How to Get Technology Help in College

Technology doesn’t always work the way you’d like it to, or worse, the way it should. That means sometimes you need to work with your school’s Help Desk team to solve issues that arise. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of those times when you need assistance.

Before you even move in, find out all the ways you can ask for help. Most of the time you’ll find all the information you need on the college website. On that site, you should be able to see if your college has a physical location for you to visit, an email address, or if there is an online ticket submission process.

To make sure that you get the help you need, here are some suggestions on how to communicate with the help desk team in an effective way:

1. Start with your name and contact information. It’s important that the team member knows who you are and how to contact you if they have any additional questions or if the call gets dropped while you’re on the phone. Plus, everyone likes to be called by their first name.

2. Is this an emergency? Is a site down; is there a computer in a lab not working? You’ll be the hero by reporting this sooner rather than later. The team can’t fix things they don’t know about. Maybe your senior paper just got lost in the dark depths of the delete key? Get in touch with the technology help desk immediately, and try not to panic or freak out. Stop and take a deep breath. It will help you explain things better, and make it easier for your technicians to understand and assist you.

3. Be specific! The more details you can give the better. Let the team know if you’ve already tried restarting your computer, or tried different browsers (and which ones you tried). Instead of “my internet isn’t working”, explain, “I have a Windows laptop and when I try to log into Google Chrome I am getting a 404 error message. I just started having this issue 10 minutes ago.” Let them know everything about your situation. Think of the three W’s: “What” is happening, “Who” is it happening to, and “Where” are you when it is happening.

Knowing how to approach your technology help desk team when you need their assistance will make things go smoothly and help resolve the problem in a timely manner.