January 21, 2020

BY RILEY LINSEMAN

The Library Resource Centre has been offering tech support to those who use their online resources, which were introduced 20 years ago. The big renovation last year increased the number of computers to 80, making it the biggest lab on campus.

This means that staff get a lot of technical questions. But, exactly how many questions is that? In 2016, the LRC information desk answered approximately 21,000, according to Chris Woodley, the manager of instructional services and collection at the LRC. Half of those were specifically about software, hardware and Conestoga applications.

To help deal with all the questions last semester, the LRC unveiled their new Tech Tutors program. The tutors are carefully chosen from the Learning Commons’ Peer Tutors program. One hundred students applied, but only eight were hired, based on their grades and interest in technology.

It might seem like the tech tutors just wander around asking people if they need help, but they also have a designated area in the library from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. where students who need help can go. Sessions can also be booked for those who need help with more complex things like learning (or relearning) software.

One tech tutor shared her story about how she deals with her own students.

“I like to guide them to the answers … (The) most common questions are how do I format this (and) how do I use this software? So, we work together … And we like to write stuff down,” Euchelle Millena said.

The tech tutors answered 2,100 questions. Forty-six per cent of them were about hardware, including how to use the library’s printers, photocopiers and scanners. Twenty-four per cent were software questions, pertaining to applications on the computers like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel. The final 30 per cent were about Conestoga applications, meaning the student portal, eConestoga, etc.

To offer further support for the students in addition to the online resources and the many publications featured at the library, the LRC also subscribes to Lynda.com, a massive online database that offers endless lessons on every topic you can think of.

“It’s a new type of resource … They call it an online learning platform, and essentially, we’re taking a look at videos that help you learn technical skills quite often, or soft skills like interviewing or managing stress,” Woodley said about the database.

Lynda.com can be accessed from the library’s website. In 2015-2016, there were 44,000 hits on the videos at the college.

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