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Information Technology supports students in remote learning

Apr 15, 2020
A man waves from a computer screen image
A man waves from a computer screen image

KOKOMO, Ind. – When a computer is your access to college classes, immediate technology help is crucial for student success. 

University Information Technology Services (UITS) at Indiana University Kokomo provides support and training services to students remotely, with at least one option available 24 hours a day.

Craig Swoverland, executive director, said his staff shifted from providing services in person to remote options quickly, to help students make the transition to remote learning because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As our students undertake the challenge of online learning, Zoom meetings, and remote work, it is important that they have the support of IT professionals who can help them overcome barriers,” he said. “As always, that’s what UITS does. We remove technology barriers to student success. We just find ourselves doing it in different ways lately.”

Those services range from consultations via Zoom at home, or during times the Library is open, offering support with technology questions or problems, or with learning to use new platforms.

Julie Saam, assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the help is crucial not only for students, but for faculty, noting that IT remotely installed a program she needed for work on her laptop.

“I was most impressed with the set up in the Library, providing support for those who need to return to campus to use library resources,” she said. “It’s still a remote connection, but it looks like you are walking up to the help desk and talking to them, because of the large screen. I love how they tried to keep it as normal as possible.”

Swoverland said UITS was well-prepared for the new learning model, and had many of the solutions needed for transitioning to remote learning already in place.

“That preparation by the entire IU IT Community around the state positioned our IT team, our students, faculty and staff well to carry on the work of teaching and learning,” he said.

He said when IU moved classes to remote learning, it became clear  that while the goal of ensuring UITS systems and support are accessible and useful for students would stay the same, the support model would need to change.

“Our ability to provide remote support became paramount,” he said. “We have positioned our team to respond to most customer’s needs regardless of his or her hardware. We’ve truly transformed our organization to meet current needs.”

During Library hours, students may use onsite videoconference equipment to speak to a remote support provider, making that help accessible to students who don’t have access to technology equipment at home. Training support is available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with IU support from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Appointments can be initiated via phone, email, or web forms on the UITS-Kokomo IT Support

Website at IU Kokomo UITS, and the IT training website at IU Kokomo IT training.

Remote training support is available from home, work, or anywhere off campus from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, at 765-455-9589, gmogle@iu.edu, or by submitting a request at IU Kokomo UITS.

Help is also available at all hours by contacting the UITS Remote Support Center. It provides local support from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., with afterhours calls answered by the UITS Support Center. Call (765) 455-9315, email kohelp@iu.edu, or submit a request for help at iuk.edu.uits

For those without reliable home internet connection, UITS installed a parking lot hot spot in the Main Building north parking lot, so the campus community can access WiFi without leaving their cars.

Indiana University Kokomo celebrates 75 years as north central Indiana’s choice for higher education.

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