Where to Find Help


Video Script

As you work on the materials in this course, you may run into questions or problems and need assistance. This video reviews the various types of help available to you in this course.

First and foremost, anytime you have a questions or need assistance in the course, please post in the course Discord room. It is the best place to go to get help with anything related to this course, from the tutorials and projects to issues with Codio and Canvas. Before you post on Discord, take a minute to look around and make sure the question has not already been posted before. It will save everyone quite a bit of time.

There are a few major reasons we’ve chosen to use Discord in this program. Our goal is to respond as quickly as possible, and having a single place for all questions allows the instructors and the TAs to work together to answer questions and solve problems quickly. As an added bonus, it reduces the amount of email generated by the class. Discord includes lots of features to make your messages easily readable using both markdown and code blocks. Finally, by participating in discussions on Discord and helping to answer questions from your fellow students, you can earn extra credit points!

Of course, if you aren’t able to find an answer in either of those places, the next step would be to search online for an answer. For better or worse, in the real world as a system administrator, many times you simply won’t know the answer, and will be tasked with finding the best one available. Learning how to leverage online search engines is a powerful skill to develop, and one major desired outcome of this course is to help you get better at finding and evaluating online resources for your work.

If all else fails, please email me and let me know. Make sure you clearly explain your question and the steps you’ve taken to solve it thus far. If I feel it can be easily answered by one of the earlier steps, I may redirect you back to those before answering it directly. But, at times there are indeed questions that come up that don’t have an easy answer, and I’m more than happy to help answer them as needed.

Beyond Discord, there are a few resources you should be aware of. First, if you have any issues working with K-State Canvas, the YouTube Videos, K-State IT resources, or any other technology related to the delivery of the course, your first source of help is the K-State IT Helpdesk. They can easily be reached via email at helpdesk@ksu.edu. Beyond them, there are many online resources for using Canvas and YouTube, many of which are linked in the resources section below the video. As a last resort, you may contact me via email, but in most cases I will not be able to help and will simply redirect you to the K-State helpdesk for assistance.

Next, we have grading and administrative issues. This could include problems or mistakes in the grade you received on a lab, missing course resources, or any concerns you have regarding the course and the conduct of myself and your peers. Since this is an online course, you’ll be interacting with us on a variety of online platforms, and sometimes things happen that are inappropriate or offensive. There are lots of resources at K-State to help you with those situations. First and foremost, please email me as soon as possible and let me know about your concern, if it is appropriate for me to be involved. If not, or if you’d rather talk with someone other than me about your issue, I encourage you to contact either your academic advisor, the CS department staff, College of Engineering Student Services, or the K-State Office of Student Life. Finally, if you have any concerns that you feel should be reported to K-State, you can do so at https://www.k-state.edu/report/. That site also has links to a large number of resources at K-State that you can use when you need help.

Finally, if you find any errors or omissions in the course content, or have suggestions for additional resources to include in the course, please email me. There are some extra credit points available for helping to improve the course, so be on the lookout for anything that you feel could be changed or improved.

So, in summary, if you have any issues using Canvas or accessing the course content, contact the K-State Helpdesk as a first step. If you run into issues with the labs, your first step should be to consult the course modules and discussion forums. For grading questions and errors in the course content, contact me directly. For other issues, please contact either myself or your academic advising resources as appropriate.

Our goal in this program is to make sure that you have the resources available to you to be successful. Please don’t be afraid to take advantage of them and ask questions whenever you want.