"The upshot is that there is no money at the moment, but [we are] continuing to look for funding from somewhere. It’s a very tough year and [we are] waiting to hear the final Corporate Services budget outcome which should be known soon.So whilst there's still a chink of light there, I am, to say the least, disappointed. And all the more so because we (the IT skills working group) have been beavering away on this for more than a year.
It’s very regrettable, but we may need to put the scheme on hold. I haven’t lost hope just yet, though."
My initial reaction was one of resignation, however, having just had a conversation with someone entirely unconnected with the project I've been reminded that this is a good idea and one that needs to see the light of day.
The benefits of the project, as I see it, include the following:
- students who are users of the service get contextualised and personalised help on their IT skills queries
- in particular, distance learners will get increased support on their IT skills queries
- peers support students will improve their own IT skills (IT literacy?) as they deal with student enquiries
- peer support students will gain loads of experience in dealing with people - face to face and online (great stuff for CVs)
- peer support students will gain a Leicester Award and recognition on their transcript (more great stuff for CVs)
- a bank of FAQs (and associated answers) will be built up - a useful resource
- the project will serve as a good test-bed for peers support in other contexts in the university