4 tips to help you resolve tech issues
It’s 10 pm Monday. You’re closing in on the end of a long day and have just finished a course assignment you need to post to the eCampus student website. But the document won’t save, your computer is frozen or the Internet’s sluggish or down.
How can you avoid computer catastrophe? Start with common sense, says Lane Visage, director of tech support for Apollo Education Group and University of Phoenix.
“Even if you’re not a doctor or an auto repair technician, you know what to do to keep your body and your car running smoothly,” he points out. The same applies to your computer and Internet connection. Here, Visage suggests four tips to alleviate common tech issues:
Prevent computer “bugs.”
“Standard computer maintenance is always a good idea,” Visage says. “That starts with keeping your anti-virus software updated.” Doing so is part of an agreement students are required to sign upon enrolling with the University.
Within eCampus, the Help tab provides a wealth of information, including browser management, downloads and troubleshooting recommendations. The Help knowledge base can be accessed through the productivity tools module.
Try basic home remedies.
Think of these steps as first aid, basic actions that every computer user should know, Visage says. These include restarting your computer; clearing your browser history, cookies and cache; unplugging, waiting, then plugging in again; and restarting your router.
“When you do this,” he says, “nine times out of 10, your Internet issues will be resolved,” though he cautions that you might lose what you were working on. Save your work frequently, he advises, and use a portable USB drive to store your information.
Always have a backup plan.
When you’re facing deadlines or completion of team projects, options for what to do in case of a malfunctioning computer or Internet problem are essential, Visage emphasizes.
On the first day of any course, he says, print out your instructor’s contact information, as well as that of your learning team members. Remember that many grocery stores, fast-food chains and bookstores offer Wi-Fi, so if your Internet connection dies and you’re able to leave the house, you know where your closest locations are to connect.
Reach out for expert assistance.
If you have a mobile device, download the mobile app for eCampus. Writing and posting research papers might be too tedious to attempt on a smartphone, but you still can be involved in online discussions, access the help knowledge base, and contact instructors and learning team members if you’re having computer problems.
You also can find out whether there’s a systemwide issue with either your Internet provider or the University. Visage says his team is diligent about posting “alerts” on the login page of eCampus. The Help Desk community on the PhoenixConnect® academic social network is also a great resource for updates, tech support and commiserating with other students.