Monday, September 9, 2013 - 10:13am

In the first week of classes alone, the Information Technology Services Help Desk assisted nearly 5,600 faculty, staff, and students with technology questions—about 3½ times the volume of a typical week in the semester.

Help Desk staff responded to nearly 200 more requests than last year, despite the fact that its first week of the semester was one day shorter due to Labor Day Weekend hours.

The most common types of questions related to:

  • HawkID passwords (615)
  • Wireless configuration (450)
  • ICON (the web-based course-management system, Iowa Courses ONline) (390)
  • E-mail (370)
  • Microsoft Office (250)
  • Printing in Information Technology Centers (ITCs) (230)

“We were very busy and dealt with some small hiccups, but there were no major outages or issues to report,” said Scott Leeman, manager of user support in ITS-Enterprise Services. “It was really a smooth start to the school year, which is a credit to all of the staff in ITS who worked hard to make sure every major IT service we provide was in good shape to serve the needs of our campus.”

The ITS Help Desk provides support to students, faculty, and staff on a variety of technology topics, including consulting about and troubleshooting ITS services, software applications, operating systems, networking, personal computer security, and technology purchases.

Each year the Help Desk staff, a blend of professional and student employees, responds to over 80,000 requests for assistance. That number has more than doubled in the past decade as enrollment and reliance on technology have increased, and as people have started to bring more devices to campus.

In an average week of the semester, the Help Desk receives 850 calls, 40 voicemails, 340 e-mails, 310 walk-ins, and 62 online chats. Online chat with remote assistance is becoming a more popular support channel, growing from just 42 contacts during the first week of classes in fall 2011 to 212 this year, despite the shorter week.