Tuesday, 30 July 2013

New MUSE to be launched Monday 5 August just after 8am

After lots of testing and tweaking we are delighted to report that new MUSE will go live just after 8am on Monday 5th August. 

You will log in by clicking the Log into MUSE link at the top of University web pages and then entering your username and password. You can then start applications from a My services menu which follows you as you navigate around the University website. 

It is faster, slicker, and more intuitive than its predecessor and we're sure you'll like the new MUSE. Full information is on our website below:

Using new MUSE

We have produced a training video



as well as a promotional video


Coming soon... Timeline of CiCS Changes and Service Launches

Date Service Work
Now Choose UCard PIN For years we all had two UCard PINs, one for library loans and one for door access. Not only have these now been rationalised into a single PIN, but you can even choose your own PIN if you don't like your current one. For details see:
Your UCard PIN
5 August MUSE launch New MUSE will be launched just after 8am on Monday 5th August.
Using new MUSE
September MOLE training Training sessions will be organised to showcase the new features in MOLE to learning technologists arou8nd the University.
September uPlayer embedding A button will be added to MOLE to allow easy embedding of uPlayer media
October myPrint for Staff myPrint allows students to arrange online printing of books, theses, stationery, posters and leaflets. It can be accessed seven days a week, and features a shopping cart which allows you to track your order online and can retain your history of orders for convenient future reordering.

A staff service is planned to be launched in October

More about myPrint

Monday, 29 July 2013

Embedding uPlayer media directly from MOLE

We have a new tool to simplify the process of embedding uPlayer videos into MOLE courses.
This new tool allows a MOLE course instructor to search the uPlayer library from within the MOLE environment, and embed a publicly visible media clip into a MOLE course by clicking a button.

The search of the uPlayer library is configured so that media from particular uPlayer categories is visible to, or hidden from, specific MOLE courses.

Visibility of uPlayer Media

To make sharing and embedding easier, we propose to make the material in the main uPlayer categories visible to all MOLE course instructors across all Faculties and Departments.  The main uPlayer categories are named after Faculties and shared by Departments within each Faculty.

If an owner of media in these shared categories wishes to opt out of sharing, we will move their media to a ‘restricted’ category.

Restricted categories 

There are a number of restricted categories that contain material which is either confidential, or licensed for use on campus only. These categories will have specific links to particular courses only, and will not be visible to other courses.

Counting Plays

We now have the facility to monitor the number of plays for an item of uPlayer media.

 In the three months from 01/04/2013 to 30/06/2013 the most popular item in the library was a recording of a Chemistry lecture, which was played 8933 times.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Wireless upgrade


Next week we will be upgrading the infrastructure which runs the wireless networks Eduroam and Guest. Over recent years the wireless network has been expanding rapidly and the new infrastructure will support the continued growth.

The work will be done in two stages. On Tuesday July 30th between 6:30am and 7:30am we will be doing the student villages and halls of residence. The rest of the university campus will be done on Thursday August 1st between 6:30am and 7:30am. During the upgrade windows, wireless connectivity will be unavailable for approx. 10 minutes whilst the work is carried out. This means that wireless be back up and running nicely before most of you arrive. 

Thursday, 25 July 2013

MOLE is back a day early!

We are pleased to report that following its major upgrade, our virtual learning environment has been restored back into operational service.

To celebrate this success we are renaming MOLE 2 back to MOLE to recognise the fact that it's predecessor has now been fully replaced.

We were committed to restoring MOLE to service by 5pm Friday 26 July, but in the end it was completed by 4pm Thursday 25 July.

Thank you for your patience during this upgrade. There is no ideal time during the academic year for the yearly upgrade to take place but we do need to keep updating it to provide the most innovative and comprehensive virtual learning experience for Sheffield students.

We will be giving a series of presentations about the new MOLE features and possibilities to University learning technologists in September. If you have any questions about MOLE in te meantime please email mole@sheffield.ac.uk

Univeristy Internet Connection Maintenance



On Monday 29th our internet service provider, YHMAN, are upgrading their connections into the wider JANET UK national network. Disruption to the University internet connection should be minimal, hopefully zero if the work goes as planned. 

The work will be performed between 07:00 and 09:00 and Internet connectivity to/from campus should be considered "at risk" for the whole of this maintenance period. This includes both access to the internet from within the University and access to university systems over the internet from home.

The work is outside of the University of Sheffield network and is being carried out by YHMAN and JANET UK. This means that we are not directly involved in the work. We will however, keep you up to date with the maintenance as it progresses.


Thursday, 18 July 2013

MOLE 2 Upgrade Schedule 19-26 July 2013

At 5pm on Friday 19th July MOLE 2 will be made unavailable in order to perform a major upgrade. We expect to return upgraded MOLE 2 back into service by 5pm on Friday 26th July.

As this is a prolonged service outage we will keep staff informed of progress as we journey through a sequence of predetermined milestones. These milestones are listed below but timescales cannot be predicted as a complex database upgrade like this will involve a lot of unknowns.

  1. MOLE 2 will be made unavailable to staff and students (5pm Fri 19th July)
  2. The underlying Oracle database will be upgraded from version 10 - 11
  3. A service pack will be applied to upgrade Blackboard from version 8 - 11
  4. A second service pack will be applied to upgrade Blackboard from version 11 - 12
  5. A series of settings will be tweaked to maintain the Sheffield-specific user experience
  6. Sheffield branding will be applied
  7. A methodical testing programme will verify all key features are working as expected
  8. MOLE 2 will be returned to service

To track our progress through these milestones follow the @cics twitter or search for #mole2upgrade

Friday, 12 July 2013

New MUSE launch delayed

Sadly, testing the new MUSE has revealed some problems and we need to make changes and perform more tests before we are absolutely confident that it is ready to be released to the University population. It's a great new development and we want to do what we can to make sure it works fully from day one.

We will continue to work to resolve the problem and will let you know a new launch date as soon as we can. We will need to ensure the service is running and fully tested, that all developers and support staff are available for the launch and that the launch takes place at a suitable time within the University calendar.

Apologies to all who were looking forward to trying the new MUSE. 

However, below we have provided a new video walkthrough that will give you a sense on how new MUSE will work and will hopefully reassure you it will be worth the wait.