Digital technologies and the realities of the modern world are transforming higher education. Universities are the driving force behind the rapid adoption of new formats of distance learning and working.
Life in the new digital environment shows us that digital skills are more important than ever. Today, the university strives to improve digital literacy in the university community and provide assistance to those who need it.
Smart Assistants: Our Mission
HSE University launched the Smart Assistants project in March 2020 in order to help university staff, faculty and students get to grips with educational and working processes in the digital environment. HSE’s Smart Assistants are students who have been trained by Digital Office specialists to assist those who need help using remote working technologies.
Throughout the pandemic, Smart Assistants have worked with the IT Office to take the university's activities online. Participants of the project have acquired new skills and are working to solve new challenges all the time. Smart Assistants not only help users via the HSE hotline, but also provide support for online events, work with the IT Office’s product teams, take part in the Project Fair, and much more.
The Smart Assistants for Faculty project is also actively developing. These Smart Assistants help staff in their faculty to use HSE University’s digital tools more effectively to create the best possible environment for work and study — both remotely and on campus. In September 2021 was launched project’s new direction Digital Buddies — digital support service for international students. Digital Buddies provide advice to foreigners on the use of digital services, systems and resources of the university, video services MS Teams, Zoom, Webinar, on general IT issues, and also help to navigate in terms of solving applications that are not related to digital services — such applications are transmitted to the relevant services of the university.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before clicking Become a Smart Assistant and filling out the application, we suggest you take a look at some frequently asked questions about the project.
WHO CAN BECOME A SMART ASSISTANT AT HSE UNIVERSITY?
Smart Assistant is any student or staff member who has been trained by the Digital Office, has the relevant IT skills, and is familiar with the HSE corporate culture and educational process.
WHO DO SMART ASSISTANTS HELP AND HOW?
The three main branches of the project are Smart Assistants for the Digital Office, Smart Assistants for Faculty and Digital Buddies.
Smart Assistants for the Digital Office operate the HSE Hotline, help staff to master digital video services, and advise on general IT issues. They also provide technical support for online events, work with the Digital Office’s product teams, take part in the Project Fair, and much more.
Smart Assistants for Faculty work as personal IT assistants for their faculty. Faculty digital assistants help staff use HSE University’s digital tools more effectively to create the best possible environment for work and study—both remotely and on campus.
Digital Buddies provide digital support to international students of HSE University. They advise foreigners on the use of digital services, systems and resources of the university, video services MS Teams, Zoom, Webinar and on general IT issues.
HOW ARE THEY TRAINED?
During training, specialists from the Digital Office explain what Smart Assistants do and how the team’s work is organized. They also provide demonstrations of HSE digital services, give practical instructions on working with IT services, and more. Smart Assistants also undergo additional training and testing depending on their area of activity.
The training is held online. Participants only need access to a computer and a stable internet connection.
WHAT ARE THE SELECTION CRITERIA?
Candidates should be polite, capable of handling stressful situations and able to explain complex things in simple language.
Applicants should also have basic knowledge and experience using Zoom, Webinar and MS Teams. Familiarity with different operating systems is a plus. The experts from the Digital Office will teach trainees everything else they need to know.
I'VE NEVER DONE THIS KIND OF WORK. CAN I STILL BECOME A SMART ASSISTANT?
If you have basic knowledge and skills in IT and want to give it a go — then you’re halfway there already!
Successful applicants will receive all the required training as part of the project. Some complex tasks may require Assistants with certain technical experience and knowledge, but we work on a wide range of issues — you don’t need to have a technical degree to handle all of them. After all, everyone is part of the Digital University.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE ANY QUESTIONS WHILE WORKING AS A DIGITAL ASSISTANT?
Each assistant has a mentor from the Digital Office who’s always available to answer questions and handle any difficulties. Assistants can contact mentors, administrators and project managers using Telegram chat. If assistants need to discuss an issue in more detail or want a personal online meeting, they can always contact their mentors by phone or through Zoom, MS Teams, or any other convenient platform.
CAN I WORK AS A SMART ASSISTANT WHILE STUDYING?
Yes, you can! We understand that studying is your top priority, so everything is scheduled in advance. Assistants work on a schedule that leaves room for work and study.
If you have any questions or suggestions about the project, please email us at SmartAssistant@hse.ru or fill out the form below.