Supporting lecturers in Brightspace

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Faculty of Technology decided to employ two student assistants to support digital education. These jobs did not exist before the lockdowns. Student Fleur Molenaar was one of the pioneers along with another student assistant. She talks about her work, 1,5 days a week, that she plans herself.

'The support we provide takes some of the pressure off the lecturers'

Fleur Molenaar, Applied Mathematics

“Lecturers in several degree programmes were asking for more digital support. Before I started, ICT Support staff taught me all the ins and outs of Brightspace.

Quizzes in Brightspace

Lecturers can schedule an appointment with me and ask questions about the digital teaching resources they use. I usually connect with them through Teams, and sometimes I see a lecturer on campus. Most questions are about the digital learning environment. I often help to create quizzes in Brightspace, and to set up the right conditions and submission boxes. When we went back into lockdown, inevitably I got questions like: “How do I create a Teams link again?”

After the summer, I would help create Teams links and pages for each course via Brightspace. It wasn’t surprising that there were questions about it, it was new after all. There are even more questions when a lot has to be prepared at once. Before the start of a new block, for example. And when we went back into lockdown.

Student assistants have more time than regular ICT support staff to sit down with lecturers, giving them the opportunity to get answers to questions they may have had for a long time. Often, lecturers think of new questions while I'm talking to them.

Quick answer

The lecturers are happy to have someone that can take time to help them properly. We take work off their hands and they really appreciate us. Knowing where they can go to get a quick answer prevents them from having to spend a lot of time trying to figure things out by themselves.

I am supposed to show lecturers how to do stuff in Brightspace so they become self-reliant. But if it’s a big job and a lecturer gets stuck, I will help set things up, relieve the burden somewhat.

I was initially hired to do this job for one year. But my contract is being extended, and there’s talk of rolling out this initiative across the AUAS.”

18 August 2022