Implementation of Campus online helpdesk in information system
among undergraduates in the University
Background to the Study
Information Helpdesk is a student’s support centre in tertiary institution that provides information on administrative and technical supports to users, with the view to solving problems that students encounter in the course of using the Institution resources. A helpdesk could comprise of one person or group of persons that make use of telephone devices or software applications and institutions website to keep track of problem(s) status and thus provide solution(s) that satisfy the users. Helpdesk could also be seen as an information and assistance resource that supports the functionality of an organization by responding to users’ requests in a timely manner (Murray, 2008). It is hence, a core sector through which problems, complaints and requests are reported, managed, coordinated and resolved (Weiss, 2002). Helpdesk software is a solution application that is used for managing university’s helpdesk. It is accessible to support students who could directly request(s) to servicing the website of the Institution.
Additionally, getting access to the support team could be quite challenging, even though there is telephone but it may be difficult to log the problems automatically for the support personnel to attend to the problems later. Users have to keep on trying to contact the support personnel for sometimes before getting access. (Siti Syatirah, 2010). Upon receiving the complaints from students, the support personnel will have to pass the case to the appropriate administrator. These could take additional minutes or to complete the interaction which could reduce productivity or hinder management functions. Also, the current manual method does not have any system which could allow the user to monitor progress on the reported complaints.
In view of these limitations, there is the need for computer aided helpdesk system solution tagged online Helpdesk for tertiary institutions in developing countries as currently done in the developed world. It is a user friendly distributed software system that can serve as virtual partner to the human helpdesk officers. Online Helpdesk would be able to overcome the challenges of delay, loss of records, improper documentation and many others; by routing specific requests to the appropriate administrator electronically via established Intranet and Internet system and thus bringing about proper documentation and accountability.
The main users of the system are typically divided into four categories as follows:
- User/Requestor: Requestors include staff and students of the institution and other individuals seeking information about the institution. The requestor makes all the requests through the Online Helpdesk for resolution. The request will contain the actual complaints and some information about the requestor, as well as his/her department. The requestor will also be able to access possible solutions to or information about his/her complaints/problems from the system dashboard. Information retrieved from the user’s dashboard depends on the privilege given to the requestor.
Helpdesk Department receives all requests from the public, students and staff, and sends them to the appropriate servicing department(s). Helpdesk department liaises with stakeholders (i.e. experts) in the servicing department(s) in order to ensure that necessary solutions are provided to requestor’s satisfaction and documented. The department also ensures that Online Helpdesk is on and working and reports problems with the system to the technical team for quick resolution.
The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Department will provide technology and maintenance support (i.e. hardware and software) for Online Helpdesk. ICT attends to technical issues with the system as indicated by the helpdesk department.
Servicing Departments are solely responsible for providing solutions to requestors’ complaints/requests. They hold the information required to solve different issues. They are able to see all requests and respond to them accordingly. When items or services are required by staff or students, they provide such items or services and allow the requestor to submit feedbacks.
The proposed system automates the process of request submission to the helpdesk department. It also provides a platform for users to receive help on various requests ranging from system failures to service provision. Therefore, it will be a central point through which problems could be reported and managed. Online Helpdesk, if implemented, will serve as a computer based platform that will effectively and efficiently carry out users’ support services in tertiary institution. Online Helpdesk provides the tools to carry out the following functions:
Enables users to obtain information regarding the institution support services. Reduce turnaround time to complete requests submitted by users.
Storage of records about helpdesk history, resolution tools, workflow for all helpdesk activities and automated escalation tools for timely support.
Find, analyse, and eliminate common problems in the institution.
Handle problems efficiently; maintain audit trails and enable helpdesk staff free up for more useful tasks.
Enables management to measure problems resolved by the service provision departments to give them a fair rating during KPI (Key Performance Indicator) review.
Results of studies on gender difference in attitudes toward online study have been mixed. While some studies have established gender differences in students’ attitudes toward computer education and use, others have not found significant differences between the gender groups. Studies have shown that boys’ attitudes toward online were generally more positive than those of girls (Clariana & Schultz, 1993, Sutton, 1991, Levine & Gordon, 1989,). Significant differences favouring males in terms of attitudes toward new communication technology, extent of computer use and self-perceived Online experience were found in various studies (Houtz & Gupta, 2001, Shashaani & Khalili, 2001, Margolis & Fisher, 2002; Broos, 2005). A study purported to assess students’ perception of computers and other technologies also found gender differences.
The study disclosed that although most of the students found using ICT useful, boys were found to enjoy learning using computers with less or no anxiety than girls. These studies portray that boys generally have positive attitude towards the learning of Computer than girls.
Notwithstanding the above findings, some studies have not found significant differences in attitudes of male and female students toward computer education. For instance, Adenuga, Owoyele and Adenuga (2011) study did not find significant differences in the gender groups’ attitudes toward Computer education. Their study revealed generally that both boys and girls showed negative attitude towards Computer education. Wong and Hanafi (2007) study also did not establish any significant difference in the attitudes of the male and female students toward ICT study. The study found that both gender groups had the same kind of attitude towards Information Communication Technology education. The various studies discussed thus far portray that evidence of gender disparities in students’ attitudes toward computer education and use have not been conclusive. This situation necessitated the conduct of this study to broaden the discussion on student attitude towards computer education and use.
Statement of the Problems
In Nigerian tertiary institutions it appears that helpdesk processes are handled manually and thus poses a lot of difficulties to both the helpdesk officers and the users. It seem as if there is a lot of repetitive work on problems that have simple solutions when students are attended to manually. Also, problems that appear on a regular basis still go through the same process and therefore cause delay. Staff and students are confronted daily with recurring problems for which the cause never gets addressed or eliminated.
They have to explain their problems or complaints to support staff and wait a long time for problem resolution. It appears there is also lack of follow-up of requests that need attention. It is on this basis that the study intend to seek how campus help online desk in information system is being implemented.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to examine the implementation of campus online help desk in information system among undergraduate in the university. It also investigates the practicability of help desk online services among staff and students in the University. To examine the influence of online help desk service on students life styles and situations in schools
The study is guided with following research questions
- Does campus online help desk influence information system among undergraduate in the university?
- How does the help desk online services influence staff/student relationship in the institution?
- To what extent do the online help desk service influence students life styles and situation in schools
Ho: There is no significant influence on campus online helpdesk information system among undergraduate in the university
Ho: There is no significant relationship between the helpdesk online services and staff/student in the institution
Ho: There is no significant relationship between online helpdesk service and students life styles situation in schools
Significance of the Study
The study will be of great benefit to the students staffs and school management. It will enable students to know the importance of online help desk, with the help of online help desk, students will be able to submit their assignment without going to the lecturer’s office. It will help students to register and print their course form without and transcript without stress.
It will help staffs and school management to solve most problems online and it will also help to reduce problem of queuing for a long time. It will aids communication between tertiary institutions
Delimitation of the Study
This study is delimited to Ekiti State University. It will deal with the importance of online helpdesk information system to students and staff.
Definition of Terms
The following terms are defined as used in the study;
Helpdesk: is a resource intended to provide the students/staff or end user with information and support related to an institution’s services.
Online: is connection of computer to one or more other computers or networks, as through a commercial electronic information service or the Internet.
Computer: A computer is a programmable machine that receives input, stores and manipulates data, and provides output in a useful format.
Database: Is a system intended to organize, store, and retrieve large amounts of data easily. It consists of an organized collection of data for one or more uses, typically in digital form.
Report: Reports are often used to display the result of an experiment, investigation, or inquiry.
Order: Confirmed request by one party to another to buy, sell, deliver, or receive goods or services under specified terms and conditions.
System: whole compounded of several parts or members, system”, literary “composition”. Is a set of interacting or interdependent system components forming an integrated whole.
Information: is a process data, knowledge communicated or received concerning a particular fact or circumstance.
Storage: is a device for recording (storing) information (data)
Users: this are set of people who make use of online help desk in an institutions, this include, students and staff
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