When Marjorie Miller needed a website for a conference, she researched how to build a site using WordPress.
Miller, an administrative assistant for the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities & History of Medicine, spent a weekend reading articles and trying to piece together instructions about WordPress but found the results hit and miss.
“I was trying to follow the steps, but it wasn't interactive enough to create a conference website that would reflect our center,” she said. “I needed a real-live person for this."
For help, Miller turned to TechTutors, a program offered by Duke’s Office of Information Technology (OIT). Miller was paired with a student well versed in WordPress at the Multimedia Project Studio in the lower level of Bostock Library on West Campus.
One-on-one sessions are offered to students, staff and faculty at no charge and by appointment during the academic year. Time slots are available for 30 minutes or one hour, and community members can select from a variety of topics, including video editing, graphic design, audio recording, photography, virtual reality development and more.
Duke undergraduate senior Kayla Morton, who manages the TechTutor program, said the program evolved from a need for immediate hands-on assistance with deadline projects involving video, graphic design and websites.
“I think people struggle with online multimedia training,” Morton said. “Hands-on is really necessary for getting started on an application. Tutors can tailor the training to suit the project. Also getting creative feedback is something you can't do online or in group session.”
Miller, who needed help with a WordPress website, met with her TechTutor three times and ended up developing two sites.
“It was very refreshing to work with a student,” Miller said. “She knew her stuff.”