Friday, 30 September 2011

New Improved Email Web Pages

All students and staff at the University are provided with an email service based on Google Mail. You can access this either using the web interface via MUSE or by setting up the email software on your computer or mobile device.

To support this service we've just revamped the web pages at www.shef.ac.uk/cics/email

Thursday, 29 September 2011

University Mobile App Now Available for Android

The University has provided a free mobile app to students for a couple of years now. Called CampusM, it delivered personalised information to students including timetables and reading lists, features campus maps and a friend locator.

The app was initially develop for Apple iOS devices including the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. A version was later developed for BlackBerry devices and a generic web 'lite' version was developed for all other devices.

Now a version of the full app has been developed for Android smartphones and mobile devices. Check out the video below for more details.



For instructions on downloading CampusM use your mobile device to visit the following web site:

www.shef.ac.uk/cics/campusm

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Changes in the Information Commons

We've been working hard this summer to make improvements to the Information Commons.

  • On the ground floor we have created a self-service area for reservations. You can now pick up your reservations 24 hours a day without having to queue at the counter.
  • Library and CiCS staff are still available to support you at the Information Desk on Level 1, which is now a one stop shop for all your queries.
  • Due to popular demand for silent study space, we've now designated level 6 as an additional silent study area.
  • The prayer room has been moved from Level 2 to Level 4.
  • All the computers in the IC have been replaced with new machines.
  • There are new developments coming soon, such as interactive floor plans, and an exhibition area.

For more information see the Information Commons news pages:

Information Commons News

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Students Can Now Reserve PCs, Laptops and Rooms

CiCS has introduced a new booking system to let students book rooms and resources. Log into MUSE and below your email inbox you should see a myQuickLinks section. Within myQuickLinks you should see an option for MyPC and an option for myRooms&Resources.

Using myRooms&Resources you can book the following:
  • Group Study Rooms in the Information Commons and Western Bank Library (which were previously available in the MyPC system).
  • Information Commons resources such as the Creative Media Suite, multimedia equipment and laptops.
  • Places on the free minibus service to the British Library Document Supply Centre at Boston Spa.
Using MyPC you can be book from over 200 PCs located throughout the Information Commons
For more information see:

Booking Resources

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

CiCS Welcomes New Students to the University

It's Tuesday so by now all you new students should hopefully have connected your computers and mobile devices to either the wired or wireless network in residences. You've probably got your UCard and may even have made it into the Information Commons, which may well be like your second home for the next three years. These services and more are provided at least in part by a diverse department called CiCS, Corporate Information and Computing Services.

We provide a range of services that support Learning, Teaching and Research. many of our services are IT based, such as the connections to the Internet, we provide learning spaces around campus, printing services and much more.

You should have received our Getting Started with IT Services booklet, have a flick through - it's well worth a read.

There are details about all our services for students on our website, check out the link below.

CiCS Services for Students

Finally watch out for email scams pretending to be from the student loans company, or a bank or us trying to trick you into revealing your personal details.

Don't reply to emails asking for passwords or bank details. Don't log in to websites that you do nor recognise and trust. Stay smart and you should ahve a great time online and at University.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Students can now reserve PCs, Laptops and Rooms

CiCS has introduced a new booking system that lets students book rooms and resources. Available in MUSE, in the myQuickLinks section on your MUSE Homepage, there are two links that let you book resources:

myRooms&Resources

Lets you book:

  • Group Study Rooms in the Information Commons and Western Bank Library (which were previously available in the MyPC system).
  • Information Commons resources such as the Creative Media Suite, multimedia equipment and laptops.
  • Places on the free minibus service to the British Library Document Supply Centre at Boston Spa.
myPC
  • Lets you book from a choice of over 200 PCs in the IC.
For more information see:

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Email Fraud from Student Loans Company

Around this time each year many students are greeted by a legitimate-looking email appearing to be from the Student Loans Company. In fact it's a scam set up by criminals attempting to trick students into revealing their bank details.

The Genuine Student Loans Company offers the following advice:

STUDENTS: BE WEB-SAFE THIS AUTUMN

It's a sad fact of online life that students will receive many online fraud (phishing) messages trying to get access to their financial information or University computing accounts. CiCS is successful in blocking over 90% of nuisance messages but the criminals find more inventive ways of bypassing systems,

CiCS will be emailing online security advice to students very soon and we are also using social media to spread the message as widely ass possible.

Monday, 12 September 2011

All Students Have Access to MOLE 2

The University now has two virtual learning environments: MOLE and MOLE 2. Around half of departments have their online courses in MOLE and half have moved to the brand new, shiny MOLE 2. Due to the modular nature of courses, students may well have some online courses in MOLE and others in MOLE 2.
  • All students will see icons for MOLE and MOLE 2 in MUSE.
  • Staff who have courses in MOLE 2 will see both icons
  • Staff who only have courses in MOLE will see the MOLE icon only
MOLE has been available for several years and as a concept is popular amongst students and staff. Content can range from simple lecture notes and PowerPoint slides to discussion forums, YouTube videos, quizzes, assessments, groups and links to supporting web pages and files to help enrich the student learning experience. However, it has often been criticised for being clunky and difficult to use.

MOLE 2 has a modern interface and better features to improve the experience for staff and students.
For the current roll out of MOLE 2 we are simply taking the teaching materials which were available in MOLE and reproducing them , as far as possible, like for like, in MOLE 2. This will allow students to experience a seamless transition from one version to the other.

To see what MOLE 2 looks like see the screencast here:

MOLE 2 Screencast

As more Faculties move to MOLE 2 we will be exploring and developing the real benefits that it can offer. MOLE 2 allows staff to develop imaginative learning pathways which students can move through.  Staff can integrate content from the web creating mash-ups with video and other media.

Web pages about MOLE 2 are being developed at the address below:

www.shef.ac.uk/cics/mole2

Friday, 9 September 2011

Teaching Space Upgrade

As part of the preparations for 2012 the University is making a big investment in upgrading all pool teaching space. This includes improvements to heating, lighting, soundproofing, decoration and state of the art IT and AV kit.

The work is being co-ordinated by the Learning Infrastructure Space Management (LISM) group which is chaired by Paul White and includes colleagues from the Faculties, CiCS, Estates and other Professional Services. The work this summer has focussed on the Hicks Building and Bartolome House. This is in addition to the work that is being done in the Arts Tower to completely refurbish the lecture theatres.

In addition to the pool teaching space work, CiCS are refurbishing the open access computer rooms on G floor in the Hicks building, creating 3 computer rooms and a flexible teaching room which will provide much improved teaching and study space.

Around 800 PCs around campus are being upgraded which includes all of the PCs in the Information Commons.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

All Lectures Start on the Hour

From the 2011-12 academic year, all classes will start on the hour and finish at ten minutes to the hour e.g. 9:00-9:50. There may be some old timetables still around suggesting that some classes start at ten minutes past the hour. These timetables are innaccurate and should be disposed of; all classes start on the hour.

In previous years classes have started on the hour at 9:00 and 10:00, but then later classes started at ten past with 10 minutes allowed for change over between classes. This has been confusing particularly for students.

Hopefully, the new, consistent start times throughout the day and the 10 minutes change over between classes will make things much simpler for staff and students.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Windows 7 Managed Desktop Pilot

A new Managed Desktop built on Windows 7 is being piloted for students. It will be available in the Information Commons from mid October 2011 on a limited number of loan laptops and PCs. Initially it will offer a limited range of applications, but more software will be added throughout the year. The pilot will be expanded with a full rollout to all teaching and learning spaces in summer 2012. A pilot service for staff will also be starting in October 2011.

The current XP desktop has been upgraded with a few changes and is being rolled out this summer in all pool spaces.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Logging out of Shared Computers

There have been reports from people who share computers, such as counter staff or members of student societies, that the second person to use the computer accidentally sees the first person's email messages even though the first person had logged out. This can be prevented by adopting a secure logout routine.

The most effective and recommended way is for each person to log out of the computer when they have finished their stint and for the next person to log in with their own credentials.

However, for some roles at busy times this may not be realistic. A compromise is for the computer to be logged in using a generic departmental or society account and for each person to open the browser at the start of their shift and close it at the end.

Ideally each person should log into MUSE using their own credentials to acess their Google apps. As people change shifts they need to log out from any Google applications, log out from MUSE then close the browser. The next person can then just open the browser, log into MUSE and continue.

Full details are available from the link below:

Secure log out on shared computers

Friday, 2 September 2011

A New MOLE Service is Coming

The University is upgrading its Virtual Learning Environment, MOLE, to the latest version of Blackboard Learn 9 which will be called MOLE2. Some departments will be moving to the new version of Mole for the start of this academic year, with the rest moving for the start of academic year 2012.

The new system will be a significant improvement and provide new functionality with a much more user friendly interface.Training and support will be available throughout the process. Departments and faculties have been consulted regarding transition dates, together with discussions around what the transition will involve.

Support details will remain the same for both services, mole@sheffield.ac.uk - click on the link below to find out more.

Moving to MOLE 2