When A Student Has Tech Struggles: Tips for Instructors and Advisors  – St. Thomas E-Learning And Research
Student Systems of Support

When A Student Has Tech Struggles: Tips for Instructors and Advisors 

Everywhere you look, technology holds a growing role in our lives. At the University of St. Thomas we provide an array of supports for students. Instead of a “one size fits all approach” to student tech support, we strive for personalized and responsive solutions since when it comes to technology since not everybody needs the same thing or accesses learning and technology in the same way.  

Our options run on a continuum from self-help, “do it yourself” resources to people-to-people (expert-guided) support. Options also include in-person, phone, email, live chat, 24/7 self-guided Tommie Tech, and 24/7/365 Canvas-specific support.  

Here are suggestions on how to help students find the range of technology supports available for their success.  

  • Point your students to Tommie Tech, a St. Thomas Canvas resource/tutorial site that helps students to find and use St. Thomas technologies, 24/7/365. You are welcome to give students the link that will allow them to self-enroll into this site. You can perhaps send a course announcement reminding them of this resource or post where you list other tech help information. If you tend to hear from certain students a lot about tech questions, guiding them to Tommie Tech may help address some of their needs and clear up their confusion. 
    • Graduate students can self-enroll in the Tommie Tech for Graduate Students Canvas site. Please share the link!  Fall 2019 is our first launch of this site, and students who explore the site are invited to share feedback that will help shape the site for spring 2020 and beyond.  
    • Undergraduate students can self-enroll in the Tommie Tech for Undergraduate Students Canvas site; all first-year undergraduate students are automatically enrolled in the site, but it is an option for all undergrads. 

And yet…Tommie Tech is just a part of the array of student supports at St. Thomas. If a student continues to have unaddressed tech needs or it seems like they would benefit from talking to a person right away, here are additional options. 

  • Ask students to contact Canvas 24/7/365 live chat or toll-free phone call if their technology need seems specific to Canvas (e.g., trouble uploading documents or media into Canvas, trouble opening something in Canvas). There are also Canvas Student Guides for the visual learner.  Click the Help button (question mark) on the far left, purple global navigation panel to call or chat. 

In addition to the “do it yourself” Tommie Tech Canvas site and Canvas 24/7 for Canvas specific needs, there is a range of additional ways to get personalized support from the St. Thomas Technology support team. 

  • Some students like the Email option. The St. Thomas Tech Desk can be reached at techdesk@stthomas.edu. When sending the tech desk your question, it may help to take a screenshot of your issue.
  • If you are on-campus and would like in-person Tech Help, please stop by! 
    • St Paul campus, stop by the Center for Student Achievement Technology Help desk (first floor of Murray-Herrick Hall, St Paul).   
    • Minneapolis campus, stop by 300 Schultz Hall 
    • Check locations and hours before making a trip to one of these locations. 
  • Phone St. Thomas Tech Help- Yes, some people still prefer talking on the phone!
    • Local (651) 962-6230 | Hours listed on Tech Desk Services page 
    • Toll-Free: (800) 328-6819 
    • On-campus: ext. 2-6230 (651-962-6230)
  • And students always have the 24/7 option to visit and explore the St. Thomas Innovations & Technology Services page

This post was written by Jo Montie, Online Learning Systems Facilitator and Peter Weinhold, Director of Academic Technology, with the St. Thomas E-Learning and Research (STELAR) Center at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. To learn more about this topic, please visit our website at www.stthomas.edu/stelar or email us at stelar@stthomas.edu

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