Remote celebrations for Info Centre
Info Centre’s first birthday didn’t make much of a splash. But a 1-year old who has grown from nothing to an established feature in just one year, and passed its year-end test – the corona crisis – is worthy of attention.
With balloons, ribbon cutting and choral greetings, Info Centre opened on 2 May last year, after a long period of planning, recruitment and training. The Info Centre is a LiU-wide function intended to make it easy for students and visitors to obtain help and answers to questions.
Has Info Centre worked out as planned?
“Indeed it has – from both our perspective and that of the students”, says Julia Fasth Sahlin, acting head of the Student Information and Advice Office. “We have received so much positive feedback from the students, and they are particularly happy that they now only have to describe their case once. This has really made a big difference.”
“Now that increasing numbers of units are using LiU-desk as a case management system, it’s becoming even easier to answer questions”, says Sophie Dufwenberg, acting coordinator for the Info Centre.
Something that no one could have predicted when Info Centre opened a year ago is the corona pandemic and the need to activate distance mode. This situation raised many questions for everyone, not least the students, who brought their questions to the Info Centre.
How have you organised the work in Info Centre during the corona period?
“Three people at Info Centre have been given responsibility for questions that are sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. We have had daily contact with LiU’s crisis management group and the Communications and Marketing Division, keeping an active dialogue with both. The collaboration between us was established within a couple of days, and we received extremely effective systems support using Teams and LiU-desk”, says Julia Fasth Sahlin. “We have subsequently been able to identify the most common questions as they arise and answer them in a FAQ on the website.”
“The focus of the questions has changed as time has passed, and LiU-desk has meant that managing the questions is extremely easy”, says Sophie Dufwenberg. “Initially, we saw a few rumours, and the questions mainly dealt with infection and the spread of the virus. Then came questions about attendance on campus and about exams. When the university decided to activate distance mode, many people expressed their opinions about this decision. Some people thought that we should close completely, while others thought we should remain fully open. And all opinions between these extremes. Now we’re getting many questions about the start of term and questions from overseas students about fees. But the number of cases is falling as time passes. At the moment, we’re planning for two different ways in which the term can start – on-site or in distance mode.”
Will the experience you’ve gained from the corona period be useful in your future work at Info Centre?
“Oh, yes!” says Julia Fasth Sahlin. “Close collaboration in a small group with well-functioning systems support – that’s the best way to work.”
The first birthday of Info Centre would probably have been a larger event, if only the corona pandemic hadn’t got in the way. Instead, each campus held a party with cakes. The last to celebrate were the co-workers on Campus Valla, who ate their cakes keeping the recommended distance from each other, in a rather empty Studenthus.
A closely cooperating corona team keeping social distance at Info Centre – Sebastian Olsson, Sophie Dufwenberg and Julia Fasth Sahlin.
Photo by Magnus Johansson
Translated by George Farrants
Last updated: 2020-05-27