Debate: Reimaging the University Helpdesk for the Next Generation of Digital Research Skills

Title:

Does the traditional IT helpdesk model need to be re-imagined to support the entire campus (including the next generation of digital research skills?).

Abstract:

Building on the official launch of the “Research Bazaar” at THETA in 2012, the University of Melbourne returns to update everyone on the “ResBaz-model”.  A model which has effectively engaged over three-thousand of our ten-thousand researchers at the University of Melbourne (and this just in the first year!).  The  ResBaz-model has engaged researchers in a way that the old helpdesk was never able to achieve, while also allowing for agility in next generation apps, toolchains and datasets with which researchers are continually confronted.

The debate:

Point: IT helpdesks were historically inherited from call centres where the core support model is one of *reacting to a problem*.  While the traditional helpdesk model is not able to support advanced research technical questions, it is cost effective and has been proven to work in industry for other large companies.

Counterpoint: The ResBaz model is a new model which reimagines the helpdesk as a *proactive community engagement* model.  In short, the old helpdesk model is a process whereby we “give a person a fish”, the new ResBaz-model is one whereby we teach our users to fish together.

Come engage in this debate which asks if our current IT & Library helpdesk models are able to do their job effectively when it comes to answering the problems which researchers face as the next generation of digital research tools come flooding into our campuses.

Dr. Steven Manos, David F. Flanders and Dr. Fiona Tweedie
University of Melbourne

One thought on “Debate: Reimaging the University Helpdesk for the Next Generation of Digital Research Skills

  1. Pingback: University Helpdesk for Digital Research Skills #theta2015 | Blog | Deborah Fitchett

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