Online support is internet based. The user follows a URL to a website, which may have E support i.e. email. The user’s progress and training can be recorded centrally. Material may only be available for a specific amount of time however synchronous e-learning is possible through video conferencing.
A user group may be a formally organised as a self-help group who supports one another in solving common problems. They may use a public contact point such as an Internet site, forum or bulletin board which other users can subscribe and post problems or read FAQ’s.
A training video can be used as a support for users. The video will be on electronic media i.e.CD/DVD which users can playback using any PC. A single copy of the video may be provided in electronic form e.g. .mov files. These files can be made available to network users.
A help desk provides the user with a special telephone number/link. The user can talk to a person who has experience of using the system or those who have access to a databank of common problems. The helpdesk operator can talk the user through a specific problem and may be able to take control of the user’s computer in an attempt to resolve the problem.
User documentation refers to documentation that is produced for a system. It is aimed to provide support and help for new users of the system so that they can find out how to do things. There are usually step-by-step instructions on how to perform a task. User Documentation may be in paper form or built into the system in the form of online help files. It will include hardware/software requirements, installation instructions, operating instructions and a troubleshooting section. User documentation can be used during installation in relation to the HW and SW, during the training of the system and while trying to solve a problem.
Several methods of training users with the use of ICT are online courses, interactive DVD’s and video conferencing:
An online course involves employees logging on to a system, completing a course individually with possible questions throughout.
An interactive DVD involves employees watching a DVD with the explanation being acted out for the user.
A video conference involves employees from a number of different locations following the same course at the same time from their own location.