IT News

Connecting Students, Faculty, and Staff with a New Learning Management System

Canvas has been selected as UW’s new learning management system. The selection was made after an extensive institutional review by both faculty and IT and feedback from faculty staff and students through vendor demonstrations. Top priorities from the feedback were; easy access to the learning management system (LMS), centralization of support, and the ability to integrate the LMS with other technology, such as Facebook and Skype.

WyoCourses diagramCanvas can organize course materials and assignments, facilitate collaboration on documents, integrate with Skype, and allow instructors to send out announcements through social media sites, such as Facebook. Canvas also has a mobile app that allows students to check grades, view class materials, and even complete assignments, while allowing instructors to view student work, fill out grading rubrics, and add comments all from a smartphone or tablet. To install the new mobile app, and configure it to connect to UW, follow these simple instructions. Another advantage of the new LMS is that it has centralized support. Any faculty, staff, or student can contact IT at 766-HELP (4357) or email wyocourses@uwyo.edu for assistance.

Canvas was piloted by a few classes in the Fall 2013 semester. This semester it was available for any class where an instructor wanted to use it. eCollege and Course Studio will be available through the Spring 2014 semester, but will not be accessible after June 30th 2014. If you have current or previous course materials in eCompanion that you will want access to in the future, now is the time to start retrieving them, and there are several ways to get help. See our new WyoCourses migration videos or attend one of our open faculty support hours. These dates and times may change from semester to semester, please check the WyoCourses training site for an updated schedule.

Session Days Times Location
Faculty TOUCH Sessions Mondays & Fridays 1:00-3:00 p.m. Coe 510F (ECTL)
307-766-4821
Open TOUCH Sessions Wednesdays 9:00-10:00 a.m. ENR 2106
Faculty TOUCH Sessions Wednesdays 10:00-11:00 a.m. Coe 510F (ECTL)
307-766-4821
GA/TA TOUCH Sessions Thursdays 2:00-3:00 p.m. Coe 510F (ECTL)
307-766-4821
Online Sessions Tuesdays 8:00-9:00 p.m. Click WyoCourses Training
for instructions to join

For more information on training, timelines, moving materials from eCollege or Course Studio, and Canvas features, please see the WyoCourses website.

top of page

 

IT Deploys Bomgar – An Advanced and Powerful Remote Support Tool!

Help button

Fast, highly efficient, reliable and secure. These words describe IT’s new remote support tool, Bomgar. Customers that have received computer assistance with the tool are pleased with the results, rating their overall experience getting IT help through Bomgar as 4.3 out of 5.

The fastest way to get computer help now is to go to the UWIT homepage and click the Help button, which will launch you into Bomgar. After telling us who you are, what the problem is, and giving us permission to connect to your computer, we can connect to you remotely and quickly resolve your problem.

UW IT Support pageOnce connected Bomgar allows our Help Desk technicians to see exactly what you are seeing on your computer screen to diagnosis and solve most problems just as if we were sitting next to you in your office. IT is now able to fix 86% of customer questions the first time a customer contacts us; Bomgar has helped make that possible. If the Help Desk cannot resolve your problem remotely, they will capture the details of the problem and escalate it to your consultant team to pick up where the Help Desk left off.

The Bomgar tool keeps sensitive data behind our firewall, providing the protection of our security systems and ensuring that your privacy is protected.

We can also use this tool to connect to mobile devices, making it quick and easy to get your smartphone or tablet connected to the UWyo wireless network and your UW email. From your mobile device simply go to the UW support page. It will direct you to download the Bomgar app and connect to the Help Desk right from your phone.

Our goals are to efficiently support our faculty, staff and students, fix technology issues in real-time, and ensure you can access the Internet and the systems you need to. This powerful tool helps us to better meet those goals. Connect for help at http://support.uwyo.edu/.

top of page

 

Information Technology Seeks Your Feedback

Information Technology is seeking feedback from students, faculty, and staff. We want to understand your current and upcoming technology needs including the technology needs of departments, colleges, and administrative divisions. Your input is important to IT’s planning process so that we can formulate a technology strategy that best supports the university’s goals and priorities and meets your needs and expectations.

Information Technology budgets are relatively fixed while demands for technology-related resources continue to expand rapidly. IT’s technology strategy must balance increasing technology needs with limited resources. Your input will help us understand your plans, your changing technology needs, and help us support you with the highest possible level of technology support. Some of our long-term planning goals include:

  1. Supporting students in their learning activities,
  2. Implementing and enhancing UW’s computing, networking and general technology infrastructure to continue meeting expanding technology needs,
  3. Collaborating with students, faculty, and staff to find innovative methods to implement and support new programs, processes, and technologies,
  4. Supporting and advancing the university’s expanding research capacity, and
  5. Enabling faculty in their teaching mission with technology resources and applications.

IT’s success in the role of enabler and promoter of technology depends largely upon customer input. Please share your thoughts, concerns, and ideas with us about your current technology needs and those you envision for the future.

Please email Mary Scott at UWITPlan@uwyo.edu to provide any input that will help guide IT in our planning efforts.

top of page

 

Computational Research Grows at UW with Mount Moran

Mount Moran Less than a year after IT powered up UW’s high performance computing cluster, Mount Moran, demand for time on the computer grew dramatically. To help meet the demand, in June 2013, we added 114 nodes to the initial 80 computing nodes for a total of 194 nodes. Usage continues to grow. Even with the increased size Mount Moran is frequently used to its full capacity.

Mount Moran’s cluster is based on a condominium (condo) model, which allows all users to benefit from increased nodes on the computer. The condo model allows users to have access to both the nodes they have purchased and any spare nodes that are not currently in use. Users who invest in nodes get the computing power they need plus more. Mount Moran also allows a way for users who have not yet purchased nodes to test computer code and evaluate preliminary results, making grant funding requests more likely to succeed.

Access to Mount Moran can be requested at the Advance Research Computing Center (ARCC) website (https://arcc.uwyo.edu). Accounts can be created for non-UW researchers working with UW faculty, so research teams that include individuals from other universities can all have access to Mount Moran, making collaboration easy.

Along with providing access and support for Mount Moran, IT also has staff that can help optimize research computing code and make recommendations for using the Cheyenne NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center.

Please email any comments or questions to arcc-info@uwyo.edu. UWIT looks forward to helping with your research computing needs.

top of page

 

Departments with Student Employees

When departments use student employees in roles where they are emailing in a departmental capacity, including emailing outside of UW, we recommend the departments do not have students using the student’s UWYO account. When a student employee leaves employment it can cause problems for departments in getting the business emails that were established by the student. The best way to avoid this is for the department to have or set up a generic email account that can be used by student employees for work emails. Each new student employee can use the same generic account so when student employees change, the department does not need to update contact information or worry about missing emails sent to a previous employee. Generic email accounts can also provide a clearer name for the job function, for example accounts-dept@uwyo.edu for a department’s accounting area. For more information on generic email accounts, including how to request one, please see Generic Mailboxes.

top of page

 

Say Cheese! – Adding a Picture to your Email Profile

With Office 365, you can now add a picture to appear next to your name in email. It is just a couple easy steps and adds a personal touch to any message.

  1. Use an existing picture or take a picture using the webcam on your computer. (Microsoft LifeCam is a common computer webcam.)
    Windows Start menu programs list
  2. Smile and click the 640x480 640x480 camera button button. Now you have a picture to add to your email.
  3. Log into Outlook Web App.
  4. Click on your name in the upper right hand corner.
    Outlook Web App screen
  5. Click the change link under the picture. Outlook Web App screen
  6. Click on the Browse button to find a picture. Outlook Web App screen
  7. Once you have selected a picture, click Open. Outlook Web App screen
  8. Click the Save button.

Outlook Web App screenYou and other university users will now see that picture next to your name in emails.

top of page

 

OneDrive for Business (SkyDrive Pro) with Office 365

With the migration to Office 365, all UW users received 25 GB of email storage. In addition to that storage, all UW users also get an additional 25GB of cloud storage space in their Microsoft OneDrive for Business, previously called SkyDrive Pro. You can load files into OneDrive so you can work on them anywhere, share them with a specified group of people or access them from multiple computers and mobile devices. You can keep separate folders for team documents, department forms, or data shared with UW or outside research partners and access them from your office, home, or while at a conference.

Log into Outlook Web Access. Click on OneDrive.

Outlook Web App screen

To share a folder, simply click on the sharing icon and click the “Invite People” button. You can even choose whether the individual can edit or only view items in that folder.

Outlook Web App screen

Files can be edited right in Office 365 by clicking on them and selecting the Edit option. This will open the file in Office web apps. For documents that are shared with others, you can even have up to twenty people editing a document at the same time.

Some users may already have basic OneDrive accounts. OneDrive for Business is very similar. While the two accounts cannot be combined, they can both be used on the same computer.

The name SkyDrive recently changed to OneDrive. This name change does not change any of the features of SkyDrive.

top of page

 

Email Problems?

IT is able to resolve most any issue concerning email, especially dealing with Microsoft Outlook or Mac Mail. If you are having any problems with your email, please contact us at the IT Help Desk at http://support.uwyo.edu or 766-HELP (4357), option 1, or userhelp@uwyo.edu.

 

Windows XP Demise – XP to Have Limited UW Network Access

On April 8, 2014 Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP. XP is now 12 years old. Microsoft will no longer be releasing security patches for XP after April. This puts any XP computers at an extremely-high and serious risk of getting hacked or catching a virus. Once an XP machine becomes infected with a virus, those viruses could easily spread to the UW network, damaging the university’s computing infrastructure. For this reason, starting in April, Information Technology may take steps to secure and restrict network activity for Windows XP computers.

Microsoft will also no longer test changes to their products with XP. If there is a problem with a Microsoft product on a computer using XP, Microsoft will not provide a fix for it. This is of special concern with Office 365, which is updated with changes regularly. At some point after April 8th, it is likely that Office 365 will not function properly on a computer running XP.

In the rare circumstances where a department has requirements for unique and irreplaceable software IT staff will work with departments to find the best option for support going forward. Please contact the IT Help Desk if you believe you have such a need.

IT would like to help you upgrade to Windows 7 as soon as possible. If you are using Windows XP, please contact the IT Help Desk at 766-HELP (4357), option 1, or userhelp@uwyo.edu, to schedule a time to upgrade. For more information, please see our website about the XP phase out (http://www.uwyo.edu/infotech/aboutit/news/stories/140117.asp).

top of page

 

Pcards Now Accepted for PC Repairs

In an effort to make PC repairs even easier for you, IT Computer Sales and Maintenance accepts pcards for parts and labor, accessories, and toner that are ordered or repaired by IT. Payments can now be done quickly and easily online. Payment is required when we confirm the order, and the order cannot be delivered without payment. Direct billing is still and option for PC repairs and orders. At this time, we cannot accept pcards for computer purchases.

 

Training Schedule

March

Web Content Management System - Open Work Session
Tuesday, March 11th from 1:00-2:30 pm
Free

UW Survey Tool
Wednesday, March 12th from 9:00-10:30 am
Free

Office 2013 New Features
Thursday, March 13th from 1:00-2:30 pm
Free

Web Content Management System - Level 2
Wednesday, March 26th from 9:00-11:00 am
Free

Web Content Management System - Open Work Session
Friday, March 28th from 9:00-10:00 am
Free

April

Access 2013 Advanced
Tuesday, April 1st and Thursday, April 3rd from 8:30-11:30 am
$40

Web Content Management System - Level 1
Friday, April 11th from 9:00-11:00 am
Free

Web Content Management System - Open Work Session
Thursday, April 17th from 1:30-2:30 pm
Free

Web Content Management System - Level 2
Tuesday, April 22nd from 1:00-2:30 pm
Free

top of page

 

Microsoft Updates

On the third Tuesday of every month any available Microsoft Updates will be automatically distributed to computers across campus. You will know that there are updates to install on your computer when you see the update icon, below, at the bottom right corner of your screen. You can install the updates using these instructions (www.uwyo.edu/askit/5001/).

system tray

If updates have not been installed by the second Tuesday of the following month your computer will automatically install them at midnight and may automatically restart. The next dates for the automatic installation of updates and possible restarts are listed below. Any open work could be lost if your computer automatically restarts. IT no longer sends out monthly email reminders about these updates.

  • March 11, 2014
  • April 8, 2014
  • May 13, 2014

If you have questions about Microsoft updates, please check the WSUS FAQ (www.uwyo.edu/askit/487/) or contact the IT Help Desk at 766-HELP.

top of page

 

 


Contents © 2014 by the University of Wyoming Division of Information Technology. All rights reserved.