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ITSpotlight is designed to keep the campus up to date on ITS activities and services.

2013


Register for the 2013 Focus on Teaching and Technology Conference

Registration is open for the 2013 Focus on Teaching and Technology Conference (FTTC) to be held Thursday and Friday, October 24th and 25th, on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus. For program details about the two-day conference, access the 2013 Focus on Teaching and Technology Conference site at: http://www.umsl.edu/services/ctl/fttc/.

SIUE is a Gold-Level sponsor of the FTTC this year, meaning that there is no charge for SIUE participants to attend the concurrent sessions or workshops at the conference (each day also includes lunch). Before registering for the conference, you will need to create an account in UMSL's event registration system. Contact the IDLT Center to obtain the registration instructions.

Any questions about this conference or the registration process can be directed to the ITS Instructional Design & Learning Technologies Center at idlt_center@siue.edu. The IDLT Center will provide registration instructions and the coupon code that you will need during registration.



On-Campus Wireless Tips for the SIUE Community

SIUE-WPA vs. SIUE-WIFI

SIUE-WPA and SIUE-WIFI are the two wireless networks available to SIUE faculty, staff, and students. SIUE-WPA is the preferred wireless network because it is encrypted, making your personal information more secure. It also does not require you to log in to the web portal each time you connect.

SIUE-WIFI is an unencrypted wireless network. Because wireless communication across this network is not encrypted, SIUE-WIFI does not provide protection of personal information or allow access to select SIUE resources.

  • Use SIUE-WPA unless your device does NOT support WPA2-Enterprise encryption/authentication
  • Use the SIUE-WPA setup instructions and configuration tools found on the ITS website: http://www.siue.edu/its/wireless. The configuration tool installs the certificate and ensures that setup is correct.
  • Make sure to delete SIUE-WIFI from your wireless network list on your phone, computer, and tablet. If you skip this step your computer may continue to use SIUE-WIFI.


Wireless spectrum is a shared resource

The WiFi system used at SIUE monitors for interference and adapts to current conditions. However, microwaves, game consoles, Bluetooth headsets, and non-SIUE WiFi routers create a large amount of interference that can and will degrade the network. The tips below can help your Internet connection remain fast and safe:

  • When you can, plug in using Ethernet. Wired Ethernet is the most reliable and fastest way to connect to the Internet. WiFi should be used for mobility and portable devices.
  • Don't install your own WiFi router or access point. This slows the network down. Also, don't connect to any WiFi network that you don't recognize because they may be unsafe.
  • Turn off wireless on your printer to free up the network for web surfing. Use a USB cable to connect to your personal printer, set up a networked printer, or use Web Printing.
  • If you are shopping for a new mobile computer or tablet, look for models that support dual-band WiFi. Specifications to look for include 5GHz, 802.11a, and 802.11ac.


Campus WiFi Upgrades

ITS upgraded WiFi access points in all four residence halls from 2.4GHz 802.11g to dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n prior to Fall 2013. Dual-band WiFi has been installed in newly constructed or renovated spaces. Upgraded buildings include Art and Design, the Lukas addition to the VC, the new science building, and the MUC and Lovejoy Library. Users should experience improved wireless connectivity in these locations. Coverage and upgrades in Cougar Village and other campus buildings will be ongoing throughout the year.

Campus Wireless Support

If you have trouble getting online with a specific device (laptop, phone, or tablet) regardless of where you try to connect, take it to the ITS Help Desk (Lovejoy Library room 0005) for assistance.

If you experience problems getting online at a specific location (ie. your laptop works fine in the MUC or lobby but cannot connect in your room), call the ITS Help Desk (618-650-5500) and report the area with a poor wireless signal. Provide specific locations where wireless does and does not work, along with the best way to contact you, and technicians will work to fix the problem.

Reported coverage locations will be reviewed by network engineers. In some cases, a technician will contact you to discuss the issue in detail and schedule an on-site meeting if needed. Please note: WiFi Printers, game consoles, and media players (Roku, AppleTV, etc.) are not currently compatible with the SIUE wireless network.

For more information, contact ITS at help@siue.edu.



Using Off-Campus WiFi with SIUE Blackboard and Email

Although Blackboard will work on both wired (Ethernet) and wireless (WiFi) connections, it is strongly recommended that students use a secured wired connection when taking tests or submitting assignments. Using Blackboard over a wireless connection can result in a dropped signal, which may kick students out of a test or assignment submission causing them to lose any unsaved data. If students must use a wireless connection, make sure that it is trusted and reliable, such as the SIUE-WPA network.

Note: Free WiFi hotspots from locations such as Starbucks, McDonalds or Panera are typically unsecured and are not an appropriate place to take exams or submit assignments. Students may be unable to submit tests or assignments using an unsecured WiFi hotspot due to dropped connections.

For more information, contact ITS at help@siue.edu.



Blackboard Known Issues - Fall 2013

ITS keeps track of Blackboard operating issues reported by users and works with Blackboard and system administrators to fix those problems as quickly as possible. Below is a list of recently reported issues relevant to Blackboard users, which are linked to temporary solutions/workarounds:

  1. Student submissions to Discussion Boards, Blogs and Journals do not appear in "Needs Grading" when their post is saved initially as a draft and later submitted. http://www.siue.edu/its/bb/known_issues.shtml#needs_grading 
  2. Searching for Videos in YouTube Mashup incorrectly provides 0 results when the default search option "All of the Words" is selected. http://www.siue.edu/its/bb/known_issues.shtml#youtube
  3. Students see a single course listed multiple times within the "Updates" global navigation. http://www.siue.edu/its/bb/known_issues.shtml#updates_notification

For more information about Blackboard known issues and workarounds, as well as a list of resolved issues, visit the Known Issues page or contact ITS at ftc_help@siue.edu.



Change in Respondus LockDown Browser Settings

Faculty and instructors who require the use of LockDown Browser (LDB) on a test should be aware of a change in the latest version of Respondus for this fall. The Respondus software no longer includes a check box on the Settings > Availability tab to require LockDown Browser. Now all LockDown Browser settings are applied through the LockDown Browser building block located within Blackboard.

After the test has been uploaded from Respondus and deployed within the Blackboard course, follow these new steps:

  1. Within Blackboard click on: Control Panel > Course Tools > Respondus LockDown Browser.
  2. Once the Respondus LockDown Browser Dashboard screen opens, click on the icon in front of the test and select Modify Settings from the drop down options.
  3. When the LockDown Browser Settings appear, click on the radio button in front of Require Respondus LockDown Browser for this exam.
  4. Finally, click on Save and Close.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact ITS at ftc_help@siue.edu.



Tips from the Help Desk - Expired Passwords

You don’t necessarily need to make a trip to the Help Desk if your password expires. If you know your last working password, go to the e-ID Creation and Maintenance page and click “I know what my password is and I want to change it.” Follow the instructions on the page and get a new password within minutes. But if you run into any trouble, the Help Desk staff would be happy to help. Call 618-650-5500 or email help@siue.edu with your questions or concerns.


End-of-Semester Blackboard Activities

To safeguard your data in Blackboard, ITS suggests the following end-of-semester activities:

Visit the End-of-Semester Activities page for more information, or contact ITS at ftc_help@siue.edu.


Start-of-Semester Blackboard Activities

If you plan on teaching with Blackboard during the fall semester, now is the time to request a course shell. Complete the request online by choosing the appropriate option under "Blackboard Faculty Forms" at http://www.siue.edu/its/bb/.

  • Please allow 3 to 5 business days for us to process requests for new course shells.

  • Remember that all newly created courses are set to be "unavailable" at the time of their creation and cannot be seen by your students. When you deem your course is ready for your students to see, you must make it available.

If you are teaching your summer class again this fall, you can copy or import past course material directly into your new course shell. See the export/import guide for instructions: http://www.siue.edu/its/bb/fac_staff/pdf/Export_Import_course.pdf.

Visit the Start-of-Semester Activities page for more information, or contact ITS at ftc_help@siue.edu.


Respondus Updates

Faculty using Respondus products (Respondus, StudyMate Author, and LockDown Browser) are reminded that SIUE licenses those products annually. The latest license keys for Respondus and StudyMate Author are available through the SIUE portal ( http://my.siue.edu). Once logged into the portal, click on "myLinks" and then the blue box with white "R" to access the various Respondus product pages with the licensing information.

From there, you will be able to locate the new "Installation Password" which can then be copied and pasted into Respondus by opening Respondus or StudyMate Author and clicking on File > Update License. All users will eventually be prompted to enter the new license information as it is required to be renewed each fall.


Computer Classroom and Lab Upgrades

Nearly 500 computers were replaced over the summer in campus classrooms and labs, providing students with continued access to up-to-date, high-quality computers this fall. Software was also reinstalled on all of the computers. If you need additional software installed, please contact us at 618-650-5500 or at help@siue.edu.


SMART Classroom Upgrades in Art & Design and Science West

ITS has been busy getting the new Science West building ready for fall classes by adding projectors to nineteen labs as well as configuring a new computer classroom with standard SMART classroom equipment.

In Art & Design East, ITS is adding more SMART classroom equipment during the final phase of the building upgrade. The new equipment is exciting, but it may take some getting used to. ITS offers tutorials at http://www.siue.edu/smart. We also offer one-on-one training, which can be done anytime, even just a few minutes before your class begins.

To schedule a training session, please call us at 650-5500 or e-mail us at help@siue.edu


WiFi Improvements in Residence Halls

ITS is enhancing WiFi coverage in Woodland, Prairie, and Evergreen Halls before move-in this fall. Bluff Hall was enhanced last year.

For more information, contact ITS at help@siue.edu.


Previous Blackboard Systems to Cease Operation

  • Blackboard 8 is a legacy system that will be no longer be accessible effective July 1, 2013. By that deadline, faculty should have migrated all relevant materials from Blackboard 8 to Blackboard 9.1. Faculty with courses on Blackboard 8 that have not been taught during the 2012-13 academic year should pay particular attention to this deadline since their old courses and course content will be inaccessible as of July 1st. Directions for migrating course materials can be found at: http://www.siue.edu/its/bb/pdf/move_bb8_content_to_bb9.pdf
  • ITS will retire the Blackboard Pilot server on July 1, 2013. This server was used to pilot a handful of 2012 courses using Blackboard 9.1. It was also used as a "sandbox" for testing and training on the new system. ITS will not be backing up any content on the pilot server. Faculty are advised to download any relevant content from that server immediately .

For more information, contact ITS at ftc_help@siue.edu


Requesting Summer Blackboard Courses

Faculty planning to use Blackboard for summer courses are encouraged to request course shells as soon as possible to avoid delays. Please allow 3 to 5 business days for us to process your request. Be sure to check the ITS suggested " Start of Semester Activities" web page to get a smooth start on your summer course.

For more information, contact ITS at ftc_help@siue.edu


End-of-Semester Blackboard Activities

ITS suggests the following end-of-semester Blackboard activities:

Visit the " End-of-Semester Activities" web page for more information, or contact ITS at ftc_help@siue.edu.


ITS Employee Receives Academic Award

ITS employee Laura McCann received the Susan York Award last month for her outstanding work in the University's Geography Department. Each spring semester candidates are nominated by faculty and voted on by a committee. The student's GPA, classroom performance, and other academic contributions are considered in the process. Please join us in congratulating Laura on this accomplishment!


Protecting Your SIUE Account from Phishing Scams

The 90/10 rule of computer security states that 10% of security safeguards should be technical and 90% user related. As technical security has improved, our knowledge and habits as users are often left as the easiest route for illicit access to a network.

One common method of trying to gain access to a network is known as phishing. Merriam-Webster defines phishing as a scam by which an e-mail user is duped into revealing personal or confidential information, such as usernames and passwords, which the scammer can use illicitly. These types of attacks are on the rise and most users will encounter them fairly frequently. The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) documents between 25,000 and 30,000 unique phishing e-mail campaigns each month. Each campaign can consist of millions of individual emails sent in an attempt to gain access to a user's account.

There was a time that phishing attempts were easy to spot. A mixture of bad grammar and sloppy formatting combined to create an almost comical scam. Phishing attempts have evolved over the years to the point that they look as official as many legitimate emails. Logos, terminology, and employee names obtained from official University websites are used to create emails that, at first glance, look legitimate.

In the next few issues of the ITSpotlight, we will be highlighting some common strategies for avoiding these scams. In the meantime, please remember that ITS will never ask you for your password and you should never enter your SIUE username and password on an external website. For more information, contact ITS at help@siue.edu.


Cascade Server to Replace Luminis as University's CMS

The rollout of Hannon Hill's Cascade Server has been postponed until the end of spring semester. Cascade Server will replace Luminis as the University's content management system; current web pages on the SIUE server will transfer to the new system automatically. ITS will notify users via email when training times and dates have been finalized.

For additional information about the new CMS, contact Curt Price at cprice@siue.edu.


Previous Blackboard Systems to Cease Operation

  • Blackboard 8 is a legacy system that will be no longer be accessible effective July 1, 2013. By that deadline, faculty should have migrated all relevant materials from Blackboard 8 to Blackboard 9.1. Faculty with courses on Blackboard 8 that have not been taught during the 2012-13 academic year should pay particular attention to this deadline since their old courses and course content will be inaccessible as of July 1st. Directions for migrating course materials can be found at: http://www.siue.edu/its/bb/pdf/move_bb8_content_to_bb9.pdf
  • ITS will retire the Blackboard Pilot server on July 1, 2013. This server was used to pilot a handful of 2012 courses using Blackboard 9.1. It was also used as a "sandbox" for testing and training on the new system. ITS will not be backing up any content on the bbpilot server. Faculty are advised to download any relevant content on that server immediately .

For more information, contact ITS at ftc_help@siue.edu


Blackboard Maintenance & Outages Schedule

The 3rd Friday of every month beginning at 5:00 PM (until completion of the process), Blackboard may be unavailable as system-wide upgrades, including patches and fixes, need to be applied. Please be sure to save or submit any work before this time. Any unsaved or unsubmitted work will immediately be lost when the system shuts down.

Although this outage is scheduled each month, ITS will only perform this action when upgrades are available from Blackboard. The University community will be notified of the outage at least 7 days in advance.

As a reminder, regular Blackboard maintenance outages occur each morning from 2:30 - 2:45 AM Monday - Saturday, and from 3:00-4:30 AM on Sundays.

For more information, visit http://www.siue.edu/its/bb/maintenance.shtml or contact ITS at ftc_help@siue.edu


Cascade Server to Replace Luminis as University's CMS

Hannon Hill's Cascade Server will replace Luminis as the University's content management system in March 2013. ITS will notify users via email when training times and dates have been finalized later this month.

For additional information about the new CMS, contact Curt Price at cprice@siue.edu.


Blackboard Reminders

Letting your e-ID password expire affects your ability to use Blackboard. When a user's e-ID password expires, his or her email address falls out of Blackboard for up to 24 hours, or longer if it occurs over a weekend. The user will not receive emails sent from within Blackboard and will be unable to submit or access any Turnitin Assignments, which are based upon the user's SIUE email address. ITS is working on a solution to this problem, but in the meantime, be sure to change your password before it expires to maintain full access to all Blackboard tools.

For more information, contact ITS at ftc_help@siue.edu


Respondus & StudyMate Patches

Users of Respondus and/or StudyMate Author who have not used those products since the upgrade to Blackboard 9.1, Service Pack 10 in December of 2012, must download and install a patch in order for those products to work properly.

Both patches are available for download on the following web page: http://www.respondus.com/support/patches.shtml.

Be sure to use the "Campus-wide Version" download links. Note that the "Check for Updates" link within Respondus and StudyMate Author only check for major updates, not patches. Patches must always be applied manually.


Respondus LockDown Browser Updates

Respondus LockDown Browser has also been updated. Users who have downloaded LockDown Browser to their personal computers will be prompted to update their product if it is not current. Users should complete that update prior to logging into Blackboard to open their test.

For more information, contact ITS at ftc_help@siue.edu


Clearing Your Java Cache

Certain applications, including Blackboard, may display outdated or archived information if a user's Java cache contains old website data. Users may be unable to access current pages, such as active login screens.

Clearing the Java cache will fix this problem. Java's website offers a quick guide for clearing caches on Windows and Mac platforms.

For more information, contact ITS at ftc_help@siue.edu