Have you ever wondered who helps when you forget your UCONNECT password or you need help with D2L? Well, now you have the chance to finally know!
Alixandria Eaton (pictured), interim Service Desk manager, is here to tell you all about what it is like to work for the Service Desk at UCO during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What are some of the basic functions of the Service Desk?
The UCO Service Desk is the first point of contact for most technical concerns at Central. We are here to provide assistance with enterprise services provided by the Office of Information Technology, general campus information and direction to the appropriate campus resources.
What are some of the biggest challenges?
One of our biggest challenges, yet one of the most fulfilling aspects of our jobs, is keeping up with the latest trends and changes within the technological world. Technology is changing and adapting at such a rapid pace that we want to ensure that we’re up-to-date on the latest changes so that we can support our campus community in the best possible way. Each department across our university utilizes specific technology to aid in the education of our students and it’s our job to ensure that we are able to support and assist our entire community which requires a lot of knowledge about everything!
What services does the Service Desk provide to faculty, staff and students?
Right now, heavy emphasis is on all things related to alternative instructional delivery and telework. For our faculty and staff, we provide assistance with VPN and remote desktop connections, troubleshooting Webex Meetings & Teams, and all telework technology requests. For our students, we provide assistance with Learn@UCO (D2L), UCONNECT, and additional aid with UCO account access. But we still assist with the basics as well from password resets to software installations. If it is a university-supported technology, we are the first point of contact for support.
How have those functions changed since UCO moved to teleworking?
The Service Desk is able to continue providing all of our services to our campus community remotely through our phone lines (405-974-2255), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Self-Service portal (servicedesk.uco.edu). With the exception of walk-up service, operations have not changed, just the location of the employees providing the services.
What advice do those working the Service Desk have to faculty, staff and students regarding teleworking and taking/teaching courses online?
If you’re having any issues with technology while teleworking or your online courses, reach out to the Service Desk! We’re open 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. Monday – Thursday and 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Friday. We also recommend prepping and contacting us in advance. Many have unique aspects of their alternative instructional delivery methods or telework offices. If we can connect in advance, we reduce the possible impact to virtual classroom activities.
What are some things you have learned while going through this transition?
This transition period has been a learning experience for us because we’ve had to expand not only how we process normal, typical requests that come into our office but we’ve also had to assist in ensuring that our campus community is able to continue to work remotely. We want to ensure that everyone can utilize the technology they need to continue working remotely. Using Webex Meetings & Teams have been great tools for our office as we’re able to continue communicating and collaborating in a telework environment and we encourage others to take advantage of this available software as well!
What is one thing you wish you had known before the transition to teleworking occurred?
Before our current situation, our office had and is continuing to investigate options for additional and expanded support from remote locations. We had previously incorporated 24/7 D2L support for our students and faculty but we hadn’t yet had the opportunity to implement any other remote support options. This situation forced our office to suddenly transition into being fully remote and I wish that we had an opportunity to organize this transition beforehand.
What are some of your favorite things about working at UCO?
The people in our campus community are wonderful and the fact that we get to assist everyone that comes to our office and ensure that their technology issues are addressed and resolved is truly fulfilling.