service

Going Google going great

As announced in March, (see: Student Email Moving Into The 21st Century) student email accounts have been migrated to Google Apps for Education. In order to ensure the migration goes smoothly a batch of early adopters, students who willingly participated as a test group, successfully had their email migrated to Google mail this month.

“The migration went very well,” says Chris Roberts, ITS Project Manager. “We received a lot of good feedback from users. They said they like the features, simplicity, layout and large storage space available in Google Apps.”

All students are now on the service and the project team will be turning their attention to migrating the 13,000 alumni accounts later this month. Students can also access their Google Apps email and calendar through the new Student Portal.

“We don’t anticipate any problems, but we have a number of resources available to users to assist if there are any issues. Everyone will receive detailed instructions via email before their accounts are moved,” says Roberts.

Major considerations include:

  • Users will need to change their passwords to ensure all features are enabled in Google Apps.
  • Users who currently forward their University email account to another email service (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.) will need to set up new forwarding rules in Google Apps.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact the project team at student.email@uleth.ca. If you are a student or alumnus and have questions about the Google Apps service, please visit our Welcome to Google site or contact help@uleth.ca.

 

Huge Adobe software package available to U of L employees

U of L faculty and staff can benefit from a new software package made possible by an agreement between the University of Lethbridge and Adobe Systems Inc.Adobe Creative Cloud

The enhanced Adobe Creative Cloud for education agreement provides a full suite of software, free of charge, for use at work. The agreement also offers a work-at-home package for only $11.25 per year for personal Windows and Apple computers.

The Creative Cloud suite includes, but is not limited to Photoshop, InDesign, Adobe Edge Animate, Acrobat XI Pro, Illustrator, and a variety of other Adobe products. “The retail value of these products is enormous,” says Chris Robinson, Client Services Manager.  “Photoshop alone is around $700 and up, depending on the version.”

IMPORTANT: For University-owned computers, faculty and staff should contact the Solutions Centre to request installation.

To purchase Creative Cloud for home computers, there are some important details interested buyers should know ahead of time.

  • The work-at-home software is for personal and professional supplement purchases only.
  • To download, go to https://www.uleth.ca/information-technology/store
  • Click on Take Me to the IT Store button. You will be required to log in using your U of L username and password.
  • Click on the Kivuto button.
  • Click on Start Shopping. The Adobe Creative Cloud icon can be found under the Adobe tab.

Both the download and installation steps can take up to one hour each. It is recommended that the download take place on campus if home internet bandwidth is not high-speed.

“The best options are to either bring their laptop onto campus to download the software, and then proceed with the installation at home or, if they have a desktop computer at home, download it onto their work computer and copy the installation file onto a 32GB USB key that has a minimum of 16GBs of free space,” says Robinson.

Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Solutions Centre at (403) 329-2490 or help@uleth.ca.

IT Services update for week of April 1, 2013

CRITICAL SERVICES: (Banner, Moodle, Wireless, Internet, Telephony)

  • Some students in the Testing Centre experienced intermittent error messages in Moodle this afternoon.  We have changed out a network device that may have been causing the problem, and will be monitoring Moodle closely when the Testing Centre opens tomorrow morning.

KPI SPOTLIGHT:

Anticipating the need to re-develop the University homepage, we have been collecting some data to better understand the needs of those using our site.  The “heatmap” below was generated over 3 days of activity in March (17,352 clicks). Much of this data aligns with areas we are already planning to address.  A few highlights:

  • The search box is well used, which could be a symptom of poor information architecture, or habitual user behaviour
  • The direct links by demographic in the “Apply Now” section is well visited, however the award offer beside it is almost never interacted with
  • Current Students and Faculty & Staff tabs in the lower quadrant are well-used and could be used as justification for a current student / employee portal (intranet) – to better focus our public website content.
  • “Services for Students” is well visited, even with lower positioning and size relationships to other elements on the page.
  • Our social media links in the footer are poorly visited.
  • The flexible messaging area graphic is heavily interacted with; people engage often with the slideshow format.

Heatmap spotlight

SERVICE IMPROVMENTS:

We have engaged an instructor from Lethbridge College to provide training for interested faculty and staff on Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.)  We have completed three courses so far and the feedback has been extremely positive.  We have included a few of the comments from participants below, as well as the scorecard showing top marks for the course evaluation.

“Good instructor; made course more fun. Thanks!”

“Excellent course – I learned lots of little tricks even though I’d taken other basic courses.”

Training comments

 

New Campus Map

Unlike the previous facility-driven campus map, the new map contains expanded content, focusing on both services and students. Visitors to the map can browse campus buildings, services, directions, and contextual information (example: parking lots are labeled, but also the times parking is enforced). But it expands on parking and buildings by providing information like food outlets, operating hours, prices, counseling services, and even the location of the campus defibrillators. It is searchable by keyword and can also provide driving directions from campus to anywhere in the city. In addition to being a way-finding tool, future and new students can use it as a basic online campus tour. The technology also uses wifi signals to shows the user’s device location right on the map itself.

Try out the new Campus Map.

Wireless enhancements

Wireless accesses on campus are now at more than 53,000 per day, as compared with 38,500 at the same time last year. Work done during the summer by the Infrastructure team has dramatically improved the capacity of the University’s wireless network access.

Email station “renos”

The University’s nine email stations have been renovated.  The addition of high-backed stools and more power bars have improved the comfort, use and functionality of the 50 workstations for students.

Right Answers

An increasing number of University users (students, faculty & staff) are experiencing difficulties using applications and searching for solutions to their issues.  On average 30% of all calls to the IT Solutions Centre are concerning the use of applications.

The Solutions Centre (SC) is near or at capacity with its workload.  Automation of some knowledge requests will help ease the load on the SC staff, letting them provide more solutions in a more timely manner.

The University of Lethbridge has entered a partnership with RightAnswers for self-service support. RightAnswers is the industry leader in Knowledge Management and providing self-service solutions.  Currently it provides more than 150,000 solutions for  approximately 300 common applications.  The University community will be able to gain access to the RightAnswers knowledge base through the web.  Users can use their iPhone, iPad, Windows laptop or almost any device with an internet connection to search for answers to software issues.  The University of Lethbridge can customize the content on the knowledge base to suit the University’s needs or settings.  This service has solutions from Microsoft office and Internet Explorer to iPad and iPhone.