Classroom Services Unit (CSU)

Classroom Services Unit (CSU) was established to take responsibility of all teaching venues initially beginning with rooms dedicated for delivery of lectures.

Goals of the Classroom Services Unit

The Classroom Services Unit (CSU) promotes and supports the ongoing efforts to improve teaching venues across Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) so as to enhance teaching and learning. The CSU is responsible for ensuring that equipment in teaching venues are in working order, including functioning electricity outlet points, lights and other material deemed essential for a conducive teaching and learning environment. The CSU monitors classroom conditions related to electrical, masonry, plumbing, carpentry, civil works and aspects related to local area network (LAN) and reports all needed repairs/replacements/installations to the appropriate entities especially estates and works department and centre for information and communication technology (CICT).

Structure

The CSU is a relatively new unit, established in 2014 with the assistance of iAGRI under the then SUA’s Quality Assurance and Promotion Bureau (now Quality Assurance Bureau). The unit was composed by two full-time Campus Coordinators who supervise CSU operations, providing a centralized service system. The CSU coordinators receive all requests for service from their assigned areas of work, coordinate Ground Staff to respond to service requests, and follow up to ensure service requests are resolved in a timely manner. This involves liaising with other service units such as Estates, CICT and Security. Ground Staffs are assigned specific sections/venues to work on. In addition to immediately responding to requests for service that come through the CSU Coordinator, they perform regular inspection of each classroom in order to be proactive in creating a conducive learning environment. 

Figure 1 shows the structure of CSU within QAB.

Staff Roles and Duties

Roles of QAO (related to Classroom Services)

  • Ensure that the goals of the CSU are being met.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with other departments involved in classroom maintenance such as Estates, Computer Center and Security.
  • Identify classroom resource training needs and work with UTLIP to provide training
  • Conduct regular (minimum 2x/year) reviews to determine quality of services and additional needs
  • Prepare and update clear instructions for use of teaching equipment and ensure that instructions are placed in every teaching venue (See Appendix I)
  • Ensure the CSU is meeting quality indicators
  • Review and follow up on repairs referred to Estates, CICT and Security if they are not resolved in a timely manner
  • Oversee the installation of new classroom equipment and software, including procurement
  • Schedule replacement of classroom equipment

Role of QAB Administrative Officer

  • Provide support to the Campus Coordinators in case of absence
  • Assist the QA Coordinator in all administrative related matters
  • Work closely with the QAO and OMS to ensure smooth working environment

Role of Campus Coordinators

  • Follow-up on requests sent to Estates, CICT and Security.
  • Oversee the performance of Ground Staff
  • Set up a mechanism for receiving and reviewing written complaints, concerns or observations
  • Be the first point of contact for service/assistance requests
  • Dispatch appropriate Ground Staff to teaching venues for assistance
  • Collect service indicator data and other information on CSU services and draft reports for QAO
  • Communicate with designated contacts in other departments to place service requests as necessary
  • Prepare weekly report on requests for service and present to QAB’s Administrative Officer
  • Prepare reports on quality service indicators and submit to QAO
  • Ensure that contact information for the CSU is clearly displayed in every teaching venue
  • Monitor and replenish supply inventory

Role of Ground Staff in Classroom Services Unit

  • Conduct daily inspection of LCD projectors and all related fixtures to ensure equipment is in safe keeping, working order, including electricity
  • Conduct weekly and/or monthly inspection of other classroom maintenance items as identified by CSU Coordinators
  • Report any malfunctioning equipment or repair needs to the QAO, Administrative Officer or CSU Coordinator immediately
  • Be on-call during regular operating hours to assist instructors in trouble shooting projector and technology issues
  • If unable to solve a problem, call upon other relevant units (Estates & Works, CICT, Security)
  • Complete a service form for each service request and return into CSU Coordinator 
  • Initial the Classroom Maintenance Log for daily/weekly classroom inspections 

Service Unit Responsibilities

Role of Estates and Works Department in Classroom Services Unit

  • Effecting repairs related to electrical, masonry, plumbing, carpentry and civil works in teaching venues and laboratories as required
  • Provide a primary and secondary contact staff person on each zone to handle all relevant issues that require technical expertise
  • Liaise with CSU staff and ensure requests are completed within one week. If any request cannot be completed in this time, the CSU should be notified of the problem and when it will be fixed.

Role of CICT in Classroom Services Unit

  • Provide technical expertise on computer and projector related issues in teaching venues as may be required
  • Provide a primary and secondary contact staff person on each campus to handle all relevant issues that require technical expertise.
  • Liaise with CSU staff and ensure requests are completed within one week. If any request cannot be completed in this time, the CSU should be notified of the problem and when it will be fixed.

Role of Security in Classroom Services Unit

  • Ensure windows are closed and doors are secured in classrooms with equipment by 8:30 p.m.
  • Ensure all classrooms are secured by 11:00 p.m.
  • Unlock classrooms by 7:00 a.m.

Role of Teaching Staff

  • Report any malfunctioning components in the teaching venue immediately to the CSU Coordinator, QAO and/or Administrative Officer, whoever is available
  • Request technical assistance when necessary by calling the service request phone number provided in each classroom/lecture theatre or laboratory
  • Send requests for training on classroom equipment to CSU Administrative Office.

Role of Students

  • Be respectful of the classroom environment, including equipment and other associated fixtures, and follow all posted regulations
  • Report broken/malfunctioning equipment and classroom resources to Classroom Representative, Lecturer or service request phone number provided

Creating Staff and Student Buy-In

In order for the CSU to be successful, teaching staff and students will need to feel a sense of ownership in the facilities that they use for teaching and learning. Cooperation from teaching staff and students in respecting the classroom property and reporting issues will help to create a successful CSU and create a conducive learning environment.

Process for Addressing Teaching Venue Needs

Technical Assistance & Equipment Malfunction (Needs Immediate Assistance)

First, use the classroom troubleshooting guide to solve common problems.  If solution is not reached:

  • During regular business hours (7:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.) call or SMS QAO at 0754855434 or 0679969671. In event that the above numbers are unreachable, please SMS or call 0788495553.
  • Provide your name, other contact information (e.g. email), location and where about of problem
  • The CSU Coordinator will then dispatch a Ground Staff who will arrive within 15 minutes to assist you
  • The Ground Staff will troubleshoot problems related to projectors, computer set-up and electricity
  • If unable to solve the technical issue, the Ground Staff or CSU Coordinator will contact appropriate external support entity (Estates, CICT and/or Security) or the QAB Administrative Officer and/or QAO for additional support
  • Requests for assistance received on Saturday, Sunday or on public holiday will be addressed on Monday or any other working day.
  • If phone is not answered, either leave a voicemail with your name, contact information, location and problem, or send information in an SMS.


What are examples of technical assistance & equipment malfunction?

  • The projector is on, but no image is displayed
  • Screen is stuck
  • Projector not turning on
  • Missing cords or remote
  • Projected images are distorted or discolored

Teaching Venue Repairs/Replacement (Does Not Need Immediate Action)

  • During regular business hours (7:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.) call or SMS QAO at 0754855434 or 0679969671. In event that the above numbers are unreachable, please SMS or call 0788495553.
  • Provide your name, location and problem
  • The CSU Coordinator will dispatch a Ground Staff member to assess the problem
  • Ground Staff member will make repairs if able.
  • If unable to be repaired by Ground Staff Member, issue will be reported to Estates or appropriate department within 24 hours
  • Once elevated to outside unit, CSU cannot estimate repair time. The CSU will provide weekly reports to QAB on the status of requests to outside units.

What are examples of teaching venue repairs and replacements?

  • Light bulbs need replacement
  • Electrical outlet not working
  • Broken/Missing desks or chairs

Quality of Service Indicators
Quality of service for the CSU will be measured by the following indicators:

  • Response time for requests
  • Improved facilities
  • Student/faculty satisfaction

Mechanisms for Tracking Quality Service Indicators
Response time for requests. It is the goal of the CSU to respond to all requests submitted during regular business hours within 15 minutes.

Each call or SMS will be logged by the CSU Coordinator.  When responding to a request, the assigned Ground Staff Member will complete a Service Report (See Appendix IV), which will include the time of arrival and departure.

The tracking mechanisms will also include if the request for service was referred to a related service unit (Estates, Computer Center, Security, e.g.).  The Ground Staff and Campus Coordinator will be responsible for referring problems to these units.  A weekly report on referred issues will be provided to the QAPB Administrative Officer.

Improved facilities
The CSU will maintain a campus inventory for each campus and will monitor the quality and condition of the classroom, light fixtures, electrical outlets and security features.

The goal is to not only be responding to requests, but to also be proactive in maintaining and enhancing the facilities.

Student/faculty satisfaction

Teaching Staff and Students will be surveyed at the close of each semester to determine their level of satisfaction with the SUA teaching and learning facilities.