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DELTA LearnTech Team Recognized for Operational Excellence

A group of people in front of a screen posing with award certificates.
LearnTech's IT team, from left: Ethan Walgran, Bethany Smith, Grace Hatterschide, Sarah Weatherman, Q Peiffer and Mike Whitman.

Congratulations to the DELTA Learning Technology (LearnTech) Support team, which was recognized earlier this year for outstanding contributions to campus operations with the NC State IT Community Team Award for Operational Excellence. The award recognizes an IT service team that demonstrates an exceptional commitment to client support, accountability and collaboration across campus units. 

The award recognized LearnTech team members Lead Technology Support Technicians Ethan Walgran, Q PeifferSarah Weatherman, and Mike Whitman, as well as Assistant Director of Learning Technology Support Grace Hatterschide. The team was nominated by Bethany Smith, DELTA Director of Instructional Support and Training in the Digital Learning department.  

The LearnTech team assists faculty and staff across the university with incorporating instructional technologies into their courses and programs. They work frequently with Moodle, Panopto, Top Hat, WolfWare, Google Suite and Zoom, along with a variety of less common applications. 

“Our colleagues at the LearnTech helpdesk are consistently helpful to faculty and work tirelessly to solve problems and answer questions about all aspects of our academic technology toolkit,” explained David Howard, DELTA Senior Director of Academic Technology. “They collaborate extensively with other groups while ensuring that faculty get regular communications and helpful information.”

The team operates a help desk accessible six days a week by phone, email or web form to assist the NC State community with troubleshooting technical issues. They also develop and deliver workshops on best practices in technology integration and manage a comprehensive and dynamic Knowledge Base of self-service articles and resources to help instructors flourish. 

The LearnTech team being acknowledged at the 2024 IT Community Awards. From foreground: Ethan Walgren, Grace Hatterschide, Sarah Weatherman, Mike Whitman and Q Peiffer.

A successful reimagining of how best to manage the Knowledge Base ultimately led to the award. Due to limited technical documentation available for common issues, help desk staff found themselves explaining the same series of common troubleshooting processes over and over. To address this redundancy, in 2023 they developed a system for integrating technical documentation into their technical support workflow using the Knowledge Centered Services (KCS) method of service delivery. 

This KCS-inspired approach for capturing and documenting information about learning technologies resulted in a considerably more robust Knowledge Base of about 250 articles that are continuously and collaboratively updated to meet the needs of NC State users. 

“The work of the LearnTech team to establish a flourishing, top-notch knowledge base exemplifies operational excellence,” said Stacy Gant, DELTA’s Senior Director of Digital Learning. “The team took a slow and noncooperative process, led by one staff member, and entirely remade it to be agile and highly collaborative.”

Since KCS implementation at LearnTech, there has been a threefold increase in knowledge base article views. Instructors report feeling empowered to troubleshoot technical issues themselves. Subsequently, overall help desk tickets have dramatically decreased, resulting in faster response times and freeing the LearnTech team to engage with more complex technical projects and requests.

“Not only does this team provide consistent, excellent support to our faculty, but through their work in implementing KCS, they have created a comprehensive range of resources for our instructors to use to meet their needs anytime and anywhere,” said Vice Provost Donna Petherbridge. “I am so proud of this team!” 

Additional Nominees

DELTA also congratulates Karen Liu, who was nominated for the NC State IT Community Rising Star Award. Liu is an IT Analyst with the Academic Technology team.