IT News

20 May

WVU students and employees will notice some differences in the look and feel of the MyID service sometime this summer as Information Technology Services changes the underlying software to improve security.

Users will NOT have to claim new accounts or reset passwords until they receive their typical expiration notices. When it is time to choose a new password, users will no longer have to answer a series of questions aimed at determining whether they are human or machine. Instead, users will simply check the box confirming “I’m not a robot.”

This change will affect MyID users on all WVU campuses, including Potomac State, WVU Tech and the Health Sciences Center. The WVU Hospitals system will not be immediately affected.


New users of the MyID system will be assigned a new username format incorporating a unique numerical identifier. Typically, usernames will be the initials of the user’s first, middle and last name, with a four-digit suffix. John Paul Smith, for example, could become JPS1001, and Samantha Braden could be SB0020.

Email addresses will also be changing for new users only. In most cases, the email address will be the user’s preferred first name and last name, such as However, sequential numbers will be added for people who share the same name, so users with common names could have addresses such as or

Existing users will continue to use currently assigned email addresses. In the future, existing users will get the option to switch to the first.last@domain naming convention. Users who subscribe to external listservs should consider that an optional address change could affect the ability to post messages to that listserv until the administrator is notified.

Students will continue to have addresses.

19 May

WVU wireless services, including WVU.Encrypted, WVU.Guest and eduroam, will be unavailable from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, May 24 for important maintenance.

Information Technology Services is upgrading the authentication system that controls the University’s wireless networks. ITS also will be installing a new security certificate on the servers during this period. Wireless users who try to connect after this work is complete will be required to accept the new certificate.

For most users, a simple prompt will ask you to “connect” to confirm the new certificate. Please click “connect,” not “terminate.”

Some users will have to go into their WVU.Encrypted profile and scroll to find GeoTrust Global CA Root Certificate Authority. Check the box next to that name to accept the certificate. For configuration details, please visit

For the latest on outages, tools and more, follow @WVUITServices on Twitter, “like” WVU Information Technology on Facebook or visit

19 May

Students will be able to use MATLAB and Simulink software free of charge starting in the fall 2015 semester.

MATLAB is a high-level language and interactive environment used by millions of engineers and scientists worldwide. It lets students explore and visualize ideas and collaborate across disciplines including signal and image processing, communications, control systems, and computational finance. This software is required for a number of courses and costs students $99 per license.

ITS has been working on simplifying the current software licensing model used at WVU, and with support from Statler College, we are now able to provide MATLAB to students for the fall semester. Please share this change with faculty members teaching courses that require MATLAB and ask students to access MATLAB through

18 May

The Teaching and Assessment Committee (TAC) and ITS recently invited faculty to observe demonstrations and ask questions about two products that are being considered as replacement for WVU’s student evaluation of instruction (SEI) tool. EvaluationKIT and Blue highlighted their intuitive structures and ability to customize surveys and generate a wide array of reports. That includes the ability to produce reports comparing specific student populations, such as seniors versus underclassmen, without identifying the respondents.

SEI was developed in-house at a time when few commercial packages were available. The lead developers who knew the system design and provided technical support no longer work at WVU, and a number of commercial products now offer more functionality and user-friendly interfaces.

After a final product is selected, a small group of faculty will pilot the new tool later this summer. The new evaluation tool is expected to be more widely available during the fall semester.

To view the demonstration of Evaluation Kit, please follow the directions below.

1. Click on the following hyperlink:×360.flv

2. Select “Open With Adobe Acrobat.”

3. Select “OK” on the following screen:

4. View the video from EvaluationKit.

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:

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:

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

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

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

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:

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

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 or call (304) 293-4444.