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Similar a 100% “Tier 0” in a Year? Supporting Graduate Students’ ETDRs w/ Documentation(20)

Mais de Shalin Hai-Jew(20)


100% “Tier 0” in a Year? Supporting Graduate Students’ ETDRs w/ Documentation

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  3. PRESENTATION BLURB  What I.T. challenge involves novel research, data, sensitive information, and global reputations? Complex MicrosoftWord templates? LaTeX templates? Evolving technologies? Dozens of source citation methods? Local domain-based conventions? Professorial quirks? Multiple web-facing databases? Hard deadlines that can be costly if missed?  Electronic theses, dissertations, and reports, better known as ETDRs!  This presentation describes a real-world context in which a core staff retirement (and the role’s non- replacement) resulted in the need for fast learning of the ETDR space and an effort to enable graduate student work with thorough documentation, updated templates, and web conferences, in the backdrop of the pandemic. The solution here is only partial, and the challenge is still being worked, but some objective progress may be seen. 3
  5. ELECTRONIC THESES, DISSERTATIONS, AND REPORTS = ETDRS  Electronic theses and reports are the research writings of master’s students that culminate their master’s studies.  Electronic dissertations are the research writings of doctoral students that culminate their doctoral studies.  (Will there be templates for undergraduate student publishing soon given that they also engage in research.)  ETDRs show student learning and capabilities and novel research.  ETDRs show the capabilities of their major faculty advisors and their committees.  ETDRs are published in digital repositories and contribute to the respective disciplines and fields.  ETDRs are the calling cards of students seeking jobs and / or post-graduate research and other choice opportunities. 5
  6. ETDR GAMEBOARD (GRADUATE STUDENTVIEW) There are various points-of-entry for using the ETDR templates. The risks and rewards are high in graduate school learning, for both the learner and the respective disciplines. The deadlines are hard deadlines. They are usually non-negotiable. Various entities on campus come into play, foremost, the various colleges at the university…then the Graduate School…and tertiarily the Libraries and I.T.S. There are various points at which the student cannot pass go without meeting various stringent standards. The whole sequence can last many years. The odds of success vary but are not better than even. 6
  7. SECONDARY AND TERTIARY SUPPORTS FOR THE ETDR SERVICE 7 Graduate School K-State Libraries I.T.S. • Approves / disapproves ETDR submissions for K-REx (and by extension, ProQuest for doctoral dissertations) (gatekeeper role) • Hosts and manages K- REx (K-State Research Exchange) repository (on MIT’s d-space technology on university-controlled servers) • Supports the ETDR website, including the templates in Word and LaTeX • Provides campus-wide presentations of the ETDR process and templates • Supports one-on-one service tickets / consultations for ETDRs
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  12. ETDRTEMPLATES…  ensure that all requisite informational contents are present (based on placeholder text)  ensure that name validation has occurred (directions are heeded)  ensure that there is consistent formatting (seriation: headers, subheaders; pagination; sequence of content, and others)  ensure that figures are of sufficient spatial resolution (ppi, dpi) if used correctly (directions are heeded)  ensure that navigation through the document works (clicking on the Table of Contents, List of Figures, List of Tables, List of Nomenclature, will result in a “jump” to the selected resource) 12
  13. HOW NOT TO BREAK AN MS WORDTEMPLATE  Do not manually override the embedded code manually.  For example, for “body text” style, do not suddenly highlight the text and make changes using the MS ribbon. That is sufficient to break the template.  There are ways to change the body text or any style in one fell swoop…and that is the proper approach…not manual overrides.  It turns out that code is not “bossy” but is “fragile” in this case. It does not take manual overrides in a positive way.  Do not go into the code unless you know what you’re doing (both in the sense of the local change and the global document).  Save a working version of a file before going into experimentation. 13
  14. HOW NOT TO BREAK A LATEX TEMPLATE  Make sure you understand how LaTeX works.  There are global and local ways to break things.  Use the LaTeX editor to understand mistakes. Practice troubleshooting.  Make sure all requisite packages are loaded.  Do not delete the commented-out code.  Do not delete the code without understanding what is being deleted. Better just leave the code and comment out what is not needed.  Check the .pdf output every so often. Make sure that everything is on track. 14
  15. WHATTO DO WITH A BROKEN TEMPLATE?  A totally broken template is not fixable, so the solution is to move the digital contents (text, visuals, tables, equations, and such) to a new working template. And don’t break the next (second, third, fourth…) template.  Do not paste text on the same line as the field code (such as for emplaced headers).  Bring in text with source destination formatting.  Insert images into a template that enables non-lossy high-fidelity image inputs.  Do not paste images from the computer’s clipboard. Insert the full-sized image into the file.  Do not delete page breaks or section breaks when removing optional placeholder contents that will not be included (like Prefaces, like Appendices, or other elements).  Do not go into the code for unique preference until the consultation, so that the work can be done correctly. 15
  17. ACCELERATING RETIREMENTS AND SEPARATIONS FROM THE UNIVERSITY  ETDR service was supported by multiple full-time equivalencies (FTEs) in its heyday 2015 – mid-2019 or so.  There were the following positions in I.T.S.:  One main point-of-contact who worked full-time in ETDRs  One specialist on K-REx (K-State Research Exchange) and LaTeX who worked part-time  One administrator who took occasional tickets  Some Media Center staff to help students with .pdf outputs, scans, and some multimedia development on a walk-in basis 17
  18. AT THETIME OFTHE INFORMAL HANDOVER… IN MID-2019  An out-of-date website  Out-of-date templates  Poor ETDR documentation  Non-existent documentation in terms of digital figures and spatial resolution  Non-existent documentation in terms of data tables  Little information about LaTeX except through third-party sources  No regular trainings of ETDRs for the campus community 18
  19. DISAPPEARING F2F SUPPORTS IN A “BLACK SWAN” CONTEXT  Then SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 pandemic hit (late 2019 – present)  No face-to-face support in the Media Center nearby for multimedia development,digital image editing, flatbed scanning, and others for students  No access to the equipment checkout for digital cameras, tripods, and other resources for students  No face-to-face (F2F) meetings  Accelerant to student graduations in some cases (and returns home)  One consultation was with a student in Bangladesh, who was flexible with his hours of availability.  Motivation to drop out in some other cases 19
  21. LIMITED SERVICE PROVIDERS  The former administrator’s narrative was that a team would support the effort. She called several meetings at which there were 10 – 15 people in attendance. However, when the actual work was assigned, there were only three people in ServiceNow system assigned to support the ETDR service.  The administrator would take an occasional ticket or two.  One of the support staff mostly ghosted and took 1 – 2 support tickets the whole academic year (and only when directly requested to by a supervisor). [All of those on the team had full-time commitments on campus already.]  One individual ended up with the remaining hundreds of tickets for the ETDR service, in addition to her full-time job.  This multiple-FTE-for-one-employee works until it doesn’t.  Student pileups occur right before deadlines have been especially challenging.  The return to in-person office work in late April 2021 during the pandemic was a factor in striving to have administrators work a better solution. In-person work co-occurred with grant-seeking projects and other more typical work that had slowed during the pandemic lockdowns and working from home. 21
  22. SUNSETTING I.T.S.’S ROLE IN ETDRS?  Apparent sunsetting of the I.T.S. role in this space because of the following:  From mid-2019 onwards, trying to go with ad hoc support by full-time staff with other full-time responsibilities in administration and instructional design  Investment was using ServiceNow ticketing system to assign the work without additional staff support  Technologies can be used as forcing functions 22
  23. “HELP WANTED”: IDEALLY, ETDR SUPPORT STAFF WOULD HAVE…  …knowledge of graduate studies and graduate research  …roles of advisory committees (and how not to offend)  …sensitivities to politics on a university campus  …knowledge of ETDR documents and resources  …knowledge of how MSWord templates work  …knowledge of how LaTeX templates work  …knowledge of how .pdf files should work as ETDRs  …knowledge and practice of source citation methods and intellectual property (IP) and copyright practices  …experience using web bibliography tools (like Zotero, Mendeley, EndNote, and others)  …knowledge of professional publication practices and guidelines  …knowledge of the embargoing of sensitive information  …lots of patience  …and others 23
  24. “HELP WANTED” FOR SUPERVISORS…  Ideally, supervisors would understand what it takes to actually deliver a quality service, including the time to learn complex technologies and acquire new knowledge.  They would understand the need for full staffing given hard deadlines and need for no-mistakes outputs.  Supervisors would have some care and respect for their staff. When faced with a challenge, supervisors should be able to work towards an actual solution instead of going to empty promises, distractions, storytelling, and personal attacks.  Otherwise, the staff will be at risk of work burnout from mis-use. 24
  26. STEPS TAKEN 1. Taking service tickets and learning on the job / consultation Making tweaks to the service with each piece of new learning Documenting the contacts thoroughly for colleagues, for posterity (although ticketing system is changing) 2. Developing assessment skills for evaluating correctness of a static ETDR document posted to a ticket Challenge is that students who receive the comments may not understand the comments or know how to make the fix 3. Reading the ETDR website in depth Downloading all informational resources / reference “downloadables” Evaluating needs based on a “gaps analysis” 4. Downloading ETDR templates (MS Word, LaTeX) Trialing templates Realizing that templates can be irreparably broken (and not in ways you might imagine) 26
  27. STEPS TAKEN (CONT.) 5. Learning MS Word templates in depth (not just mainline MS Word) (on Windows and on iOS / Mac) 6. Learning LaTeX in depth, learning Overleaf LaTeX editor, learning TeXmaker LaTeX editor 7. Refreshing knowledge on Adobe Creative Cloud technologies for the ETDR context Discovering Preview app in iOS for spatial resolution assessment and “jumping” Discovering PowerPoint on Windows 10 that could output digital images (diagrams and photos) in high spatial resolution 8. Reviewing a wide range of source bibliography methods (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard, discipline-based, publication-based, and others) 9. Making a plan for updating the ETDR service and the site (and acting on these ideas) 27
  28. STEPS TAKEN (CONT.) 10. Planning online presentations to the campus (contents: what are ETDRs in the graduate research context, what are ETDR templates and how /why are they used, what is on the ETDR website and how to navigate it, how should ETDRs be approached technically / informationally, why is it important to know what source citation methods are, how do source citation methods affect the style of an ETDR, how can digital contents be transferred between file types efficiently, how not to break templates, digital imagery and image resolution, data tables, captioning, outputting pdf files, testing pdf files, and how to get help) (outside-the-box thinking: Would graduate students be willing to engage in group troubleshooting of each other’s files and learn from that process? Or would they culturally prefer one-on-one support only?) 11. Requests for other actual team members who could co-support the ETDR service (but nothing…for two years and counting) 28
  29. STEPS TAKEN (CONT.) 12. In late 2021, given no other rational options, working up the chain for actual assigned responsibility of the task to a new hire or someone else who can afford the time (while contributing partial time to supporting the service) … given I.T.S.’s lack of interest in continuing the service through any new hire Onboarding a supervisor to experience the work, so he would be motivated to strive for an actual solution instead of lip service 29
  31. COMMON CHALLENGES ON SERVICE TICKET CONSULTATIONS  The graduate student has…  not read the ETDR documentation  not checked that their name is correctly represented in KSIS (student information system) and the various locales in the document and the document name  This is a weirdly common error.  gotten intimidated and not done any work and wants hand-holding from the beginning and at every stage  no real experience in Microsoft Word (really)  has not updated their O365 suite and used an older form of MS Word with lower levels of fidelity for their images  screenshotted graphics from theWeb at 72 or 96 ppi / dpi 31
  32. COMMON CHALLENGES ON SERVICE TICKET CONSULTATIONS (CONT.)  The graduate student has…  not followed through on intellectual property (IP) and copyright practices (and is using others’ works without citation or credit or permission)  not refreshed on their source citation / bibliography method  assumed that the template has a particular built-in source citation method (when in fact it is agnostic)  tried to fit a wide table (many columns) into the limited page by making the font size a -2  not paid attention to digital image quality and handling  no access to an up-to-date computer (and the requisite up-to-date O365 software suite) 32
  33. COMMON CHALLENGES ON SERVICE TICKET CONSULTATIONS (CONT.)  The graduate student has…  deleted section breaks in the template (and broken the formatting)  cut and pasted text willy-nilly into the template  cut and pasted graphics willy-nilly into the template  overridden the template coding by applying code manually and irreparably breaking the template  gotten creative and gone down various rabbit holes in MS Word  has made changes to their file without realizing it  broken the template 33
  34. COMMON CHALLENGES ON SERVICE TICKET CONSULTATIONS (CONT.)  The graduate student has…  assumed that one can just copy the cover page formatting and paste the ETDR template bits and pieces into one’s own document and have it all work  There is a lot of interrelated hidden coding inside a template to make it all function. Copying a superficial bit will not transfer all the coding.  gone with a third-party template or an older template from a friend “in the lab” (inherited templates often have inherited coding problems…and are often dated)  sent the file to editors and faculty advisors and others during the lifespan of the work, and someone broke the template along the way 34
  35. COMMON CHALLENGES ON SERVICE TICKET CONSULTATIONS (CONT.)  The graduate student has…  assumed that there is unlimited support time for the service and that people will appear at will if they put in a service ticket (One wanted a weekly meeting just to “touch bases”. Another wrangled weekly support for a period from an I.T.S. administrator by complaining to the school president.)  This assumption had me thinking we needed an AI with natural language capabilities to answer questions, but the problem is that we would need a machine vision piece, an analytical piece, a ‘bot personality piece, and other elements to replicate the service. And given the “last 5% problem” (addressed later),AI would not really be sufficient alone.  waited until the last minute for consultations (I thought it was all working fine, until...)  assumed that they can hand over work to I.T.S. staff (Can you manually code the LaTeX tables for me? Can you jump the resolution on all my diagrams / data plots / photos?)  dangled money or other perks for extra help (Do you know anyone who could just do this for me? I can pay!) 35
  36. COMMON CHALLENGES ON SERVICE TICKET CONSULTATIONS (CONT.)  The graduate student has…  problems with the web-based bibliography tools  One had to troubleshoot how to get the source citations to re-number for each chapter.  One could get the web bibliography tool to work correctly only on an older machine, not the more up-to-date one.  assumed that a Portable Document Format (.pdf) will just be output easily  On Macs, if MSWord files are too big, the .pdf will not output.  When there was an update to Adobe Acrobat DC in Fall 2021, learners had to go to their online MSWord to output a .pdf with navigation that worked. 36
  37. REQUESTS FOR EXTRA EXTRA SUPPORTS  A student wants support on using various data analytics technologies for their ETDR.  How much should you help anyone without overstepping bounds / without stepping into the realm of the advisory committee? Is such support actually helping students when learning a technology often takes years? And wielding it with power often takes years?  The student has requested review of their ETDR write-up. Should this be in the purview of the support?  A student wants another person on their advisory committee.  This work is a time-sink.  This work is politically fraught.  This ends up being an expense to the office, without fulfilling direct I.T.S. objectives.  This has been a fairly regular ask every year or so, but it is a non-starter. 37
  38. FINDING MIDDLE GROUND IN DOCUMENT FORMATTING  Some graduate students are wonderfully precise about their source bibliography methods, which inform not only how sources are cited in bibliographies and in-text…but also inform on the following:  Seriation (headers, subheaders, numbering)  Captioning for figures  Captioning for tables  Captioning for equations  Bibliographies, and others  However, the Graduate School sometimes has formatting that overrides and supersedes the source bibliography methods.  Doctoral and master’s faculty advisors can “go to bat” for the graduate students and advocate their version of how the ETDR should look. 38
  39. VARIANCES BETWEEN ETDRS  Then, there are variances.  Some students already have a wide range of publications before they summarize their research work. They have co- authored various works with faculty.  How should these works be represented in a dissertation, since each of the works have different source citation methods?  Can each chapter have its own source citation method?  What about rights releases from the publisher? The other co-authors?  Can works run verbatim, or should the graduate student self-cite? 39
  40. BEST PRACTICES IN CONSULTATIONS  Touch bases with the student first to see where they’re at and what they think their needs are. Make a quick list to ensure that their questions are all answered at some point.  All students have some degree of uniqueness in their ETDR context.  Make sure all the MSWord settings are correct for the evaluation, such as having “field code” highlighted in gray…and the “styles pane” showing. Make sure that the images in the document have not been compressed and / or reduced in spatial resolution. If they have, then they’ll have to be re-emplaced. 40
  41. BEST PRACTICES IN CONSULTATIONS (CONT.)  Have the student share the screen while going through their file. The student will make all changes, and the file never leaves the student’s hands. The responsibility resides with the student. (If the consultant touches the file, he / she / they may have created liability for themselves.)  Any data or visuals handled by the staffer during the session(s) should be deleted during that session within sight of the student, so there is 0 chance that anything walks. 41
  42. BEST PRACTICES IN CONSULTATIONS (CONT.)  Students using LaTeX have their challenges, even as LaTeX editors have automated code troubleshooting and human-readable notes to help users.  In general, it helps not to get into the weeds for LaTeX and to send students back to their colleagues and peers to get help. People who use the markup syntax daily can see an error much more efficiently than a staffer whose main expertise is elsewhere. 42
  43. BEST PRACTICES IN CONSULTATIONS (CONT.)  When students have questions beyond the basic ETDR, they should be sent to the proper source: their advisors, their publishers, the Graduate School, the Libraries, and so on.  Advisors: Should the ETDR be embargoed? For how long?  Publishers: Can the student include a published work verbatim in the ETDR? A published work with multiple authors (but the student as first author)?  Graduate School: Can the captioning for figures and tables follow a different citation format than one that includes chapter numbers?  Libraries: How can superscript and subscript be addressed in the K-REx record for a chemistry paper? 43
  44. BEST PRACTICES IN CONSULTATIONS (CONT.)  Graduate students have their preferences.  One wanted to include hundreds of screenshots / video stills from his video from an experimental study in the appendices. His dissertation was over 1,000 pp.  Another, under lockdown, wrote a 600 pp. dissertation, with some 20 pp. per day.  One dissertation had over 200 equations. The student wanted to create a LaTeX look, with the equations to the left and the auto-numbering of the equations to the right. To achieve this in Word, she needed to build a table (with invisible lines) and emplace the equations and the auto numbering… She did…  Another student wanted a full multimedia dissertation, replete with embedded videos. She is still working this issue.  As long as the committees approve the work, anything goes.  Graduate students are willing to put in the effort to get the quality they want. 44
  45. BEST PRACTICES IN CONSULTATIONS (CONT.)  By the time students get to submitting an ETDR, they are at the end of a long journey that has taken many inputs and effort and time.  Many are stressed.They have family responsibilities.They are often interviewing for jobs, or they already have accepted a job out-of-state and are moving shortly. Many are financially stressed.  They are facing many hard deadlines. 45
  46. BEST PRACTICES IN CONSULTATIONS (CONT.)  Some will blow up and get angry because they do not understand the technology. Or the technology is a “trigger” for them, and they go into survival mode (fight or flight).  It helps to check in with students now and again during the session, to make sure that they’re okay…that they have had all their questions answered…and so on. I encourage students to take a break or get a snack or a drink if they want, since they are often in their home offices during such sessions.  If students go full-bore abusive, then it is time to end the session. They can put in another ticket in the future for another session.  If students go racist (by seeing the name alone), and a few have, then one can withhold service and see if someone else “on the team” can help them. 46
  47. BEST PRACTICES IN CONSULTATIONS (CONT.)  Rejections of the ETDR by the Graduate School should not be overblown.  Usually, if a work has gone through a basic review, the rejections are for small issues (a missing period in the copyright area, a second title page swapped in for the first one). Those are then fixed, and all is good.  Some students submit totally broken ETDRs while thinking it’s all good…and those require the usual full two-hour review and fix…after the student has moved their dissertation contents into a working template.  In such cases, the idea is to move the text in blocks with destination formatting or merged formatting. Images with proper spatial resolution have to be inserted. Headings and subheadings should not be copied and pasted on the coded line but typed manually (so as not to break the code). 47
  48. “TIER 0” CONCEPT 48
  49. “TIER 0” CONCEPT  In I.T.S., the 0-tier (Tier 0) is where the client helps themselves and are given the information and tools and encouragement to achieve their own ends.  First-tier involves the helpdesk, those who are the first point-of-contact for help.  Second-tier involves an escalation to a staff member with more specialized expertise on the particular technology or method or some combination.  Third-tier involves an escalation to a staff member with even higher expertise, such as engineers.  The idea is to try to solve the issue at the lowest level tier as possible.Time gets more and more costly up the ladder. Administrator time is the most expensive. 49
  50. TIERS CONCEPT APPLIED TO ETDRS Possible Supports Tier 0 Access to ETDR templates General usage of ETDR templates Submittal of ETDR to K-REx Tier 1 Broken template (re-do by using a new template) Captioning Addition of List of Nomenclature, addition of List of Equations Digital image spatial resolution Table formatting Tier 2 Troubleshooting template breakdowns (that are fixable) Anomalous behaviors of the filled templates Tier 3 Coding in LaTeX External file conversion challenges (due to software industry issues) 50
  51. TIERED SUPPORT The strategy is to get as much support handled in the lower levels as possible. The triangle should be viewed as an “area chart” in this iteration. 51
  52. CAVEATS TO TIERING  Graduate students vary in terms of what they find difficult.  Students’ technological contexts also affect the types of errors that will surface, and their context informs on how to solve them.  There are some patterns in mistakes; however, each consultation has its unique aspects.  The wonderful thing is that many graduate students are willing to put in the hard work to achieve the quality they want. They have the training of years and years of study to help them analyze contents in depth and catch errors most people would miss. 52
  53. WHY MOVETO “TIER 0”?  I was spending nights and weekends (of unpaid time) to help graduate students meet their deadlines because we were in a pandemic, and students deserved support, and students were working under strict deadlines.  The work was spilling over into my personal time, so I could meet the quality that I expected of myself.  There were instructional design (ID), grant, and research projects that I could not take because of the lack of time.  I did not have time to learn new technologies of interest that were relevant to my work.  With Tier 0, I thought if I could push out the responsibility a little further into the student purview that this could solve an issue until leadership could come up with some sort of solution. 53
  55. GENERAL APPROACHES TO BUILDING “TIER 0”  Build up graduate student confidence and capabilities.  A majority of graduate students figures out templates on their own and submit totally without help from I.T.S.  Document the process (validated through multiple walk-throughs) in conversational English in 3 pp. of README at the beginning of each template.  Develop a manual. Develop FAQs. Develop checklists. Keep everything up-to-date.  Learn from each of the consultations, so that materials may be updated in the most correct way.  Create videos for multimodality of learning. Keep the videos focused and short.  Offer 1.5-hour monthly Zoom trainings, with a hands-on section for volunteers after each session (starting in 2021). Collective troubleshooting of individual files has been offered but not accepted so far. The idea is to have group learning, to extend trainer time and efficacy. 55
  56. GENERAL APPROACHES TO BUILDING “TIER 0” (CONT.)  Stay up-to-date with the technologies, since these are changing all the time. There are occasional glitches that people have to be aware of.  Some ETDRs are in multiple languages, which can be quite accurately and easily and natively represented using more recent Unicode character sets.  MS Word (online) enables spell checking in multiple languages. 56
  57. GENERAL APPROACHES TO BUILDING “TIER 0” (CONT.)  Encourage students to support each other. Let them know of the challenges with staffing.  Encourage file accessibility, for universal usability, for machine reading, and for discoverability.  Images should be alt-texted. (The state-of-the-art AI alt-texting or alternative-texting in O365 is not good enough yet to stand in for full human knowledge.)  Tables should be in table format (data in cells), not screenshots, not digital images.  Human subjects research letters from the IRB should not be placed as .pdf visuals but as readable text, in the appendices. 57
  58. GENERAL APPROACHES TO BUILDING “TIER 0” (CONT.)  Some students are creative in their ETDRs. They want to embed or attach files, but attached files within the ETDR do not stay attached when transcoding / when uploading to various digital repositories. The attached multimedia files, even if they stayed attached, would not be playable in many cases.  Multimedia may be included, albeit in other ways. Graduate students benefit from knowing that they may include supplementary files to their ETDR. These files may be datasets, data tables, slideshows, audio files, video files, and others. The repositories enable some 10 additional files or so.  Submittal of the ETDR to K-REx requires keywords, to benefit the discoverability of the ETDR files. 58
  60. OPTIMIZING “TIER 0” 1. Study the topical space in depth. Engage all technologies in depth. 2. Analyze the various needs of the users of the service. Learn from every service ticket and request and comment. 3. Do walk-throughs of every process. Document accurately in the service ticketing system. Document accurately in notes. (internal) Document accurately on the website. Keep all documentation as up-to-date as possible (so date documents). (external) 4. Offer the information in multimodal ways (text, video, live trainings, and others). People all learn differently. 5. Onboard and train others into the craft, so they can share the knowledge and skills and so support others. 6. Communicate the actual situation to the student and faculty clients, so they understand what is happening. 7. Encourage actual formalizing of full-time work positions to support this work, so students are better served than in ad hoc ways. 60
  61. 100% “TIER 0” IN AYEAR? DID IT HAPPEN? 61
  62. 100% “TIER 0”: NOT QUITE BUT WORTHTHE EFFORT  Not quite 100% Tier 0 in a year. Maybe more like some incremental advance from whatever the prior state was for students who figured out the templates on their own and submitted work to quality standards. [A majority of graduate students does not need ETDR support. My back-of-the-napkin estimation is that some 90% or so figure it out on their own. They use the help documentation.They reach out to friends. Perhaps some 350+ need help each semester, and many request multiple sessions.]  The “Tier 0” documentation has expanded out to two years of effort so far.  There has been some displacement of ETDR service to other students and to the respective colleges and some faculty. 62
  63. ABOUT “TIER 0” IN THIS CONTEXT  “Tier 0” is one part of a larger solution.  People often do not like to read (even some doctoral and master’s students).  People often do not like to watch various videos to solve their issues.  People prefer custom service and troubleshooting based on their own work.  People prefer to delegate whenever possible.  People are in a rush.  Given the complexities of digital templates (whether in Word or LaTeX or something else), there will always be a need for some person-to-person support. The standards are highly exacting. The technological challenges (and mistakes) are highly variant. The deadlines are high-value ones, and if missed, they are expensive in time and tuition and life pressures.  An AI could probably get to 95% of the mistakes, but there will still be need for the last 5%, IMHO. 63
  64. READING POLITICAL “TEA LEAVES”  In this time period, various administrators have shifted at the Graduate School, at the Libraries, and others.  Former alliances and understandings of mutual support have shifted.  Friendly relationships may have become more transactional, especially in a time of severe budgetary challenges and high responsibilities for all units.  Where ETDR services will be housed is being debated on campus, with a possible return to the Graduate School.  I.T.S. has not expressed interest in hiring the position or providing continuing support. Working this issue has not been costless for administrators. 64
  65. READING POLITICAL “TEA LEAVES” (CONT.)  I have let go of the ETDR FTEs after supporting the service as the core provider from mid-2019 through Q1+ of 2022. I learned that if I continued to provide the work, administrators would merely pretend everything was working fine and would not work the issue at all.  Hopefully, the handoff can go smoothly. TheTier 0 work contributes to a smoother handover. 65
  66. FINALLY: A NEED FOR AN ETHOS OF CARE Graduate Students  Graduate students need to focus on their studies and research and lives…and the ETDR part should not be the part that consumes their attention and cognition and resources.  Their ETDRs are their masterpieces, and they want it “perfect” (understandably so).  They should complete their studies at K-State with a sense of accomplishment!  Getting this service right is on us! I.T.S. Staff  Staff are all working on the same team towards optimal service to students.  Saddling staff with multiple FTE should be a non-starter.  This multiple-assignments displaces assigned work in the actual job description. It creates extra and unnecessary stress.  When supervisors use pressure tactics and job threats to extract extra work, this approach leads to ruptured relationships in the workplace. This approach breaks trust, often irreparably. 66
  67. CONTACT  Dr. Shalin Hai-Jew  I.T.S.  Kansas State University   785-532-5262  Related Links:  ETDRs at K-State (website tour)  K-REx (digital repository) 67
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