When in Doubt, Right-Click!

by Matt Hutaff

“Can anyone help me with this?”

Alycia Chin ’07 has heard this question many times during her four years at Scripps. Given the amount of technology in the average Scripps classroom, it’s not uncommon for professors with a mild case of technophobia to look at the computer setup, get frustrated, and ask for student assistance. When she helps, however, Alycia does so as part of IT-FITS, a unique program pairing computer-savvy undergrads with faculty who might not know a motherboard if it bit them.

“I’m grateful for the personalized and expert service that IT-FITS provided,” remarks Tony Crowley, Hartley Burr Alexander Professor of Humanities. “The help was professional, efficient, and speedy!”

IT-FITS, or Faculty In-Office Technology Support, is the brainchild of Scripps instructional technology consultant Susan Kullman, who spearheaded a similar program with great success at Cal Poly Pomona in 1999. Since the spring of 2006, Kullman has recruited Scripps students interested in giving one-on-one assistance to professors—requests range from organizing files to giving tutorials in popular desktop software such as Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office, or the new Sakai course management system.

The majority of the women have no formal education with computers; only one, senior Siobhan Shier, is a computer science major. The rest simply love working with computers, and enjoy the personal interaction with faculty the IT-FITS department provides.

“Professors already have an established teaching relationship with us as students, and so they don’t feel threatened by us trying to teach them about computers,” adds senior Veronica Hart.”

 

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