Team of students assisting instructors with technology issues

Team of students assisting instructors with technology issues

With move to remote teaching and learning, Student Educational Technology Assistants are in place to provide extra tech support.

August 24, 2020


Student Educational Technology Assistants
A team of six Student Educational Technology Assistants are ready to help Queen's University instructors during the transition to remote teaching and learning. Clockwise from top left are: Peter Van Diggelen, Cleon Aristo, Cal Graham, Kierra Whetstone, Janelle Lee, and Nolan Breault.


Queen’s University has created a teaching technology ‘rapid response team’ to help instructors as they continue to transition their courses to a remote teaching and learning model.

The team of six Student Educational Technology Assistants , all current Queen’s undergraduate students, are set up and ready to assist faculty members who may need extra support, from setting up an onQ course and using Turnitin, to creating groups on Teams or Zoom and adding captions and editing lectures videos  through Camtasia, Stream, and Ensemble, and much more.

The initiative, an investment in supporting instructors, is a collaboration between the Offices of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) and the Principal, and is administered by the Centre for Teaching and Learning. The service is offered across the university and supplements the technical support already offered in the faculties, as well as the work of the Centre for Teaching and Learning over the summer to prepare instructors.

The students have now completed their training and are working full-time until the start of the academic year. Each team member will be available 10 hours a week during the Fall and Winter terms.

“This initiative meets a need that was quickly identified during the initial transition to remote teaching and learning in March and was recognized as a need across the university,” says John Pierce, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning). “There is a growing reliance on technology in instruction and these new technologies have become a part of the everyday operations of the university. As a result, we have to adjust to support that heavier reliance on technology to convey the curriculum.”

The spread of COVID-19 and subsequent closures of in-class sessions earlier this year was an unprecedented challenge, Dr. Pierce adds. In analyzing the initial response areas of improvement were identified and the university is responding.

Organizers decided to go with a student team for a number of reasons, including that they can provide an important perspective in the remote teaching and learning model. The university is also committed to providing jobs for students during a difficult employment environment given the current situation.. The Centre for Teaching and Learning received 179 applications for the six positions.

There is also an internship for another current student through the Queen’s University Internship Program. It’s an opportunity to gain valuable work experience for all involved.

“Another important aspect is that many students adapt well to technologies and therefore are very flexible and adaptive in their learning to a changing situation,” he says. “In addition, this experience allows them to develop transferable skills, that are relevant to education but that are transferable outside the academic environment.”

To get assistance from a Student Educational Technology Assistant, contact the Centre for Teaching and Learning. The request form is available on the right side of the page, by clicking the first red arrow.