Building a Knowledge Base — The Structure and Categorization of Your Self-Help Articles

This is the fourth in a five-part series on Service Portals in educational settings.  The fifth post will be published Wednesday, May 4, 2022. Read the previous posts:

Post 1: Improve Self-Service to Increase Student and Faculty Satisfaction

Post 2: Building a Self-Service Portal

Post 3: Designing the Service Catalog – The Four Essential Building Blocks

The presence of a well-equipped knowledge base is critical to the success of any self-service portal.

Building a knowledge baseA comprehensive knowledge base can help keep ticket volumes under control by providing the information end users need to resolve certain issues on their own and promoting a culture of self-resolution. The articles in a knowledge base are typically categorized by service category for easy end-user access.

Most educational institutions list the following categories as a part of its knowledge base:

  • Connections, Wired and Wi-Fi
  • Accounts, access, and email
  • Printing and public technology
  • Learning tools
  • Security
  • Applications and collaboration
  • Research
  • Setup and get help


These knowledge base categories are typically closely aligned with their service categories.

Every knowledge base section in the self-service portal should include the following:

  • List of knowledge categories
  • List of available articles
  • The most viewed articles
  • The top-rated articles


Also, every knowledge article should allow users to rate articles in order to record the relevancy of the solution to the category or purpose. These data inputs can provide valuable insights for the service desk teams, including:

  • Articles that are not performing well and need to be removed or updated
  • Articles that are performing well, which can be moved to a more prominent section
  • Articles that have average ratings which need to be revised or improved.


A best-in-class knowledge base can also assist with student onboarding and offboarding primarily through its knowledge base.

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