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Preventative Maintenance: Students vs Full-Time Staff
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About this session:

Brief Summary

The creation of the evening preventative maintenance program has allowed our crew to check technology in as many of our generally assignable classrooms as possible. We are able put eyes and hands on the learning technology in every one of our 300-plus spaces on the Seattle campus and verify it as functional or non- functional. The idea was to utilize student employees to check the basic functionality of classroom technology systems while having a “live” connection to tier 2 and 3 technical support staff on an as-needed basis.
Our department created a google website with an embedded form that allows the student employees to mark off checked rooms, report functionality problems and leave detailed notes in real time to the tier 2 and 3 technical support staff.

Comparing Autumn Quarter 2014 (first quarter of implementation) to Autumn Quarter 2015, we found general equipment tutorial requests dropped 17% (793 down to 650) and equipment incidents dropped 78% (261 down to 55). Using this information has allowed our department to increase the focus of full time staff members (Tier 2 & 3) on higher priority incidents - while continuing to check all classrooms regularly with student employees. Student employees can provide basic functionality testing with lower overhead and greater flexibility during busy academic quarters.


This presentation will provide an outline on how to best utilize part time student support staff in providing scheduled preventative maintenance for classroom technology. I’ll also cover how to create a communication infrastructure for real-time reporting from the classrooms to the office/shop and the cost/scheduling benefits for using student vs full time staff members.

Topics will include:

  • Cost Benefits
    • Full-time staff vs Student Staff
  • Student Employees
    • Training & Utilization
  • Scheduling
    • Flexibility in scheduling during off-hours
  • Communication infrastructure
    • Creating a real-time reporting structure
    • Retaining data for future analytics
    • Comparative analysis for setting Critical Success Factors (CSFs) & Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Support levels: Tier 1, 2 & 3
    • How incidents are reported and self-governed
    • Tier flow – Reverse pyramid

Additional Resources:


About the presenter:

Michael Baskett, University of Washington

Mike has over 15 years in the AV industry with product and infrastructure design, integration and programming experience - as well as 10 years in the professional-audio rental industry. Taking on the role of Preventative Maintenance & Technical Support Manager for Classroom Technology & Events at the University of Washington less than two years ago, Mike has grown the program to 23 preventative maintenance staff that services over 325 classrooms on the UW campus daily.