Tech Tuesday: Help is just a click away

Tech Tuesday: Help is just a click away

From Information Resources and Technologies

Problem with your password? Wondering about Wiki’s? Perplexed by PowerPoint? IRT is here to help!

IRT offers a variety of ways to get help with your technology questions; by phone, e-mail, in person or on the Web! Today’s article highlights resources available on the IRT Web site and gives a behind the scenes look at the IRT Tech Desk.

This past fall IRT launched a new Web site designed with you in mind. We wanted to make it easier to find the information you are looking for – with only a few simple clicks of the mouse. On the IRT main page we have provide links for Faculty, Staff and Students – with each section focused specifically on the varying needs of these three groups.

We also created a Help and Support section on the main page that is broken down by the most popular questions or requests that we receive.

Here are a few examples of the types of information available in Help and Support:

  • Classroom Directory – this index lists all of the rooms on the St. Paul and Minneapolis campuses with a list of the room’s features, including if there is a PC or Mac computer, an overhead, LCD panel, if the room is a smart room, etc. Additionally there are photos of rooms that have technology.

  • SPAM Management – Instructions for using Mail Marshal, the spam management tool at St Thomas. (Watch the Bulletin Today for an upcoming article about spam at UST.)
  • Blackboard – Learn about Blackboard with our video tutorials, find out about community sites, or request forms for guest accounts.

If you aren’t able to find what you are looking for on the Web site – visit the Contact IRT page and send us an e-mail. We are happy to help.

We love feedback! Send us an e-mail to let us know what you think.

Behind the Scenes

The IRT Tech Desk

Ever wonder what happens behind the scenes at the IRT Tech Desk? How does a phone call or e-mail turn into a happy client? What mystic forms of wizardry are used to solve computing issues over the phone here at UST?

All phone calls coming into the Tech Desk are turned into work tickets (called "Helpline incidents" to those in the know). Many of the issues are actually resolved by the Tech Desk student employees before being assigned to an IRT staff member (the Rapid Response Team, the Core Team, or an Academic Technology Consultants). Blackboard problems, password resets, Murphy online access, and basic PC/Mac/software issues are typical of the calls resolved at the Tech Desk. Student training, consultation with staff, and hours of on the job experience have all forged the Tech Desk employees into "lean, mean, troubleshooting machines."

E-mails coming into "" are processed into Helpline incidents by Client Services student employees and are followed up with either a phone call back to the author of the e-mail or an e-mail reply with suggestions for resolving the issue. E-mail issues often are less likely to be resolved immediately, and therefore are more likely to be assigned to a staff member for resolution.

Typical issues coming in via e-mail include telecom moves/adds/changes, printing problems/questions, and all of the same issues that get reported via the phone. Password issues are also reported via e-mail, but typically can't be resolved without direct contact between the client and the Tech Desk due to the necessity of verifying an individual's identity. Classroom technology issues are very rarely reported by e-mail.

That’s your behind the scenes look at the workings of the tech desk! If you have questions about the IRT Web, Tech Desk operations or any technology at UST, please contact the Tech Desk at or (651) 962-6230.