>Wed, 4 Sep 2002 16:50:26 -0400 Franklin Patterson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>I'm interesting in knowing how other colleges& universities are handling
>support of student owned PCs/Macs. Currently, we outsource the service to a
>local vendor. We are responsible for the networking up to the jack.
Iowa State University has a program call SNAP (Student Network Access
Program) that is supported by student computer fees. Student employees
provide assistance regarding connectivity to the campus network. During
three days of "move in" week, we sponsor Dorm Storm. Teams of 4 to 7
people are sent to a number of the student residence halls. With a
Communications Officer stationed at a desk - usually prominently located
near the check-in desk and postal station, we make appointments to visit
student rooms. We're prepared with ethernet cards and cables for students
who need to purchase on-site. We charge these to the student's U-bill, so
there is no cash involved. Membership on the teams include student SNAP
employees, as well as fulltime staff from our department (Academic
Information Technologies) and staff from other IT departments on campus,
such as the Administrative Data Processing Center. This year we handled
several hundred connectivity problems in those three days.
Students must complete a registration process when they first connect to
the network. They are restricted to the NetReg page until that is
complete. This process ties the student to the Mac address of their
computer and makes it much easier to resolve problems throughout the
year. One "gotcha" involves passwords. To complete registration, students
must login with their ISU net-id. Most acquired this at summer orientation
and many have forgotten their password. The Communications Officer at the
desk can verify a student's identity with their university ID and via a
phone call can arrange to reset the student's password. This saves endless
trips across campus to AIT's Solution Center.
For off-campus students, we have a site housed within AIT where students
can bring their CPU so we can install the appropriate software. We also
produce a CD with common drivers, packages such as FTP, Telnet, Eudora, and
our site-licensed virus software from NAI - McAfee and Virex.
We flood incoming students with documentation throughout the spring and
summer regarding minimum support standards. We tell them what they need in
terms of the OS, memory, processor speed, and available space on their hard
There is no fee to the student for SNAP support - within reason. If their
computer does not meet the documented minimum support standards, a fee may
be involved, but we usually give a 'best effort' to sub-standard systems
and let students know when we get into a situation that will require a fee.
We have a permission form that students sign before we'll work on their
computer. We've encountered very few problems and I think this is either
year four or five of this program.
AIT has a service department with service contracts for Apple, Compaq,
Dell, and HP. We do warranty service for these four vendors for students
and out-of-warranty service on virtually everything for students (as well
as faculty and staff). Our rates are extremely competitive with local
businesses - almost embarrassingly so at $52/hr. The same service area
provides repair service for the institution.
>Thu, 5 Sep 2002 09:07:26 -0400, Arnold Hassen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>Permit me to ask a slightly different question. How do you handle the
>student queries for help when no student support is provided. In other
>words students calling the help desk for "small" issues such as
>connectivity, printing and problems getting what faculty tell them to
AIT has two sources for student help. We run a Help Desk that is connected
with the largest lab (100 seats - Mac, PC, & UNIX) in our building. Until
July 2001 we were open 24x7, but budget woes cut our hours so we close a
few hours each night, but still maintain Sat/Sun hours. Whenever the lab
is open, it is staffed with student consultants who are familiar with the
software in the lab. They can assist with printing questions.
Our Solutions Center is open M-F 8am-5pm. It serves students, faculty, and
staff. The primary thrust is connectivity questions, but they provide
answers for applications, as well.
Linda J. Hutchison - Assistant Director
Office of Academic Information Technologies
291 Durham Center Ph: 515-294-5290
Iowa State University FAX: 515-294-1717
Ames, IA 50011-2251 Email: [log in to unmask]
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