AppsAnywhere is now being extended to allow access to applications for non-Windows users.  Applications are being made available to Mac users, and the service will then be widened to support other devices such as Chromebooks.

Around 15 applications are currently open to Mac users, with work continuing to expand this list.

Mac users can see the available applications on the main page within AppsAnywhere.  (If a Windows user would like to see the applications available to Mac users, they should visit appsanywhere.reading.ac.uk, go to the “OS” tab and select OS X.)  Instructions for setting up and using AppsAnywhere on a Mac can be found in the DTS Knowledge Base here.

If you have questions please contact the IT Service Desk on dts@reading.ac.uk or using the IT Self Service Portal.

Each year, Digital Technology Services (DTS) carries out a short survey to make sure they are supporting colleagues with their digital requirements.

Hundreds of colleagues from all areas of the University completed the survey last year, and DTS used the feedback to help shape their work going forward.

In last year’s survey, many asked for a status page that was easy to view with detailed information, which led to the new IT Status Hub. The majority of respondents also asked for a more helpful website that was easier to navigate – this prompted pages like the new Microsoft bookings page. Many academic staff required urgent attention to teaching issues, which prompted DTS to put in place a priority phone line for teaching issues (pressing 1 when you call the Service Desk).

In this year’s short survey, DTS hope to get an idea the other things you would like to see from them, whilst gaining an idea of how they are performing in day-to-day support tasks.

With the move to working from home, this year’s survey is especially important. Many of us have adapted to new ways or working, which in a lot of cases requires a greater amount of digital technology and services. This is a great opportunity to have your voice heard when it comes to the new style of working and the ways DTS can support you in it.

The DTS IT Survey: 2020 is open to all colleagues and will run until the end of November. We look forward to your responses and sharing the findings in the future.

 

With the very different start to this academic year and the normal high volumes of the beginning of term, we are receiving a exceptional number of telephone calls and tickets to the IT Service Desk. With our University community working, researching, studying and teaching online, or on-campus with colleagues online, there has been a huge increase in requests for help and new solutions from all DTS teams.

This means that whilst we’re working hard to respond, and resolve these, we are not able to respond as quickly as we’d like and you may experience a delay with your call reaching the team, or your ticket being picked up.

We’re extremely grateful for your patience during this very busy period.

Recording rooms have been set up to provide teaching staff with the opportunity to book a room to record personal capture videos onsite, using specialist AV equipment, and without any of the interruptions you may have at home.

 

 

Each recording room has a PC to record the display on your desktop such as web pages, PowerPoint, MS Whiteboard, other software applications, along with audio recording. All recording rooms have a document camera installed, which can provide a live full HD feed for the capture of handwritten/drawn content, printed media and 3D objects. We are also rolling out whiteboard capture cameras to suitable rooms throughout the Autumn Term.

Available rooms are:

  • Recording room: Edith Morley 189 and 288; Archaeology 113 (book room 13 on CMISGo); and London Road L19 room G25
  • Recording room with interactive monitor and webcam: Edith Morley 188, 287and 257; Blandford Lodge Repton G1
  • Recording room as above with whiteboard capture camera: Edith Morley 176

 

How do I book a recording room?

Bookings should be made as normal through CMISGo or by emailing rooms@reading.ac.uk. Note that the maximum number of attendees has been set at 1. We are using rooms that are not suitable for teaching under COVID-19 restrictions.

You can book an AV expert to show you how to use the equipment, and you will have access to onsite support during your session (through the IT Service Desk).

For full information please visit the Recording Rooms page on the DTS website.

We have recently worked hard with other members of the University community to deliver the UoR REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) solution.

 

 

From the University’s Staff Portal:

“The University has launched a new service for the collection and management of data in participant-based research. UoR REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a secure web-based application for building and managing databases and surveys. It is freely available to colleagues, students, and external users involved in collaborative projects.

REDCap features include support for longitudinal data collection, an e-consent framework, a mobile app for offline data capture, and an API to connect to other applications. There are data validation, reporting and quality control functions, and data can be exported to common analysis formats. While REDCap is designed for participant-based research, it can support a variety of uses, such as managing operational workflows, maintaining participant recruitment databases, conducting animal studies and sample banking.

The software was developed by Vanderbilt University in the United States and is used by over 4,500 institutions worldwide. An initial request from academics in the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences led to RETF funding for a 2019 pilot project, sponsored by Professor Adrian Williams (Research Dean for Agriculture, Food and Health). The live service was launched this summer.

Professor Williams commented: ‘REDCap meets a longstanding need for a secure platform in which the University can manage its participant-related research activities and information. I am confident that it will be very well-used by our researchers and students. The project to pilot and then implement REDCap has been a successful collaboration between academics, DTS and other professional services, and I am grateful to everyone involved for their hard work in delivering the new service.’

Visit the UoR REDCap web page to find out more and request a user account.

Register for REDCap demo event

If you’d like to find out more, you can take part in an introductory demo at 14.00-15.00 on Wednesday 11 November. The session will take place online and will be led by Robert Darby, Research Data Manager and REDCap service manager. Please use this online form to book your place.”

The new academic term started this week and we would like to remind colleagues of the high volumes of queries and issues being received by the IT Service Desk, and our other DTS colleagues, due to a large number of the University community continuing to work remotely or online.

Welcome Week was a huge success, it was great to see staff back on campus and lots of new students engaging with DTS services. Due to these increases in interest in our services we are now seeing even higher volume of calls and emails.

In order to help with the volume of calls and emails, we would like to remind you that the quickest and easiest way to log a ticket is via our IT Self Service Portal. You can use the Portal to log tickets, check on the progress of your outstanding ones and to refer to our FAQs and helpful knowledgebase articles. Please do have a check here for a solution before contacting the team.

We recommend only using our telephone lines for urgent issues, there are a number of staff and students currently trying to reach DTS for support. Our telephone lines have a maximum wait time of 45 minutes, and so if your issue is not urgent, please consider leaving these free for those whose issue is. To assist students and staff in teaching and learning environments, we have a new option to Press 1 for urgent T&L issues. You will be connected with a member of DTS who will log your query and escalate this as urgent for you. We hope that this will reduce the disruption to students and staff in classroom environments, whether on campus or remotely. If you press 1 and your call is not related to teaching and learning, or urgent, you will be asked to re-join the queue or to log a ticket via the Portal.

With the return of students and some of our colleagues to campus, our IT Service Desk Counter in the Library has reopened. The Library is operating a bookable system for Study Spaces, and you will need to book a slot for your IT Support too. To do so, there is a ‘Book Now’ link on the DTS website (at the bottom of the webpage) and you will be asked to submit a few details. Please note that you will not be able to visit the IT Service Desk Counter without a booking confirmation. You can access the form directly through this link.

Recording rooms are also now available to book for staff, providing an on campus place to record teaching content, without the distractions of the home. For further information please visit the DTS page on Recording Rooms.

The latest addition to the Office 365 Suite of products here at the University of Reading.

 

What is Microsoft Bookings?

Microsoft Bookings is an online scheduling tool that is part of Office 365. Bookings allows employees to set up calendars and manage availability for themselves so that others can book appointments with them quickly and efficiently.  Academics can use Bookings to provide their availability for office hours and allow students to book appointments with them. Staff can use Bookings to provide their availability to both internal and external colleagues and allow them to schedule time slots for a meeting or event.

 

What is a good use case for Microsoft Bookings?

After a successful pilot we have seen a lot of good use cases of Microsoft Bookings and the feedback has been positive.  From this, we have been able to see what works best and what doesn’t.

A few case examples:

  • An academic looking to advertise some scheduled times that students could book to drop in and meet with them.
  • Employees looking to open up their calendar to internal or external colleagues to display their availability on a certain subject matter.

Remember it’s a “book-me” system rather than a “book-this object” system. The recommended use of this tool will be person based. There are other Apps and resources for booking other items .  E.G Rooms or Table Space or Loan equipment as examples….  (Either via CMIS or Exchange Rooms etc…)  Microsoft Bookings is NOT a replacement for booking meetings rooms!

 

Who has access to Bookings – How do I get access to it?

This service is available for University Employees to use.

If you are interested and have a valid use case you wish to implement via Microsoft Bookings, then please request access via this form. Once this is filled out we can assign the license to your personal user account on Office365.

As a member of staff, you can allow anyone to book via your Calendar.

 

Great – I have access to Bookings now. Any tips for use?

  • Keep the Display Name For your calendar to the point.  E.G “John Smith – Student Engagement Bookings”
  • As mentioned, keep this person based. Once your employment with the University finishes the license will be automatically revoked.
  • This is a hosted system surfaced through the Microsoft Office 365 Platform. DTS will not be able to provide much support on this as the administration is done through your own Office365 account.
  • If you are going to use a room on-premise to meet physically then ensure you book the room separately.
  • Booking Calendars are non-transferable and need to be kept related to you.  If you leave the University you cannot pass the Booking calendar on to your predecessor or colleague.
  • Think carefully about the naming of the Booking Calendar – Inappropriate naming or names that are too vague or breach common use will be removed. E.G Finance, HR etc

From the 1 September University staff will have to use their University username plus ‘@reading.ac.uk‘ to log in to University systems (Email, OneDrive for Business, Blackboard, Agresso etc.).

This change allows us to improve security around logins, meaning we can better ensure the safety of work and files. Having one username format for staff when logging also makes the process simpler, as there were many variants before.

 

What is changing? 

When logging in to University services people used a variety of usernames to login. They will now only use your ‘username’ + ‘@reading.ac.uk‘.

E.g. ab123456@reading.ac.uk

This will be the format for all University of Reading staff including those with other suffixed email addresses (i.e. @henley.ac.uk) with the exception our colleagues at the University of Reading Malaysia.

If you joined the University after February 2020, your login will not be impacted by this change.

Please note that you will not need to use this new username to log in to your University devices, or to access RISIS or Canvas at this time.

 

When is this changing? 

This change will happen from the evening of 1 September 2020.

 

How will it affect my access? 

When opening your browser to access Office365, for example, you will be prompted to re-enter your login details.

Please ensure you enter <username>@reading.ac.uk in the username field followed by your password where prompted.  Once entered, the browser can save your login information for later use and should not prompt you again.

You may also be prompted to re-enter your log in details on any mobile devices you use, for example where your email account is available on your mobile device.

On logging in for the first time after this change, you may be directed to set up password reset authentication details so that you can reset your own password. This helps ensure the security of your account and should take no more than a few minutes.  We have a handy guide available within our IT Self Service Portal on how to get set up the Self Service Password Reset system.

You may find your browser will “remember” your last login username, and therefore we recommend selecting “Forget this” so that you can enter your new login information.

Our Operations team have put together some helpful advice about what to do if you have issues logging in after the changes are made on Tuesday, you can also find this guide on our IT Self Service Portal.

 

UPN Change FAQs


Outlook

Outlook keeps logging me out/I can’t log in to Outlook desktop client

You may find your outlook is struggling to connect after the UPN changeYour outlook will prompt you for your University password (see below) but it will not authenticate no matter how many times you enter it correctly. 


This is because your UPN “unique username” has changed to fit the infrastructure system. Therefore click more choice and then click use a different account 

This will clear the username and password box. 

In the first box enter your UPN as username@reading.ac.uk (ab123456@reading.ac.uk) followed by your university password. Make sure you click remember my credentials then press ok. 

You will see on the bottom right of outlook that it is connected 

Sometime you have to click under send/receive > send/receive all folders button. 


OneDrive

I can no longer login to OneDrive using my saved bookmark in my web browser?

OneDrive links contain the owner’s username.

Since the username has changed, so has the link. Previously it would have shown similar to this;

 

But now the link needs to look like;

 

Please update your link as above

 

I can now longer open a file that was shared to me via OneDrive?

This is due to path where the file is stored has changed, due to the username changing. The easiest way to resolve is simply ask the file owner to re-share the file.

*However, if you need access urgently you can simply amend the existing link to include their new username. If you do not know their username, simply compose a new email in Outlook and click ‘Address Book’. Search for the user, right click the correct user and choose properties. Their username will be shown in the ‘alias’ field.

An example can be seen below:

 

OneNote

My OneNote notebooks are not syncing or opening?

Notebooks are typically saved in your OneDrive folder.

This means the location path has changed due to the username changing. Simply close and re-open the notebooks. Follow these simple Microsoft guides to do so: Closing a notebook in OneNote and Open a notebook in OneNote

 

 

On Thursday 20 August, from 10.30-11.30, we’ll be holding a Microsoft Teams Live Event to tell you all about the functionality of Microsoft Teams Live Events.

Have you wondered if Live Events would suit your event or session? Are you not sure what the differences between Live Events and standard Teams Meeting functionality are?

We’ll have members of DTS and the wider University to share a little about how the system works, what sessions and events it suits best, how you can request to use it and answering any of your questions. Some of our colleagues will share their experiences of using the system for their events. Don’t miss it.

To join us for this session, please register here.

 

Our DTS and TEL colleagues have been working hard over the weekend to move Blackboard to a more reliable, cloud-based platform.

 

Blackboard and Turnitin were unavailable for the entire weekend, and we are considering the system to be “At Risk” on Monday 3rd July. 

  • from 20:00 BST on Friday 31 July
  • for the whole of Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 August
  • for most of Monday 3 August.

 

The new platform brings many advantages:

  • Regularly updated – quicker access to bug fixes and new features.
  • Future upgrades won’t require any downtime.
  • Greater system reliability.

 

Logging in to Blackboard

As part of the upgrade, there will be a change to how you log in to Blackboard. Your login will be exactly the same as signing in to other University systems, such as email and OneDrive. In fact, if you are already signed in to your University Microsoft account, you won’t need to sign in again to Blackboard.

You may find you are asked to sign in via Multi-Factor Authentication – a two-step security process to ensure your login details remain safe and secure. Further details of Multi-Factor Authentication can be found here.

For most students, when signing in, on the first screen you will need to enter username@student.reading.ac.uk – for example ab123456@student.reading.ac.uk. For our Henley Business School students, please find details here.

 

For further details, please see the following pages from our colleagues in the TEL team.

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