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When you're on the front line dealing with students, you never know what they may ask you. 'Where can I hand this in? What is the deadline for withdrawing from units? How big is my Home Directory?'
Though you could probably find the answer online, not many of us have the time to learn about all the services offered by the FIOAs of the University. We frequently come across things we thought we knew, or knew nothing about, incidentally. That was the case for Frontline Lending and Document Services Librarian, Cathy Ahern, when she observed a presentation for new students outlining the IT services at Deakin. During the 8-minute presentation, Cathy realised there were many IT services that her fellow Library staff could benefit from knowing about, having learned a few new things herself.
The challenge was set: teach a cohort of front line Library staff the basic IT services available to all students, so that they may better serve them. With only a small window of time in which to pass on the knowledge, a team of ITSD staff from the Waterfront Campus presented a workshop typically delivered to the IT and Library Student Rovers during their annual one-day training.
Having gone through the PowerPoint-assisted portion of the presentation, it was up to the Library staff to complete a group questionnaire using the Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique, which utilises scratch cards and multiple choice questions to create an interactive learning experience. Feedback for the session was extremely positive, with many staff indicating that the relaxed and informal nature of the technique made it 'extremely enjoyable'.
The enjoyment throughout the session was easily witnessed, with nervous squeals and excited gasps emanating from the groups as they worked their way through the scratch card answers. Participants had the added incentive of a goodie-bag to compete for, with one group narrowly coming out on top, having retained much of the information from the presentation.
On average, fifty percent of participants indicated their knowledge of IT services for students had 'largely increased', with the Home Directory service, Atomic Learning video tutorials and software download availability being noted as the services they had learned the most about.
What don't you know about the IT services at Deakin that could improve the way you work, or help you answer students' questions? Many of the benefits delivered to students are also available to staff, so check out the IT and Computing web page and have a browse, or register your interest in holding your own session with ITSD.