper went to our snappily titled Student Experience and Enhancement Committee a week ago. The reception was very positive but they did ask for a few clarifications on how the project will:
  1. relate to the current IT help desk;
  2. support distance learners;
  3. be evaluated.
So this week I met with the Service Desk Manager (in IT Services) and the Enquiry Services Manager (in the Library) to talk about 1 and 2 respectively. Both were good meetings and there seemed to be genuine interest in the project and a keenness to collaborate. In fact the common theme in both conversations was the need for the project to complement and reciprocate  their services rather than simply ensure we're not treading on their toes. In terms of evaluation I've bluffed something about uptake, impact and viability.  So I'll be emailing the chair of the snappily named committee with the clarifications very shortly.

On a tenuously related note, I came accross this natty thing via Twitter this week - - which could be handy for system testing of distance learning students' systems. Good ol' Twitter.

Publishing this on a Friday afternoon is sure to generate lots of traffic, I'm sure.


  1. should have used the schedule post and put it up on Monday morning then! LOL. Good to hear this is being support Stu. Evaluation - you could add in a critical friend (someone external to the department) to review the work, the other important part is to set some criteria and benchmark them at the beginning of the project to get a base line and then return in a year's time. The first thing I did when I was in post was do an audit of how blackboard was used in the School, this was essentially an undercover operation to get me in front of the academics I was there to support but also provided some good data on which to evaluate my role (i.e. we went from only half of convenors with a module on blackboard to 100%).

  2. As your students are going to be volunteers you will also need to evaluate their experience. I wasn't sure whether you had included that already. Vanessa and I can help the co-ordinator with that. Hopefully it will work very well.
    I also think it will be important that it is clear that the service is run by trained volunteers rather than paid students.

  3. Stuart Johnson20 May 2009 at 16:31

    Excellent. Thank you