What happens with my IT Express requests?

If you have ever reported a bug or concern to IT Express, or requested a feature request that you think would make SmartSite more functional to you, you probably received an immediate, automated reply, as well as a personalized response with some helpful information soon thereafter. IT Express is the best contact point for UC Davis faculty with straightforward requests for information or explanations of the uses and intricacies of SmartSite tools, but that doesn’t mean that the IET team can immediately fix a perceived problem. Fixing bugs is a multi-step process, and one that depends upon (and starts with) a user request.

Instructional Coordinator Steve Faith recently shared the steps of that process with us:

Step One. You request changing a feature or fixing a bug in SmartSite by contacting IT Express (smartsite-help@ucdavis.edu or 754-HELP).

Step Two. People like Steve search through the UC Davis ticket system, the ticket system of rSmart (the company that hosts SmartSite for UC Davis), and the Sakai Foundation’s ticket system to see if someone else already submitted a similar request. If that’s the case, Steve will reply to you with an update on how the issue is being resolved.

Step Three. If no one else has made a similar request, Steve creates a new ticket with the appropriate entity (UC Davis, rSmart, or the Sakai Foundation), and then closes the IT Express ticket.

SmartSite Ecosystem

If you get curious and request a status update from Steve, then he reopens the IT Express ticket, repeats Step Two, and replies to your email with an update on the ticket.

You can see why the IT Express system exists – it’s much easier for a professional like Steve to interpret where the ticket should go – but you may still wonder why there are three separate ticketing systems at all.

The Sakai Foundation includes 6-10 collaborative partners, who all have their own versions of SmartSite (that is, Sakai-driven learning management systems with other names). Tickets get sent here when it’s a system-wide issue that affects all partners. rSmart hosts UC Davis’ version of Sakai, meaning they are responsible for all Davis-specific issues, with one exception: Gradebook2. UC Davis programmers designed Gradebook2, we are proud to say, so we resolve those issues through the UC Davis ticket system.

If the ticket goes to UC Davis, we can resolve the issue fairly quickly, but if it goes to rSmart or the Sakai Foundation, then we have to wait for a system-wide release, which only happens once a year. Meanwhile, Steve, Andy Jones, and the entire SmartSite team meet once a week at SmartSite Support and Training meetings to review individual tickets, and trends in expressed faculty concerns about our learning management system.

Please always be in touch with IT Express about your instructional technology (especially SmartSite) needs; that way, we can better understand how we can continue to improve SmartSite, and all the players working to maintain it.

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