Preparing Tomorrow's Leaders for Today's Challenge
Greg Koester, University of Washington Catalyst
In 2002, a crack team of student-instructors (a.k.a The iTeam) was formed by Catalyst at the University of Washington to help meet the daily demands of teaching, learning, research or work, faced by students, staff and faculty alike, with Catalyst’s innovative and effective technologies and services. These student-instructors quickly developed a walk-in, computing workshop program consisting of over fifty free workshops offered every quarter throughout the academic year. These workshops are offered in eight series covering the technology gamut, including Web publishing, desktop publishing, graphic design, digital audio and digital video. Today, having grown far beyond what its creators originally imagined, this talented team of student-instructors supports thousands of clients per year as part of Catalyst`s integrated help desk & email services, workshops, customized trainings, online curriculum, and one-on-one consulting. If you have a computing question, if no one else can help, and if you have a UW NetID, then you can ask...the iTeam.
Nargas Oskui, University of Oregon
Ann Zeidman-Karpinski, University of Oregon
Annie Zeidman-Karpinski spearheaded the original research on this. Since then Nargas Oskui has worked with several computing lab coordinators and service desk supervisors to make this approach more universal. She has also completed an extensive literature review, in addition to overseeing the implementation of the program in the labs and coordinating follow up training identified by the coaches. Objective: Improve patron interactions and staff feedback with the student workers at computing lab service desks. Goals: Provide superior patron interactions at all times. Identify strengths and areas of improvement for the staff. Have more experienced students help with staff morale and attendance. The premise is to have the more senior students “coach” the less experienced students. These coaches agree to a broad range of things that are important in a patron interaction and can be evaluated. The coach and the coachee agree to evaluate each other based on the checklist provided. They agree to help each other find solutions and get training that is missing, so that they can perform their duties. Evaluations are to be kept between the student coaches and coaches and don’t effect their employment status. The only exception to this confidentiality is that any training needs identified during coaching will be passed on to supervising staff. These efforts lead to a Customer Service Training initiative culminating in a library-wide student assistant training. A training wiki was created as a tool for all aspects of student training, in many departments, not just customer service training. The wiki contains tools, techniques, tips and tricks, assessments, manuals, performance checklists and instructional videos from other units in the library making it a collaborative effort.