Questions about academic development and success? Chat with a mentor in MS Teams!

Posted on Monday, October 25, 2021

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"I had questions regarding APA in-text citations for my assignment and my friend told me about the Academic GPS and its Live Chat function. It was late at night on a Sunday, but the chat was still up. A mentor answered all of my questions and even gave me some useful resources!" - Clément, 2nd year student in International Management.

Academic Support provides one-on-one personalized mentoring for students’ academic growth through the Academic GPS webpage. To better support the students, peer mentors use MS Teams to interact with students.  

Last year, Information Technology team was instrumental in the initial programming of the Live Chat widget and its integration into MS Teams. The IT Team also provided the Academic Support Unit and other services using Live Chat with the training and access necessary to implement the chat service.

Using MS Teams for the creation of mentor-facilitated study groups necessitated the creation of hundreds of MS Teams. Information Technology, Teaching and Learning Support Service (TLSS), and Academic Support collaborated to deliver the service and continue to work together to offer support and deliver enhancements. As use of Academic GPS grows, the interdisciplinary project team is exploring different ways to increase collaboration.

What is Academic GPS?

Academic GPS, and its seven days a week Live Chat, connects students with their peers. It allows them to access study groups, workshops, and a variety of help resources.

In September 2021, Academic Support helped hundreds of students with more than 500 live chats between students and mentors, and hundreds of one-on-one appointments with writing and faculty mentors. Moreover, thousands of students have participated in study groups offered by faculty mentoring centres using MS Teams.

How does Live Chat work?

Academic GPS Live Chat is directly linked to a dedicated MS Teams channel. Mentors can help students with their academic development and success through interactive peer-to-peer conversations!

How do one-on-one appointments work?

With the use of MS Bookings directly on the Academic GPS web page, students can book one-on-one appointments with one of the 50 available writing mentors. Mentors helps students strengthen their writing abilities, learn how to use referencing styles, and avoid plagiarism. MS Bookings automatically creates MS Teams meetings to connect the mentors to students through video call.  

By transferring all its services online and using MS Teams to deliver them, the Academic Support Service was able to optimize how it uses the MS Teams features while simplifying the access to services and the user experience. The integration of MS Teams to Academic GPS helps students navigating their new virtual environment while participating in a learning atmosphere.

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