CIT Student Handbook

CIT Student Handbook

  1. CIT Basics
    • CIT Mission
    • Terms of Employment
    • Confidential Information
    • Work Hours
    • Dress Code
      • AVS Specific Dress Code
    • Parking
    • Mandatory Training
  2. FRC Students
  3. AVS Student Assistants
  4. Campus Resources
  1. CIT Basics
    • CIT Mission – The Center for Instructional Technology (CIT) provides support and consultation services for faculty using instructional tools such as Blackboard, Tegrity lecture, Turning Technologies clickers, and Turnitin; creative services including video production, photography, and graphic design; design, maintenance and support for a variety of audio/visual resources across campus such as digital signage, public address systems, and multimedia classrooms; and resources needed to foster emerging technology and accessibility.
    • Terms of Employment – Students will be hired by academic year. While employed in CIT, student assistants’ performance will be monitored by their supervisors as well as by other CIT staff who interact directly with the students.
    • Confidential Information – The confidentiality of student information, including class schedules and grade information, is protected under a federal law known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Inappropriate release of confidential information is a serious offense. If student employees have access to student information as part of their employment, it is imperative that they not share the information with anyone outside of their office. They should not discuss department issues with anyone outside of the department or remove files or other materials from their workspace.
    • Work Hours – The supervisor and student will determine the student’s work schedule. Student Assistants must work the hours they are scheduled to work. Exceptions: In the case of an illness or an emergency that causes one to miss work, the student employee must contact his/her supervisor as soon as possible to inform him/her of his/her absence. Students are not permitted to work during the time that they are registered to be in class. For employees paid by the hour, all hours worked must be reported on the day they are worked. It is not permissible under federal wage and hour laws for “extra” hours worked one week to be reported the next week. Student employees must be sure to keep accurate notes for reporting purposes.
    • Dress Code – CIT always wants to make a good impression on our faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Student employees will be looked upon as representatives of the University and so must dress accordingly, using discretion when dressing, refraining from excess showing of skin, and wearing business attire and/or jeans.
      • Audio/Visual Solutions (AVS) Specific Dress Code – Personal safety is an important aspect of acceptable work attire due to the nature of many AVS activities. Because of this, shoes that enclose the entire foot are required. Wearing sandals, flip-flops, or other similar casual footwear, is strongly discouraged.
    • Parking – All students must adhere to the parking regulations established by the University. The CIT staff cannot be responsible for tickets given to student workers while they are on duty. Working as a student assistant for the University of Alabama does not qualify one for employee parking decals. A complete list of rules and regulations can be found at http://bamaparking.ua.edu.
    • Mandatory Training – All students are required to complete the Workplace Conduct + Hazardous Materials Training at https://uahr.skillport.com/skillportfe/login.action. They have to use their CWID as a password, not their bama password. They also have to check the box and accept the disclaimer before logging in. Child Protection Policy Training must also be completed. If student employees have trouble logging on, on a Mac, please get a PC in A217 to complete the training. Student employees may be required to complete training updates as well as the introductory mandatory training. Also, student employees will use the online support ticketing and/or project management systems with supervisors providing training on the use of these tools. All CIT student employees should respond to faculty and staff politely and promptly, obtaining contact information, and recording information about the issue or request in the appropriate system.
  1. FRC Students–Student employees will be professional in their communications and courteous to all faculty and FRC staff. It is important to make faculty feel welcome, greeting faculty and FRC staff and asking if they would like help or assistance. Also, student employees should be polite, using please, thank you, excuse me, etc., when talking to faculty or FRC staff. In addition, student employees should use work laptops and computers in a professional manner. Work computers must be available for faculty use during workshops or individual sessions if requested. Student employees may also be working with a faculty member in person using their work computers. Therefore, they will not personalize the computer in ways (desktop, favorites/bookmarks) that will embarrass the FRC if a faculty member uses student employees’ work computers. Therefore, it is important not to store any personal files on computers. Personal files must be downloaded to a storage device (ex. UA+Box or USB flash drive).
    • Undergraduate Student Assistants
      • Personal cell phone calls should be brief and infrequent, so that one is ready to provide assistance whenever needed. Student employees will stop use of texting, social media, personal emails, and work on class or personal projects to assist faculty or FRC staff. Brief (15 minutes or less) visits by roommates or friends are allowed.
      • Chat programs and toolbars should not be downloaded or other changes made to the setup without FRC staff approval. Check with staff about automatic updates of plug-ins and other software to see if they are compatible with other software you use in your job before running the updates.
      • When equipment or software is not working, student employees should report it immediately to FRC staff.
      • Headphones should be used when working on FRC-related projects with audio. At other times, student employees will not use headphones for extended periods of time with computers or phones making it difficult for FRC staff members to communicate with them.
      • Email messages to faculty should be proofread before being sent.
      • When student employees don’t know the answer to a faculty member’s question, they should inform the faculty member that someone on the FRC staff will look into the question or problem and that the faculty member will be contacted by someone from the FRC. The details of the question should then be forwarded to an FRC staff member. Student employees should get return phone numbers or email addresses so that an FRC staff member can get back in touch with the faculty member.
      • Work areas should be kept neat, clean, and comfortable. Examples: Eating is allowed at one’s desk or table, but one must clean up any items that leave lingering odors. Covered drinks may be kept in the work area, but all empty containers must be discarded. Tables and other surfaces must be kept neat and clean. Backpacks, book bags, or other personal items must be kept where they are not in the way of others.
    • Graduate Student Assistants
      • Graduate student assistants must keep FRC colleagues informed of work-related activities.
      • Appointments with faculty must be entered on the appropriate calendar.
      • Email messages to faculty must be proofread before sending them.
      • When a student assistant doesn’t know the answer to a faculty member’s question, he/she should inform the faculty member that someone on the FRC staff will look into the question or problem. The student assistant should get return phone numbers or email addresses so that an FRC staff member can get back in touch with the faculty member. Student assistants should give or forward the details of the question to an FRC staff member including course names and numbers and the person’s name and bama ID. Student assistants should see the referral sheet at the desk and in the Faculty Resource Center Blackboard Learn course for the contacts when asked questions that the FRC cannot answer. Questions related to distance education courses (usually 901 or 909 sections) from either faculty or students can be referred to UA CCS Online tech support (348-9157).
      • Student assistants should check with staff about automatic updates of plug-ins and other software to see if they are compatible with the learning management system before running the updates.
      • When equipment or software is not working, student assistants should report it immediately to a member of the FRC staff.
      • Student assistants will use headphones when working on FRC-related projects with audio. At other times, headphones should not be used for extended periods of time making it difficult for FRC staff members to communicate with an assistant.
      • Graduate student assistants will share ideas about how to improve the workflow or functioning of the FRC. Sitting in the middle of everyone gives one a wonderful view of FRC processes. Therefore, sharing any ideas for ways to make things run smoothly at the grad student desk or among our staff and faculty is helpful.
  1.  AVS Student Assistants
    • Because of the wide range of responsibilities that Audio/Visual Solutions (AVS) student assistants are expected to handle, training is an ongoing process. There is no predetermined schedule that student assistants are expected to adhere to in learning everything they are expected to learn about the position. Student assistants will be provided with ample opportunities to participate in the activities associated with the various services provided by AVS. The intent of the experiences is to expose new student assistants to those duties they will be expected to learn. Initially, training begins with observing and participating in these activities. This includes becoming familiar with classroom multimedia control systems and equipment and the AVS HelpLine telephone system, which provides faculty with the ability to contact AVS directly for assistance with multimedia issues in the classroom. The training process includes introduction to the various resources AVS utilizes in daily activities. Experienced AVS student assistants perform mentoring duties in teaching new student assistants what is expected of the position. The supervisor will determine when individual student assistants have made satisfactory progress towards the next level of responsibility. It will be the decision of the supervisor whether a student assistant has displayed sufficient progress to advance to the next phase of the training.
    • Student employees should learn how to use AVS’s HelpSpot reporting program to record information about classroom problems received through HelpLine telephone calls and learn how to utilize the Podio online multimedia classroom monitoring resources to access information in the multimedia classroom database. Also, student employees must learn how to use the University’s online classroom scheduling program, Astra, for obtaining classroom and conference room scheduling information.
    • Listening to AVS staff answer HelpLine phone calls and general office telephone calls to learn HelpLine call procedures and proper telephone etiquette is expected.
    • Learning how AVS’s computers are imaged and what procedures are followed in installing/repairing software applications and diagnosing/repairing computer hardware issues is required.
    • Becoming familiar with the operation of the electric- and gas-powered service vehicles is expected. Note: Before becoming eligible to operate a University-owned vehicle, student assistants must meet the requirements identified in the Driver Safety and Vehicle Management Program.
    • On-the-Job Safety – Being safe while you’re working in Audio/Visual Solutions is extremely important. Safety is the rule, not the exception. Avoiding accidents and injuries is everyone’s responsibility. By accepting and practicing safety responsibility, student assistants ensure the safety of fellow employees, fellow students, and everyone else whether on campus or anywhere. From safely operating one of AVS’s service vehicles while going to a classroom on a service call to being careful while replacing a piece of computer hardware, to climbing a ladder to replace a projector lamp, to knowing what to do/where to go when the emergency notification alarm sounds, to knowing where the fire extinguishers are, student assistants ensure their safety and that of their fellow AVS employees, fellow students, and University faculty and staff. As an AVS student assistant, one’s duties will involve performing tasks that will require one to use good, safe work habits. Accidents don’t happen – they are caused. If a student assistant is unsure how to do anything that he/she is asked to do, the student assistant should ask his/her supervisor or the AVS staff member he/she is assisting. Doing things the safe way is the best and only way!
    • Ladder Safety – If student assistants are asked to perform any duties that involve the use of a ladder, first and foremost, Audio/Visual Solutions requires that they are assisted by another person. No one should ever climb a ladder without someone else being present to help properly place and set up the ladder, to help steady the ladder while one is on it, and to provide whatever might be needed to accomplish the task, such as any tools or equipment.
      • Ladders should only be used for their designed purpose. The right ladder should be used for the job. Step ladders should be opened completely before one climbs on it.
      • Proper ladder setup will help prevent slips and falls. Ladders should only be used on stable and level surfaces unless secured to prevent accidental movement.
      • No one should ever climb onto the top two rungs of a stepladder. To climb higher, one should get a taller ladder.
      • At least one hand should be used to grasp the ladder when climbing. One should not carry objects or loads that could cause loss of balance and falling. One should never climb with equipment in one’s hands.
      • One should not lean too far or overreach but reposition the ladder closer to the work instead. The most common type of accident is when the ladder tips over sideways. These accidents are caused by reaching out too far to one side, causing an unintentional movement of the ladder.
    • AVS HelpLine Reports
      • Promptly answering the HelpLine phone is extremely important, but it’s just as important to record HelpLine calls as soon as they are received. AVS utilizes HelpSpot to record HelpLine calls. The information obtained when responding to a HelpLine call enables AVS to provide accurate assistance in resolving the reported problem. The information is also utilized to maintain a record of all of the HelpLine phone calls receives. This information provides a record of activities as well as a record of the classrooms where problems are reported and the kinds of problems that faculty are experiencing. Accurate and complete reporting provides AVS technicians with the information they need to diagnose and resolve multimedia classroom problems, whether they are responding immediately to a HelpLine call or the problem involves in-depth troubleshooting to correct a problem with a classroom’s multimedia system or one of the equipment components that comprise the multimedia system.
      • It is important when answering a HelpLine call to do one’s utmost best to immediately enter the call in the AVS’s HelpSpot application.
    • Telephone Etiquette (when answering AVS HelpLine)
      • A student assistant should always answer the HelpLine telephone as quickly as possible using a pleasant voice while being professional, courteous, and tactful, answering calls in the following manner: “AVS HelpLine. I’m Jane Doe, a trainee (during training). How may I assist you?”
      • A student assistant should be sure to promptly note the building and room number of the originating HelpLine call which appears on the telephone’s caller ID. If the building and room number do not appear on caller ID, he/she should be sure to ask for this information as soon as possible. This is extremely important because this information enables us to quickly identify the type of multimedia system and equipment in the classroom being reported so that we can provide accurate assistance in resolving the reported problem(s) over the HelpLine phone, online, or if we have to go to the classroom on a service call.
      • One should listen closely to the caller and take notes on what is being reported to get as much of the relevant information as possible, repeating the problem back to the instructor to make sure that one understands what the instructor is reporting. A student assistant should ask for the caller’s name also. This information is required for properly recording problems reported on the HelpLine.
      • If a student assistant can identify the problem that is being reported and knows the step(s) the instructor needs to take to resolve the issue, he/she should politely provide that information to the caller in a step-by-step manner while making sure that the caller is able to correct the problem.
      • If an assistant is able to view the classroom’s multimedia system online and able to identify the problem that is being reported, he/she should politely provide that information to the caller in a step-by-step manner while making sure that the caller is able to correct the problem.
      • If the problem can be resolved online, the student assistant should tell the caller what is being done to resolve the problem and stay on the phone to make sure that the issue is resolved.
      • If the problem cannot be resolved through this step, or if the student assistant is unable to determine what needs to be done to resolve the reported problem, he/she should politely inform the instructor that he is being put on hold so that the student assistant can consult with a supervisor. Maintaining composure and always replying using a pleasant voice while being professional, courteous, and tactful are important. If the caller can be put on hold, the student assistant should put him/her on hold and, after contacting one of the AVS support staff about the problem, should inform the caller that the problem will be addressed as soon as possible or tell him/her that he/she is being transferred to an AVS support staff member.
    • How to Respond to Requests for Miscellaneous Equipment
      • The AVS strives to make sure that multimedia classrooms include those cables and accessories that the faculty may need for their instruction. On occasion, an instructor might request something that is not available in the classroom, such as a video adapter to connect a laptop computer to the system or a battery for a wireless microphone. When such a request is received, the student assistant should find out as much as possible to exactly determine what the instructor/guest speaker needs.
      • Batteries for a wireless mouse and/or keyboard – If possible, the student assistant should find out what kind of mouse/keyboard it is, consult with one of the AVS support staff, and then inform the instructor that someone from AVS will bring replacement batteries as soon as possible.
      • Battery for the wireless microphone – The instructor should be informed that it is the AVS’s policy not to provide batteries for classrooms, but that AVS will supply the instructor with a replacement battery as soon as possible if he/she is unable to obtain one for his/her class. The student assistant should explain to the instructor that the AVS recommends that he/she bring his/her own battery because the AVS doesn’t have the budget to supply batteries for every classroom.
      • Batteries for a VCR/DVD remote control – The instructor should be informed that it is the AVS’s policy not to provide batteries for classrooms, but that the AVS will supply replacement batteries as soon as possible if the instructor is unable to obtain them for his/her class.
      • Video adapter to connect his/her laptop or iPad to the system – The student assistant should try to ascertain the type of adapter needed. The AVS only has a limited selection of Mac adapters available. Upon receiving such a request, a student assistant should consult with his/her supervisor. If an adapter is available, the student assistant should obtain the instructor’s name, department, and other contact information, such as telephone number(s) and/or email address, making sure to ask how and when the adapter will be returned and informing the instructor that someone from AVS will bring him/her an adapter as soon as possible. Stress to the instructor that it is very important that he/she return the adapter as soon as possible because it might be needed by another instructor.
      • If a student assistant does not know what the instructor is requesting, or if the instructor wishes to discuss his/her request with one of the AVS support staff, the call should be transferred to a supervisor. If a supervisor is not available, the student assistant should obtain the instructor’s contact information and a description of what he/she is requesting and inform the instructor that his/her message will be given to the appropriate staff member as soon as possible.
    • How to Respond to an Angry Customer (Telephone)
      • Although student workers should try to please everyone, there may be circumstances or situations when this is not possible due to policies and procedures. Sometimes student workers may not be able to solve the instructor’s problem. The best skill for handling conflicts is listening. Active listening will assist the student worker in dealing with conflict effectively and directing the instructors to the appropriate person and/or location.
      • The student employee should listen to the entire complaint without interruption and empathize with the individual’s concerns without criticizing University departments or staff and/or policies.
      • The student assistant should try to suggest a solution to the problem and/or get assistance from a professional staff member.
      • If a staff member is not available to assist the instructor, the student assistant should write down his/her name, phone number(s) and a description of the problem while informing the instructor that his/her message will be given to the appropriate staff member or supervisor as soon as possible.
    • Telephone Etiquette (when answering AVS’s primary phone line)
      • A student employee should always answer the telephone promptly with a pleasant voice while being professional, courteous, and tactful. Suggested response: “Good Morning/Good Afternoon, Audio/Visual Solutions, Jane Doe speaking, how may I assist you?”
      • If unable to assist a caller, a student employee should inform him/her that his/her call is being transferred to one of the members of the AVS staff. Suggested response: “Mr. Payton should be able to assist you. Please hold for just a moment and I’ll forward/transfer your call to him.”
      • If an instructor asks to speak to a specific member of the AVS staff, the student employee should inform the instructor that his/her call is being put through and promptly forward/transfer the call to the appropriate AVS staff member. Suggested response: “Hold for just a moment please and I’ll transfer you to Mr. Bogardus.”
      • When forwarding/transferring phone calls, the student employee should be sure to ask the caller for the following information: the name of the person calling, the department or organization, and the reason for the call. Suggested response: “May I ask your name, department or organization, and the reason for the call?” Upon forwarding/transferring a phone call, the student assistant should inform the AVS staff member that a call is being transferred to him/her and provide him/her with what information is available, complete the forwarding, and let the instructor know that he/she has been connected. Suggested response: “I have Mr. Wilson on the line.” Once the student employee can hear both parties on the phone, he/she should quietly hang up the receiver.
      • If a student employee needs to put an instructor on hold, he/she should tell the customer before putting him/her on hold, and then be sure to get back to the customer within 30 seconds or less. Suggested response: “Hold for just a moment please and I’ll get an answer to your question or put you in touch with a member of the AVS staff who can assist you.”
      • If assisting an instructor on the phone when another instructor approaches in person, the student employee should acknowledge his/her arrival by making make eye contact and/or making some type of courteous gesture. The student assistant shouldn’t hesitate to ask an AVS staff member for assistance with either customer so that neither one has to wait for very long. If no AVS staff member is available to assist the student employee, he/she should politely inform the instructor on the phone that he/she is being put on hold momentarily so that the student employee can assist another instructor. Once that is done, the newly arrived instructor should be assisted and/or directed to one of the AVS staff who can assist him/her. If the student employee can’t immediately assist the instructor, he/she should ask the instructor if he/she can wait briefly so that the student employee can return to the instructor on the phone. Most instructors are willing to wait briefly, in person or on the phone, when they know that someone is doing his/her best to respond to their requests as quickly as possible.
    • Taking Telephone Messages
      • It is imperative that the following information be included when a student employee takes a message:
        • Customer’s full name (first and last name)
        • Date and time of message
        • Department or organization
        • Return phone number or email address
        • Brief summary of the message
        • Name of message taker (your name)
  1. Campus Resources