Part two - Organizational Support Structure for eLearning
At a higher administrative level, the eLearning initiative is fully supported and guided by an executive committee called IT-SEED (IT Steering Executive on Electronic Education). It provides directives and vision for new educational initiatives in NTU. The IT-SEED committee members comprise of senior appointment holders and stake-holders, and have the capability to expedite influential action plans efficiently at a campus level. These senior executives also lead an eLearning support team at the departmental or school level.
As a facilitator of eLearning services, CED has created a central support team with 4 instructional designers and 8 trained systems administrators to provide instructional and technical support for any phone, walk-in and on-line inquiry. CED has also established (and the team has been adhering to) a standard of a working day’s response for any problem reported to the central support team.
At the schools’ operational level, a school-based eLearning support model was established to provide effective first line proximity help. Members of the school support team are trained departmental technicians who provide first-line assistance with a familiar face to academic and administrative staff. Problems beyond their first line supportive role are escalated to CED.
Figure 4 shows NTU’s organizational support for eLearning.
Figure 4 : Support Structure for eLearning
An online line help-desk application from Parature (http://www.parature.com) ensures efficiencies (quick response and resolution) and effectiveness (tracking of help requests and technical assistance, case management and closure). This server is hosted externally and the application has been integrated seamlessly within edveNTUre Learning Management System with “My HelpDesk” icons available on the main portal window and individual course sites. A screenshot of this helpdesk ticketing system (as seen by NTU professors and students) is shown in Figure 5. With this system, we are able to track all tickets submitted to central and school-based support teams. We are able to ascertain how many tickets are currently pending further investigation and have been resolved by the support teams. NTU had configured alert emails to be sent to the central support team when there are more than 20 tickets in the new tickets queue. A screen shot of the backend utility used by the support team members is shown in Figure 6.
Figure 5: edveNTUre Helpdesk Ticketing System (front end)
Figure 6: edveNTUre Helpdesk Ticketing System (back end)