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ASU’s Help Center has partnered with the Academic Technology Support (ATS) Learning Management System (LMS) Tier 2 support team to develop staff skills and help them reach their next level in career growth. With ATS’ help, the Help Center is helping their staff grow into new positions at ASU, the leading university in innovation.
When ASU’s own internal help center was created, it quickly became clear that the LMS (at this time, Blackboard) needed 24/7 support. A small team of six specialists were trained in Course Administrator access, which meant they could access courses to address problems hands-on. However, this kind of access required a lot of training, since changes in the courses could have far-reaching consequences.
This small team could not handle the needs of over 100,000 students and 15,000 instructors and TA, so a partnership was formed with the Help Center to triage problems and help out when only completely necessary. This evolved into training Course Administrator access to another small team of Help Center employees, which allowed even more problems to be solved more quickly.
The LMS Tier 2 support team was housed in the same building as the Help Center, and it made collaboration only easier as support staff could communicate quickly in-person with their peers to solve a problem. Cross-training also became easier.
But even though LMS Tier 2 support staff typically needed more training in order to handle Course Administrator access, members of that team found that the Help Center’s training on other, more general problems (like password resets) could allow them to assist when LMS calls were low. This partnership has led to great camaraderie and an understanding that customer satisfaction is the most important goal.
This cross-training has made finding qualified candidates for the LMS Tier 2 support team even easier, as many Help Center employees move up with a lot of experience already. This partnership isn’t an “easy one-and-done thing,” however, ATS Director Ruvi Wijesuriya said. “It takes regular reminders and sometimes coaching, to make sure the relationship remains respectful and cooperative.”
The partnership is a “shining example of tier 1 and tier 2 level support working together as a team, which can create that job progression path opportunities that help elevate the technical talent of tier 1 and the tier 2 Blackboard support for a broader perspective,” Help Center Director Eric Dover said.
ASU’s in-house support team has always been a point of pride for the university and UTO, and its continued improvement is always a noteworthy success for the department. These two entities complement each other effectively, supporting each other to support the ASU community. If you ever need support from the Help Center, check out these resources.
Make sure to follow UTO on Twitter @ASU_UTO.