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5 tips for getting Sakai answers

October 15, 2012
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To some of my colleagues, sometimes it feels like the support person on the other end of a phone or email conversation just doesn’t want to answer. They keep asking for more information! Well, before the Help Desk can solve a problem, they need to get a handle on exactly what’s happening.

ProfHacker has a very helpful piece that’s right on point, titled 5 Tips For Getting Your Tech Questions Answered — and that article inspired me to create a similar set of tips for Sakai users at Notre Dame.

If you’re having an issue with Sakai, please take note of the following steps before you contact the OIT Help Desk:

  1. Check the help – look for answers first – in the internal Sakai help and our online FAQs
  2. Be specific – be able to say what specific course and section you were in, what Sakai tool you were using, which platform (Mac or Windows), and which browser (IE, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari)
  3. Avoid “it”
    • IT doesn’t work” – know what doesn’t work, what goes wrong, or how far you can go before getting stuck
    • IT doesn’t give me access” – specify whether you couldn’t open a specific file, start an assignment, or maybe you couldn’t log in at all.
    • IT gives me an error message” – copy down exactly what the message says
  4. Is it contagious? – be ready to say who experienced the problem (instructor or student). Was it more than one person? If it was a student, can instructor make the same thing happen?
  5. Get the picture – if your issue is too hard to explain in words, try grabbing a screenshot that shows what’s not right. Here’s how to do that in Windows or on a Mac.

[Credits: Flickr image by cotidad]

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