Some students may not be that familiar with using technology and it can be very daunting to have to contribute to online discussions, submit assignments online, do a library search, or even do online practicals. For many of us computers are second nature but for some people they are not, for example, newly arrived immigrants and mature-aged students.
Some help on how to use the technologies will be the best place to start in order to overcome the lack of confidence and feelings of inadequacy that your friend may have. For many of us it is hard to remember the basics because it is so second nature. Just turning on a machine may be a problem for someone, or for example, knowing what a browser is.
Explore the ideas below and see if your institution has any other options for people with limited technological experience.
- If your friend is not contributing to online discussion or you suspect they are having some problems with using various technologies, offer to do some contributing together (then you can demonstrate how it is done without them losing face)
- Ask them would they like some help with submitting their assignment
- Let them know about the library tours
- Tell them about a subject specialist librarian in your area
- See if the lecturer/tutor is willing to give some individual help, or if they can direct your friend to help available in the university
- Student Services in your institution may also be able to identify where some additional help can be obtained.