Session abstracts


Wednesday 2nd December


Robyn Pritzker, Alan Hamilton, Edward Lithgow, Rebecca Morris, Maz Nathoo, University of Edinburgh
Five Go Hybrid: Adapting Methods of Learning Technology Support

Their team of five Learning Technology Support Officers started in post at the University of Edinburgh (in the Educational Design and Engagement section) five months into the shift to hybrid teaching and learning. The team will be sharing their experiences of supporting and training users in institution-wide virtual learning environments, computer-aided assessments, and more, as they have moved from emergency provision to longer-term development work. Discussing some of their team’s highlights, they will explain working with a Learning Technology Toolkit, successfully managing more than four times the usual number of help calls, and finding a supportive network of colleagues without having met any of them face-to-face. They will also touch on some of the challenges they’ve come up against, and overall will offer a holistic case study of their learning technology support services.

Chris Garratt, Deputy Director of IT, University of Worcester
A personal account of the response of an IT Service to the "new normal" and the unforeseen impact on students

In March 2020, the world changed. My honest account of how a small IT Service met the challenges that came to us all when a global pandemic affected all aspects of our lives and work. I will share our successes and failures but also touch on what was for me the unforeseen consequences of our journey to adapt to remote working and online teaching.

Dr Sarah Sweeney, Head of Student Wellbeing and Brian Green, Head of Innovation and Mobile Development, Lancaster University
Making connections: moving from Covid to Clarity

In this session we will share the journey that Lancaster University has been on during these difficult times, how we initially responded to the crisis and beyond utilising the shifting landscape for innovation and delivering a digital service that helps connect our students with the existing network of support that surrounds them.

Iain Cameron, IT Services, User Services Manager, University of Aberdeen
An Outside Context Problem: Culture, AI and Mind-Maps

Replacing their ITSM tool created time and space for the University of Aberdeen’s IT Service Desk team to explore continuous service improvement. Iain Cameron, User Services Manager, introduces a novel take on tool selection, and relates how mind-maps, AI, and time-busting features all contributed to altering reality, shifting culture, empowering the Desk staff, and (with a little help from 101 automations and a clever canine) delivered some game-changing wow factors before and during the C-19 event.


Thursday 3rd December


Sue Cunningham, IT Communications Manager, IT Communications Manger, Sarah Coulson, HR Officer and Holly Rae, IT Operational Lead, University of Leeds
In IT Together

As our usual face to face summer conference for IT staff was out of the question this year we took a different approach, with a range of online sessions across a whole week. This event wasn’t just about keeping up to date with work though - there was an equal focus on fun events and celebrating the unsung heroes who transformed the University in a few weeks when lockdown began. I'll look at what worked, what didn’t and the lessons we’ll be taking to our next online conference week.

Eleanor Draycott, Head of Customer Experience & Service Delivery
Live Events: Microsoft Teams & Showcasing the University of Reading Off-Campus

Working with the University of Reading Events team and Microsoft, how the University of Reading DTS team pivoted to an online delivery of Open Days with 2 weeks notice. Utilising best practice around this relatively new system, working with teams across the University to deliver excellence and what they learned along the way.

Rupa Dey, Assistant Director, Change Delivery, Queen Mary University of London
Queen Mary’s digital journey from Clearing to Enquiry management

Overview of a digital journey at Queen Mary. Impact of Covid-19 and Clearing Aug 20 with new ways of working supported by technological solutions. Our objective for end to end enquiry management of student journey.

Andrew Dixon, Head of Service Management Office
An Oxford approach to co-creating value

Looking at ITIL 4 and how Oxford has tried to align itself with this new version of ITIL and how we might have done things better in the past if we had ITIL 4 five years ago.

Andy Scott, Service Desk Manager, Durham University
Recruitment and onboarding new staff remotely at CIS Durham University

As like many other Higher Education and Further Education institutions, Durham University experienced recruitment freezes during the early stages of Covid-19 Pandemic. As the year progressed they began to see a need to recruit new staff or replace staff who may have left, BUT they were not onsite and couldn’t do their traditional interviews or induction processes. This talk will go through Andy’s experiences of how he successfully recruited and onboarded new staff whilst working remotely.

Henrik Brogger, Head of IT Service Delivery, Queen Mary’s University of London
Increasing Service Desk efficiency using Live Chat

The Queen Mary IT Service Desk has been seamlessly transitioned to a mostly home working and virtual team using Live Chat as the primary support tool.
We implemented Live Chat two years ago following a period of research, preparation and installation activity, to finally embed the service as one of our key support access channels.

As lockdown was sprung upon us earlier in the year, the Service Desk was quickly equipped and adapted to work remotely. We had no digital telephony service so had to rely on Live Chat as the only immediate support tool. There was apprehension about not offering phone support, however we have smoothly moved our immediate support onto Live Chat assisted by remote support tools.
In the process we increased our First Line Fix - from averaging 50% to regularly beating 75% - As well as maintaining our customer satisfaction rating above 95%. All done in a COVID secure manner for our staff and customers!

Katie Langford, IT Communications Coordinator, Leeds Beckett University
Ruder Than Fiction: How The Media Influences People's Expectations of Customer Service

Media is all around us. Narratives about customer service show technical support to be a difficult and demoralising task, with IT support staff depicted as apathetic, rude, arrogant and lazy. By understanding the prejudices and assumptions that people have about IT Support before they even approach the desk you can help undo the reputation damage done by the media and create a new narrative for your IT support service.