October 30, 2020

Professors Pool Resources to Focus on ‘Compelling Courses’

Assistant Professor of Biology April Wynn is among the dozens of UMW professors participating this summer in Compelling Courses, a faculty learning community to help instructors design engaging courses.

Assistant Professor of Biology April Wynn is among the dozens of UMW professors participating this summer in Compelling Courses, a faculty learning community to help instructors design engaging courses.

To teach mitosis, April Wynn has students in her class act out the process, portraying chromosomes that divide into nuclei. The assistant professor of biological sciences hopes to replicate lively exercises like this – but virtually – in the fall.

“My goal is to promote the same level of engagement, energy and enthusiasm in an online space,” said Wynn, who, as faculty director of the University of Mary Washington’s First-Year Experience, is helping other instructors do the same for their classes.

Professors often spend their breaks on scholarly research, but Wynn is among dozens of UMW faculty members who went back to school this summer. Through a new faculty learning community called Compelling Courses, representatives from nearly every academic department have been teaching each other how to deliver dynamic online lessons and incorporate the best of the UMW experience into distance learning.

In March of this year, UMW professors – the majority of whom had never taught online – abruptly had to shift to a new method of teaching. The succeeding months have given these instructors time to tinker with and tweak tools so that they are fully prepared to teach virtually if necessary. Many, like Wynn, have found that this modality can even offer benefits.

“We believe teaching can be excellent regardless of medium,” said Professor of Economics Steve Greenlaw, who launched the group with Professor of Communication Anand Rao. “It all depends on how you design the course.” Read more.

Professors Pool Expertise to Create ‘Compelling Courses’

To teach mitosis, April Wynn has students in her class act out the process, portraying chromosomes that divide into nuclei. The assistant professor of biological sciences hopes to replicate lively exercises like this – but virtually – in the fall. “My goal is to promote the same level of engagement, energy and enthusiasm in an […]

UMW Professors Find Creative Ways to Teach Through COVID-19

Teaching at Mary Washington looks a bit different lately. Andi Smith films YouTube videos with her children to demonstrate architectural principles. Zach Whalen uses cartoons to teach a digital studies lesson. Smita Jain Oxford holds Zoom office hours for business majors on her daily jog. When the University moved to virtual classes last month due […]

Important Information for Zoom Users

The following information is important for anyone using Zoom to host meetings.  If you do not use Zoom, you can disregard this message.

With the increasingly widespread use of Zoom, we’re seeing a rush of “Zoom bombing” – uninvited participants dropping into Zoom meetings to share inappropriate or distracting audio, video, or images. To prevent this, Digital Learning Support is making some changes to the default settings of our UMW-owned Zoom accounts, and offering the following safety tips for anyone using Zoom (whether a free, shared, or UMW-owned account).

  1. Avoid sharing your meeting link publicly (on social media or a public website). Share the link in a closed environment like Canvas or direct email.

  2. Change your screen sharing settings to “Host Only.” Note: If you are using a UMW-owned Zoom account, we have edited the settings to make this the default. You will need to change the settings during your meeting if you want to allow other participants to share their screen.

  3. Consider turning on the Waiting Room feature. This will require the host to approve every participant before entry into the meeting. Keep in mind that if a participant is disconnected, you will need to re-approve them for entry, so this option requires keeping an eye on your Zoom notifications during the meeting.

  4. Alternatively, consider locking your meeting (via the “Manage Participants” button in your Zoom tool tray) once all attendees are present. Keep in mind that if a participant loses connection, they will not be able to reenter unless you unlock the meeting.

Feel free to use these tools at your own discretion. Some may work for your meetings, some may not.

For more information, we recommend Zoom’s blog post on the subject: How to Keep the Party Crashers from Crashing your Zoom Event

And of course, if you have questions or run into issues, you are always welcome to contact DLS using our contact form, or by emailing dls@umw.edu.

Top 10 IT Issues, 2019: The Student Genome Project (Educause Review)

UMW Internet Planned Downtime July 29

IT Support Services – Notice of Planned Downtime

System: UMW and Apogee Internet Connections

Downtime Begins: 6 a.m. Friday, July 29, 2016

Downtime Ends: 8 a.m. Friday, July 29, 2016

Impact to You: Many systems are affected by this downtime. While the UMW and Apogee Internet connections are down for maintenance, availability of systems depends on where you are located. We are hopeful that this work will be completed quickly and with minimal impact, but please plan accordingly.

The following applies to everyone:

  • MyTime will be unavailable.
  • The UMW website will be available, but logging in to edit pages will not.
  • UMW telephones and emergency call boxes are available and unaffected.
  • No faculty or staff email can be sent or received outside UMW until the connection is restored.
  • Student email will remain available except if accessing from the Fredericksburg Campus.

If you are accessing systems from off campus:

  • The following systems are unavailable: Banner INB, SSB, Reporting, Outlook & Webmail for faculty and staff, VPN connections.
  • Any system that uses UMW Single Sign-On, including MyUMW and Canvas, is unavailable.

If you are on the Fredericksburg Campus:

  • Internet access through Apogee is unavailable.
  • Banner will be available, but any other system that uses UMW Single Sign-On including MyUMW and Canvas is unavailable.
  • Access to your email mailbox and calendars is available, however, no outside email can be sent or received until the connection is restored.
  • Any system or information you access via the Internet is unavailable.

If you are on Dahlgren or Stafford Campuses:

  • Internet connections are NOT affected.
  • Banner is available, but any other system that uses UMW Single Sign-On including MyUMW and Canvas is not available.

Updates: If needed, updates will be posted to our Twitter feed: (http://twitter.com/umwIT)

Thanks for your patience as this work is completed. Please contact the IT Help Desk if you have any questions or concerns.

Phone: 540-654-2255
In Person: Hurley Convergence Center Room 112
Email: helpdesk@umw.edu
Website: technology.umw.edu/helpdesk

UMW Represented at State Technology Conference

The University of Mary Washington was represented at the 2015 Association of Collegiate Computing Services of Virginia, an annual conference of technologists at higher education institutions around the state.

Lisa Ames, LMS Admin-eLearning Specialist from the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies, co-chaired the Networked Learning Collaborative of Virginia group meeting. The group focused on advancing academic mission and learning technology activities.

Edward Gray, Systems Integration and Support Specialist from IT Support Services, presented “Remote Assistance: a Discussion” on remote assistance tools, usage, policies, and procedures. He also presented “Measuring Success: an Introduction to Metrics,” as an overview to what metrics are and how to tie them to organizational success.

Jeff McClurken, Professor of History and American Studies and Special Assistant to the Provost for Technology and Teaching Innovation, and Jerry Slezak, Director of IT Support Services, presented “A Convergence of Ideas and Technology,” as a story of UMW’s Information Technology Convergence Center.

Ray Usler, Director of IT Security and Information Security Officer, presented “NO, NO Not the Security Guy!” on the role of the IT Security Office and why everyone should be concerned with security.

Pam Lowery, Director of Technology Professional Development and HR Analyst, serves as chair of the ACCS Board of Directors.

Also attending the conference were Acting CIO Hall Cheshire, and Associate Director for Enterprise Application Services Ben Kjar, both from the Department of Information Technologies.

Important Help Desk Tip For Thanksgiving Break

The Help Desk will be closed during Thanksgiving Break, so here is one important tip that could save you a lot of trouble if you forget your password: set up your security questions so you can reset your UMW password yourself!

This past summer, we added a new service called self-service password reset.  By setting up your security questions, if you forget your UMW password you can reset it by answering the questions instead of contacting Help Desk staff. You only need to set up your security questions once, so if you previously set up your security questions, you don’t need to do it again.   If your have not, are unsure, or want to change your questions, here are the steps:

SETTING UP OR CHANGING YOUR SECURITY QUESTIONS:

  1. Before you start, you need to know your current NetID and password.  If you don’t know this, you must contact the Help Desk for assistance (540-654-2255 or visit us in ITCC Room 112).
  2. Go to password.umw.edu and click the “Manage Your Security Questions” link.
  3. In the login box that pops up, enter your current UMW NetID and Password.
  4. On the Password Registration page, click the “Next” button.
  5. Enter you current password and click “Next.”
  6. Answer at least five of the questions presented and click “Register.” (NOTE: it is always better to choose questions that many others don’t already know the answer to.) A confirmation screen will appear when registration is complete.

Once you have your security questions set up, you can then use them to reset your password when needed:

RESETTING YOUR PASSWORD USING YOUR SECURITY QUESTIONS:

  1. Go to password.umw.edu and click the “Forgot Your UMW Password?” link
  2. Answer all three of the questions presented to you and click “Next.”
  3. On the Password Reset page, enter a new password twice, then click “Next” to complete the process.
    • NOTE:  You must follow these password complexity rules for your new password:
      • At least 8 characters including one upper case, one lower case, and one numeral
      • You cannot use these symbols:  @  %   *
      • The password cannot contain your NetID
      • The password cannot contain part of your full name that exceeds two consecutive characters
      • You cannot reuse any of your last 24 passwords

If you need assistance with this process, contact the Help Desk during our regular business hours:

Call us:  540-654-2255
Stop by:  IT Convergence Center – Room 112

The Help Desk will operate the following hours this week:

Monday and Tuesday: 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday – Sunday:  CLOSED for Thanksgiving Break – (a long time to be without access if you don’t set up your security questions!)

Regular hours resume on Monday, Dec. 1 at 8 a.m.

I wish you a safe and enjoyable break,

Jerry Slezak
IT Support Services

Student Email Upgrades

Beginning on Sunday, July 21, 2013, all student email accounts will be upgraded from current Microsoft “Live@EDU” to “Office 365” accounts.  This upgrade is required by Microsoft (our student email provider) and may take several days before all UMW students receive the upgrade to their accounts.

Students will access email accounts using the same username and password they already have. The upgrade to Office 365 will change the basic look and feel and add some additional capabilities, but can be thought of along the lines of a Facebook upgrade where the look of the application changes, but usernames and passwords remain the same.  The biggest change is that student accounts will now have two separate components – the email component that will be managed by UMW, and a second personal account for SkyDrive and other tools that will be managed by Microsoft.   More details and updates about the upgrade are posted on the UMW Help Desk website:  http://technology.umw.edu/helpdesk/

Please contact the Help Desk with any questions, concerns or problems via email at helpdesk@umw.edu, by phone at 540-654-2255, or stop by George Washington Hall room 027.