IT News

27 Apr

Instructors will have access to three powerful new tools—Qwickly, PeerMark and WebAssign—after the eCampus upgrade that is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. May 13 and finish by 5 p.m. May 14.

Qwickly can simplify workflow by providing easier access to frequently repeated tasks. Rather than clicking through each course, instructors can perform a task from the home screen for all selected courses simultaneously. Instructors may also: add content and email documents directly from Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox and Box; add content, including documents and web links, to multiple classes; send email to only certain roles within a course or to multiple courses; and choose to post announcements in the future or send announcements to multiple courses. Learn more here.

PeerMark lets students read, review and score or evaluate one or many papers submitted by classmates. At the end of an assignment, the papers will be distributed so that all students can read the comments on their work. PeerMark assignments may be anonymous or attributed, depending on the instructor’s preference. More at: http://turnitin.com/en_us/training/student-training/peermark-overview

WebAssign is a customizable system that lets instructors create and deploy assignments, and instantly assess the performance of either individual students or an entire class. Features include: question content and creation; secure testing; collaboration on course management tasks with colleagues and teaching assistants; and student performance analytics. More at: https://webassign.com/instructors/features/

Information Technology Services has scheduled two eCampus Essentials training sessions on Friday, May 15, but this training will NOT focus on the three new tools. The open lab help session is for those who have already built the course(s) they teach but need some more assistance. The one-hour training sessions are for eCampus newcomers, and walk-ins are welcome. Registration is not required. Details are at http://it.wvu.edu/services/training/schedule.

Faculty should note that summer course shells are now available in eCampus. Students, however, will not be able to access summer courses until the start date, as set in STAR.

13 Apr

West Virginia University students and their parents are once again being targeted in a telephone scam in that spoofs a legitimate law enforcement phone number to try to trick recipients into handing over personal information. The number may display as the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department or the Charleston Police Department on caller IDs, but it is NOT police who are calling. If you receive such a call DO NOT provide Social Security Numbers, birthdates or any other personal information, including bank or credit card information.

This scam began several weeks ago and is continuing. Sometimes the calls appear to be coming from the Internal Revenue Service, but these are also scams. The IRS does not contact people about unpaid taxes or other problems by telephone.

Victims who have been contacted have falsely been told that warrants have been issued for their arrests, that scholarship funds are in jeopardy or that some other serious consequence will result if personal information is not immediately provided.

Students who receive such a call or see a missed call from one of these law enforcement agencies on their phones are urged to file a report with University Police by telephone only, calling 304-293-COPS (304.293.2677).

You may be asked for the following information:

◦ What name did the person use?
◦ Did they call you by name?
◦ What agency, department, or company did they claim to be with?
◦ What did they accuse you of?
◦ How much money did they want you to pay?
◦ What number shows up in your caller-id?
◦ Did they give you any other numbers to call or websites to visit?

Information Technology Services urges students to be suspicious about all unsolicited electronic communications seeking personal information, including such things as birthdates, SSNs, and usernames and passwords. Personally identifiable information can be used to steal your identity and commit fraud. For tips on protecting yourself, spotting scams and setting up fraud alerts, please visit DefendYourData.wvu.edu.

Additional tips:

If you are contacted by someone who claims there is a warrant for your arrest or is claiming to collect a debt that you do not owe, you should:

• Ask the caller for name, company, street address and telephone number.
• Tell the caller that you refuse to discuss any debt until you get a written “validation notice.” The notice must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor you owe and your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
• Contact local law enforcement agencies if you feel you are in immediate danger.
• If you have already given out information about your bank accounts or credit cards, contact your bank(s) and credit companies.
• Contact the three major credit bureaus and request an alert be put on your file.
• If you have received a legitimate loan and want to verify that you do not have any outstanding obligation, contact the loan company directly.
• File a complaint at http://www.IC3.gov.

7 Apr

Faculty members should not use course tools in MIX while preparing for the fall 2015 semester because the ‘My Courses’ tab and all associated features will be deactivated this summer. This change was initially announced in November 2014 to give instructors sufficient time to plan for the transition.

eCampus offers virtually every feature that MIX offers, along with some additional tools. Instructors will still be able to email students before a course begins using either eCampus or STAR.

Faculty can view a side-by-side comparison of eCampus and MIX, and find the answers to other Frequently Asked Questions here: http://it.wvu.edu/services/training/mix.

The current version of MIX is nearing its end of life, and Information Technology Services is beta testing new portal software that integrates extensively with eCampus. More information about the new portal will be announced in the months ahead.

Please direct any questions or concerns to project manager Kristin Floyd at Kristin.Floyd@mail.wvu.edu.

7 Apr

Microsoft is replacing the instant messaging tool that University users now know as Lync, adding new functionality and flexibility under the brand name Skype for Business 2015. This change will occur automatically during Microsoft’s next round of Office updates. Faculty, staff and students will not need to take any action.

Skype for Business will look and feel different from Lync, combining the valuable security features of Lync with the flexibility of Skype. Faculty, staff and students should benefit from the enhanced ability to share, collaborate and discuss by integrating voice, video, instant messaging and online meetings with Office 365’s existing capabilities.

Users also will be able to search for and connect with anyone in the Skype network—inside or outside the University.

This change will affect all Office 365 users on Windows operating systems, including those using both Office 2013 and Lync 2013. This change will NOT affect Mac users, who will still be able to communicate with Skype for Business users via Lync.

Please direct any questions or concerns to the ITS Service Desk at ITSHelp@mail.wvu.edu or call (304) 293-4444.

31 Mar

Kate Hazen, Assistant Vice President for Enterprise Architecture in Information Technology Services, has resigned after nearly 17 years with the University for a consulting job in the private sector. Her last day was Tuesday, March 31.

In the year since the consolidation of four information technology units at WVU, Kate has concentrated on enterprise and strategic planning. She was charged with assessing IT efforts and tools to ensure they are aligned with the University’s mission and strategic plan.

“Kate was passionate about the institution and how information technology could transform our business practices,” said Associate Provost and Chief Information Officer John Campbell. “Her ITS colleagues wish her well in her next venture.”

Much of Kate’s work over the years has focused on increasing efficiency and revenues in business operations, while reducing costs. Among other things, she identified and realized cost reductions by realigning IT services for the colleges and regional campuses. That reduced software costs and increased online capabilities and services for students through virtual classrooms and the consolidation of library resources.

Kate helped create the former Administrative Technology Solutions (ATS) as a technology partner to the Administration and Finance Division in 2007. Before that, she worked for the former Office of Information Technology as Associate Director of Database and Application Administration.

“Kate has provided institutional IT leadership for many years and brought broad strategic vision to many projects. She helped modernize ATS and prepare it for not only its place in the new IT structure at WVU, but also for the challenges that lie ahead,” said Vice President for Administration & Finance Narvel Weese. “We thank her for her service.”

30 Mar

Faculty and staff using Lynda.com to pursue training opportunities can now take advantage of that access for longer periods of time. Information Technology Services has removed the 30-day time limit on the licenses in response to user requests.

As long as there is no waiting list, registered users will continue to have uninterrupted access. When demand exceeds availability, ITS will suspend accounts of users to meet the new demand. Accounts will be suspended based on the length of period the user had access and/or infrequent usage.

Lynda.com is an online repository that has tens of thousands of courses and video tutorials on commercial products such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Cloud and more.

Students are granted access when available, but those licenses are only valid for 14 days to ensure the tool remains available for faculty and staff development and classroom support.

Users must register at lynda.com within 48 hours of getting the e-mail registration notice. Failure to do so will drop the request to a waiting list. Users may apply for access to Lynda as often as they like. Other details about the program are here: http://it.wvu.edu/services/training/lynda

For the latest on tools, outages and more, follow @wvuoit on Twitter, “like” WVU Information Technology on Facebook or visit http://it.wvu.edu/

2 Mar

WVU students are invited to participate in a brief national survey about how they use technology. The results are important will help Information Technology Services learn how to provide better services and improve experiences.

Participation is voluntary and confidential, and completion of the survey should take only about 15 minutes. There is no penalty if you choose not to participate, and you are not required to answer every question. You may quit the survey at any time. You must be at least 18 to participate.

This survey will remain available until midnight April 20. Please click here to begin: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1971183/ECAR-Student-Study-2015-us?eid=9401

This study is being conducted by EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association dedicated to advancing higher education through the use of information technology. Amy Baker, ITS’ Business Relationship Manager for Students, is the primary investigator for WVU’s participation. If you have any questions or problems, please contact Amy at Amy.Baker@mail.wvu.edu or EDUCAUSE at ecarsurvey@educause.edu.

The WVU Institutional Research Board has approved this research project as an exempt study.

26 Feb

West Virginia University students are being targeted in a telephone scam that uses a legitimate phone number that has been inappropriately commandeered by someone seeking access to personal information. The number displays as Charleston Police Department on caller IDs, but it is NOT police who are calling. If you receive such a call DO NOT provide Social Security Numbers, birthdates or any other personal information.

Students who have been contacted have falsely been told that warrants have been issued for their arrests and that scholarship funds are in jeopardy if personal information is not immediately provided, and/or that their information has been compromised. However, WVU has not asked Charleston police to contact any students about matters involving academics, financial aid or disclosure of personal information.

Students who receive such a call or see a missed call from Charleston Police Department on their phones are urged to file a report with University Police by telephone only, calling 304-293-COPS (304.293.2267). Please do not email.

Charleston police ask that students NOT call the number displayed, as the department is also a victim in this scam. The number is the main line to a records department, and police have received a number of calls from concerned students since December, including about 15 on Thursday morning (Feb. 26).

Information Technology Services urges students to be suspicious about all unsolicited electronic communications seeking personal information, including such things as birthdates, SSNs, and usernames and passwords. Personally identifiable information can be used to steal your identity and commit fraud. For tips on protecting yourself, spotting scams and setting up fraud alerts, please visit DefendYourData.wvu.edu.

Additional tips from University Police Department:

If you are contacted by someone who claims there is a warrant for your arrest or is claiming to collect a debt that you do not owe, you should:

• Ask the caller for name, company, street address and telephone number.
• Tell the caller that you refuse to discuss any debt until you get a written “validation notice.” The notice must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor you owe and your rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
• Contact local law enforcement agencies if you feel you are in immediate danger.
• If you have already given out information about your bank accounts or credit cards, contact your bank(s) and credit companies.
• Contact the three major credit bureaus and request an alert be put on your file.
• If you have received a legitimate loan and want to verify that you do not have any outstanding obligation, contact the loan company directly.
• File a complaint at http://www.IC3.gov.

For the latest on outages, tools and other technology issues, follow @wvuoit on Twitter, “like” WVU Information Technology on Facebook or visit it.wvu.edu.

24 Feb

The eCampus system will be unavailable from 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 13 until 5 p.m. Thursday, May 14 for scheduled maintenance. If the work is completed faster than anticipated, the system could be released to users before 5 p.m.

This maintenance will fix some bugs, set the Content Editor spell-check option to ON by default for instructors, and enhance some features in the Calendar tool. Users will have more choice in how their calendars are formatted and when making date selections. They also will be able to alter the first day of the week that starts the calendar view in both month and week views.

Information Technology Services has scheduled two sessions on Friday, May 15 for faculty members who want help. The open lab help session is for those who have already built the course(s) they teach but need some additional help. The one-hour training sessions are for eCampus newcomers, and walk-ins are welcome. Registration is not required.

Here are the details on both:

Open Lab Help Session

Engineering Sciences Building, G-11

(Capacity: 48 seats)

  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 15

Introduction/Basics of eCampus (Training)

Engineering Sciences, G-3

(Capacity: 42 seats)

  • 9:30-10:30 a.m.
  • 11 a.m.-noon
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m.
  • 3-4 p.m.

Faculty should also note that summer course shells will be available in eCampus starting April 13. Students will not be able to access summer courses until the start date, as set in STAR.

For the latest on tools, outages and more, follow @wvuoit on Twitter, “like” WVU Information Technology on Facebook or visit http://it.wvu.edu/.

16 Feb

A randomly selected group of 2,500 University faculty members will soon receive an email invitation from Chief Information Officer John Campbell to participate in a national survey about experiences with technology. Participation in this 15-minute, web-based survey is strongly encouraged and could help Information Technology Services provide better services and experiences.

The survey link will be sent within a week from CIO@mail.wvu.edu and will remain live until midnight March 20. The WVU Institutional Research Board has approved this research project as an exempt study.

This national EDUCAUSE survey also will help ITS measure its progress with other institutions. EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association that helps those who lead, manage and use information technology to shape strategic decisions at every level within higher education.

Results from past surveys have provided guidance on wireless coverage for classrooms as ITS upgrades campus buildings. This survey will be an opportunity to weigh in on such issues as mobility, networking and other topics.

Participation is voluntary, and the invitation will include an opt-out link. All responses will be anonymous and confidential.