Virtual Learning Starter Kit: Quick Assist

Hey everybody, this is now my second post in a new "Virtual Learning Starter Kit" series of posts that I hope to continue with over the course of the school year.  Today's topic is how to use Microsoft's built-in (FREE!) Quick Assist remote help software to assist you in troubleshooting issues that students or other individuals are having on their computer.  Pretty much, I feel like we are all going to come to a point where we are not face to face with our students but it is just SO HARD and impractical to talk them or their families through certain steps.  So, this screen sharing/remote control solution can be very helpful.  Please know that this only applies to Windows 10 computers, not Apple computers or iOS devices.  See my first post in the series HERE regarding why I am very gung-ho about using Windows computers for virtual learning.  Anyways, let's get started!

First, open up the search box by tapping the Windows key, then type Quick Assist. Press enter when you see the application appear.

Quick Assist start menu search result

Below you will see the Quick Assistance window that opens up.  There are two sections: one for getting assistance, and one for giving assistance.  The get assistance section has a text box for inputting a code from the assistant (more on this later).  By the way, these windows are accessible using all three major Windows screen readers: Narrator, NVDA, and JAWS.

Quick Assist main window with two main sections: get assistance and give assistance

As the individual providing assistance, you will select the "Assist another person" button.  The screen will update and display a code that will be used for establishing a connection with the student.  You will have 10 minutes to communicate this code one way or another with your student and have them type the code.  I have enjoyed success beginning my help sessions by getting my students on the phone.

Quick Assist window with security code provided

Below is the Get assistance section of the student's main window, in which they have typed in the specific pairing code.  The "Share screen" button will become selectable.

User's window for getting assistance with code added

After you select the "Share screen" button, the below is the view that the student will see as they wait for you to begin the support session.

User's window saying "Waiting for helper to set up this session"

Your screen will update and display the two sharing options below: Taking full control of the student's computer or just viewing their screen.  Pick the option that is appropriate and select continue.

Helper's view for sharing options: Take full control or View screen

The student's screen below allows them to confirm that they know who is asking to provide support.  If everything is as expected, have them select the "Allow" button.

User's window used for allowing screen sharing access to the helper

Once permission to provide support is allowed, the image below shows what your support window will look like.  Specifically here, I can see my student's desktop that also has the Paint 3D application opened up.  At the top of the Quick Assist window there are options to annotate on the screen, expand the window to be full screen, open the taskbar, pause the session, and stop the session.  If you selected Take full control, you will see the mouse cursor move around their desktop mirroring your own mouse cursor as long as it is in the Quick Assist window.

Helper's view of user window, with additional option buttons at the top of the Quick Assist window

So this is Quick Assist! Do you think this will be helpful to you guys?  I think it'll be very helpful to me and my peers this school year!  Drop a comment below if you have any thoughts to share!