Your institution will already have established technical support services for staff and students on campus. In our accompanying scaling up online learning guide, we discuss various ways that technical services may need to adjust.
Online learners will need appropriate technical support and are likely to need this at the point of use, out-of-hours and through online mechanisms. Teaching staff are more likely to offer technical support for online learning students.
Examples of online technical support include:
- Printed guidance materials
- Email support (which tends to be slow)
- Telephone support (which may be expensive for students)
- Chat support.
Chat support is becoming widespread for commercial companies providing services through websites, but it's very challenging for educational institutions to provide the same. Your institution would need to change staff roles and responsibilities, work times and skills.
Online course providers offer technical support by encouraging students to help each other, or by working with teaching staff from other institutions around the world.