Pacific Technology provides support to students and faculty
For University of the Pacific, the initial rush of transitioning from in-person to remote learning last spring is behind it. Most faculty members prepared throughout the summer to adapt their courses and students have adjusted to learning from home instead of being on campus. However, for Pacific Technology, its focus for the fall semester remained trying to make remote learning as seamless as possible for everyone involved.
Extended Help Desk Support
Traditionally, Pacific Technology staff are available Monday through Friday during traditional business hours. But, to provide further support to students and faculty, staff were made available 24/7 for the first two weeks of classes. The Pacific Technology team extended its weekday operating hours, 7 a.m.– 9 p.m., and an outsourced call center was available from 9 p.m.–7 a.m. Monday through Friday and weekends. Staff were available via Zoom or phone to provide support for typical issues like WiFi connectivity issues, questions on Canvas, password resets and general technology support.
“We recognized the importance of a successful launch for fall classes and extended our support and services to ensure students and faculty had a positive experience learning remotely," said Art Sprecher, Vice President of Technology and Chief Information Officer. “Everyone on our team stretched to provide support for these extended hours and I’d like to acknowledge the contributions being made by each of them to ensure a successful start to the semester.”
Unfortunately, no matter how hard you work to be prepared, some things are beyond your control. On Pacific’s first day of classes, Zoom’s video platform experienced a five-hour disruption and was intermittently unavailable across the globe.
“Our command center got ahead of things pretty quickly when Zoom experienced their outage,” said Sprecher. “Fortunately, only one class needed to be postponed and the rest continued on one of our other platforms.”
Pacific Technology does have contingency plans for disruptions like Zoom experienced. Those plans include using other online meeting platforms, like Microsoft Teams or WebEx.
Besides tech support, Pacific Technology and the Library partnered to provide a variety of digital learning tools with some useful resources to enable students to sustain learning and maintain contact with their faculty during this term.
Students can go to the library’s Online Learning and Technology Resources page, where they can check their internet speed, get laptop suggestions and watch training videos to learn how to use Zoom or Canvas. In addition, there are a series of tips for online learning strategies like how to set up your workspace, ways to reduce distractions and how to connect with classmates.
Pacific Technology has also acquired and repurposed a limited number of basic computers that can be loaned to students who need them for coursework during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students who do not have access to a computer at all, can email firstname.lastname@example.org from their university email address to request one.
How to get technology help
Pacific Technology will be supporting students and faculty throughout the duration of remote learning. Anyone needing IT support can contact Pacific Technology by calling 209.946.7400 or can email email@example.com.