October 2020

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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.