By: Rahul H Desai. Team Lead, Admin Support.
Approaching semester start apprehensive of what tools may break or what processes may fail – and the impact thereof, while feeling weighed down by a seemingly endless task list may leave you feeling stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed.
Instead, viewing semester start for what it actually is – a start - may make all the difference! Semester start can be the start of something to look forward to with the excitement of:
- welcoming new users,
- offering new courses – possibly on never-before offered subjects,
- a new approach to teaching and learning even – ideally with the use of new D2L tools and features
Check the past to the prepare for the future:
Check historical logs, data, issues, tools that have caused most impact; consumed maximum resources; taken most effort and time, and prepare to tackle them accordingly this time around.
Reviewing cases for certain common tools and data collected thereof, the big call drivers for Support cases were identified as below:
- Restore requests - deleted files, content topics.
- Investigation on who edited/ deleted content.
- Broken links after curse copy.
- Updating previous Quiz attempts.
- Internal error when previewing/ submitting a quiz.
- Submission views and related questions.
Bulk Admin tools
- Trigger request.
- Errors in Bulk scheduled task runs.
- Verification of students claims of assignment submission.
- Student cannot view feedback.
The following resource in the new Brightspace Community may also help.
If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail!
Anticipate potential issues and plan to raise support cases in advance, rather than later when the issue might have already spiraled into high impacting and urgent. This gives the support team adequate time to address your concerns before the semester starts.
During busy times like the start of a semester, support teams might experience higher volumes of requests. While you should still expect to receive timely responses, understand that it might take a bit longer than usual to resolve your issue due to increased traffic, especially when the priority is to action high impacting and sensitive cases first.
Prioritize and manage loads.
Get the big things out of the way first, especially those which may need interaction with different teams: internal, D2L related, or 3rd party.
Organize your load into smaller chunks to reduce the time taken to process the impact of failure, and having to redo the entire process if it fails.
Escalate relevant cases only
While every attempt is made to resolve every issue and case at the earliest, semester start loads may affect resolution time. Cases are worked based on priority – urgency and impact. To help the support team with load balancing so they can focus on the truly high impacting issues, ensure only high impacting and high urgency cases are escalated, and a solid reasoning is provided to help with the context.
Switch off and set boundaries:
Concerned with the smooth working and functioning of the entire Org, ASCs may put their own needs and requirements last! It will help to switch off at regular intervals – frequent mini breaks to regroup and refocus, as well as to ensure you end your workday on time.
Sure, things may come up after hours, for which, be sure to nominate an alternate contact person. Decide if and for which issues you want to be contacted after hours. Otherwise, delegate tasks to others to help ease the pressure off you, and make others feel more valued and responsible. Add users to case watchlists, such as other ASC (for heightened visibility on the case) or end users (so that they may respond directly to the support agents’ ask for more information)
Indulge and invest in some downtime so you don’t risk burn out.
During times of semester start, everything and every task seems suddenly important. Remember though, that you are important too!
Look after yourself.
Building on the above point, consider the following ideas:
- Eat well.
- Move frequently.
- Stay hydrated.
- Stretch at regular intervals.
- Play with your pet or kids or both.
- Go on long walks.
- Watch movies you enjoy.
- Listen to music.
- Practice yoga.
- Meet friends.
- Cook a lovely meal or get takeaway.
How many of us though, take the time to indulge in activities we love, given the oft cited reason of busy work and endless to-do lists? There is knowing and there is doing, and the difference between those two makes all the difference!
Know that D2L support is working for you and working with you, and that we are in this together. Allow yourself that peace, and rest assured in the fact that your issues are being treated with utmost sensitivity.