In August, the California Community Colleges Technology Center moved its student and staff helpdesk communities into a new platform intended to improve support for users of the tools within the Ed Tech portfolio. 

CCCHelp for students and CCCTechnology for staff and faculty now have a more intuitive and mobile-responsive user interface, with the same easy access to help and information. The new environment, rich with added features, offers more ways to communicate, engage users and facilitate a sense of community.

The initial roll-out included the basic interactive forum component and a migration of all the existing posts, categories and users from the previous platform, which allowed Support Services to maintain a consistent user experience and quality support without affecting users and support engineers.

“Minimizing impact was important, because we believed students especially may need online information and support at this time of uncertainty—in the middle of a pandemic and right before the fall semester,” said Roberto Fuentes, support supervisor for the Technology Center. “We also implemented additional social media connections, including Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Microsoft to give users more options for login.”

New Features Promote User Engagement

In September, the Technology Center began testing new community features, with the goal of gaining important feedback from users. Not only are users able to provide general feedback, they also are able to vote for features they feel provide the most value to them. The first set of planned enhancements were designed specifically to boost user engagement and help create a social bond between the communities and the Technology Center. These include:

  • Ideation, or polling, which allows users to submit and vote on ideas, requests and suggestions crowd-sourced from the community. It also allows community managers to set user-defined stages and statuses where users can comment on ideas and sort or filter the ideas list.
  • Gamification, or badges, which allows moderators to identify users who have shown consistent and accurate replies and provide support to other users. The built-in reputation engine can be used to promote good content, grant abilities to users and help automate moderation.

  • The ability to share content with social media accounts, which is a standard feature that today’s students will easily recognize and be adept at using.

  • A content-rich knowledge base featuring FAQs, articles, video tutorials and more that will help promote self-service support.

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