Skip to main content Skip to main content

ITS Newsletter Header‌Teaching & Learning  |  Advising & Degree Planning  |  Technology Resources & Support  |  ITS Spotlight

Teaching & Learning

Rowdy Upgrades

Throughout the fall semester, ITS will replace components of the Rowdy server with customizable, agile and up-to-date technologies in order to provide the highest level of service, performance and security to faculty and staff who use the instructional computing environment.  Several different options are available for faculty to choose from in order to meet their unique academic computing needs:

  • Blackboard Learn - Blackboard Learn is MSU Denver’s learning management system used by faculty to provide course content to their students online. The Educational Technology Center (ETC) development team assists faculty with the design, development, and delivery of instructional materials. Our experienced course developers are available for a Blackboard design consultation. Consultations may be brief or may be extended, taking place over the course of a few months or a semester. Find more information about Blackboard Learn at msudenver.edu/etc/services/online.
  • MSU Denver Sites - Built on the world-class Wordpress platform, there are over 30 visual themes available for MSU Denver faculty and staff, so websites can reflect their author’s needs. Additional themes and custom plugins can be added by contacting the ETC.  This is the suggested option for all faculty or staff members who actively maintain a website on the Rowdy server. Find more information about MSU Denver Sites at sites.msudenver.edu.
  • RowdySites - Although ITS recommends the MSU Denver Sites environment for all faculty and staff who host websites, we recognize that individuals may have specific computing needs requiring them to continue to maintain and host their websites in a basic UNIX environment. Thus, if you have a specific technical objective that is not available in the MSU Denver Sites environment, and you have the basic UNIX/FTP skills to maintain your website, the option of moving your website to a basic web server is also available. If you currently use Rowdy for instruction, we would like to provide a new learning environment for future semesters, please fill out the Instructional Computing Environment request form.

Expand Your Possibilities – Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium

Faculty are invited to submit presentation proposals for the fourth annual Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium (TLTS) to be held Oct. 22-23 on the Auraria Campus. The theme of this year’s symposium is “Expanding Possibilities."

The TLTS is an opportunity for faculty to share ideas for using technology to cultivate and enhance teaching and learning. The TLTS planning committee seeks proposals that align with this year’s theme and explore meeting the needs of diverse students in online, hybrid or technology-driven courses. Of particular interest are proposals that focus on the following areas:

  • eLearning research
  • mobile learning
  • student analytics and course management
  • multimedia approaches
  • information science
  • quality course development

All MSU Denver faculty and staff are also encouraged to attend this FREE professional development event. Please see the TLTS website for submission and registration information.

New Faculty Certification

MSU Denver is proud to announce the E-Learning and Instructional Technology Exemplar professional certification program, consisting of select courses delivered by the nationally recognized Quality Matters organization.  This program is the result of a collaborative effort between the Educational Technology Center (ETC) and the Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE).  Currently, fourteen MSU Denver faculty members are working their way through the one-year program.  Outstanding MSU Denver faculty members are encouraged to participate in the next cohort of this fully-funded program, which will begin in fall 2016.

This certification program is designed to:

  • provide faculty with opportunities to connect with intra- and inter-institutional networks of like-minded colleagues who are focused on student success
  • equip faculty with practical methods of applying global standards and empirical research to enhance your teaching practices
  • increase faculty ability to engage your students and improve their critical thinking skills by strategically using learning management systems
  • allow faculty to become an internationally-recognized Quality Matters peer reviewer, providing you with additional opportunities to collaborate with peers and earn an income for your time and effort

Read more about the certification program at msudenver.edu/etc/services/training/elitecertification.

Learning Spaces Upgrades

To better support the learning spaces used by MSU Denver, the Educational Technology Center (ETC) has collaborated with faculty, students, and University administrators to develop a classroom standards guide, build a learning spaces team, formally assess all learning spaces, and develop a plan to upgrade all classrooms with up-to-date and standardized equipment.

Currently there are 195 MSU Denver departmental learning spaces located in the Student Success Building (SSB), the Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center (HLC), and other buildings. Of these 195 learning spaces, 45 have been upgraded to feature contemporary classroom technologies. Based on necessity and funding availability, the ETC will continue to upgrade all MSU Denver supported learning spaces to meet the following goals: 

  • Provide spaces that support optimal teaching and learning experiences through a consistent and functional set of technologies.
  • Initially upgrade rooms that have non-functioning or significantly out-of-date equipment to better meet faculty and student needs.
  • When possible, upgrade all rooms allocated to a single department at the same time, providing a consistent teaching and learning experience within that department.
  • Provide proactive classroom maintenance, management and support to significantly reduce unexpected issues.

If you have any questions about an MSU Denver learning space or if you would like to learn how to use the standard classroom technologies, please contact the Educational Technology Center at 303-556-3600.

Advising & Degree Planning

Helping Students Succeed

As part of MSU Denver’s overall retention strategy, the University will implement several new platforms that will streamline and simplify the overall experience for MSU Denver students and advisors: Ellucian Recruiter, DegreeWorks, and the Student Success Collaborative.

Ellucian Recruiter

The Ellucian Recruiter platform offers an engaging, personalized web experience for prospective students with easy-to-use admissions forms and intuitive ways to update information, register for events, and submit supplemental items, inquiries, and applications. Recruiter also provides powerful tools to help advising staff manage, track, and monitor recruiting and admissions efforts.

DegreeWorks

The Degree Progress Report by DegreeWorks is a new academic advising tool that students will use in conjunction with their advisors throughout their academic careers. The application offers more personalized and real-time advising, intuitive Web access to self-service capabilities, a streamlined graduation process, and more transparent course and credit transfer. New students and transfers will use DegreeWorks for spring 2016 advising, while students who enrolled at MSU Denver prior to the 2015-16 academic year will continue to use the Curriculum Advising and Program Planning (CAPP) tool and will be gradually transitioned over to DegreeWorks.

Student Success Collaborative

MSU Denver is one of more than 100 institutions of higher education across the country participating in the Student Success Collaborative — an initiative of the Education Advisory Board that combines technology, research, process improvement, and predictive analytics to help institutions positively impact outcomes with at-risk and off-path students. The Student Success Collaborative leverages “big data” to analyze the past decade of student performance at MSU Denver. The collaborative uses the data to identify common courses, grades and GPAs predictive of success in each program on campus, and to find pathways and support services to enable a student to be most successful. The initiative also provides information that will enable advisors to have earlier, more proactive and more data-driven conversations with students, particularly undecided students seeking a major. 

Technology Resources & Support

Major Enhancements to the Campus Wi-Fi Network

To provide faster connection speeds and more effective use of current network resources,four new networks have recently been launched for the Auraria Campus community – “MSUDenver-Guest,” “Auraria-Guest,” “CU Denver Guest” and “CCD-Guest.”

The new  MSUDenver-Guest wireless network requires a user to accept terms and conditions of use via a new splash page, but can be accessed by anyone. The purpose of this process is to prevent automatic, unintended connections to the network that cause a reduction in bandwidth. Overall, this new system also will help Information Technology Services (ITS) better identify and troubleshoot problems.
 
These new networks are meant to replace the current open, unsecured network called “Auraria Campus,” which will be phased out during September. The Auraria Campus Technology Committee, comprised of representatives from each of the three constituent institutions, determined this open network could no longer effectively support the needs of the community.
 
For a faster, more secure Wi-Fi experience, Information Technology Services (ITS) recommends that MSU Denver faculty, staff and students use the “MSUDenver” encrypted wireless network, which requires a NetID and password for authentication.  Please see msudenver.edu/wifi for information about how to connect.

Interim ConnectU and the Student Hub

A new interim site – the first phase in the creation of a Student Hub that offers one-stop access to several different MSU Denver applications and systems using one username and password – is now available.

The interim site – still called ConnectU – is part of a larger effort by Information Technology Services to streamline access to commonly used MSU Denver services including Office 365 (email), Blackboard Learn (the University’s learning management system) and Banner.

To make things even faster and easier to find what you need, there’s an interim site designed specifically for students and another for faculty and staff.

Click on the application you want to use and you will automatically be directed to a log-in page. Enter your NetID – the first part of your email address before the @ symbol – and your NetID password just once and you can access Office 365, Blackboard Learn and Banner without having to log in again.

Stay tuned for further information about the new Student Hub that will launch this fall.

Countdown to National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) 2015

National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) - celebrated every October - was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. As part of NCSAM, ITS will be sharing helpful information about cyber security as well as rebooting our SANS Securing the Human training. Watch for information about NCSAM and the SANS training reboot in Tech Tuesday articles and on the Information Technology Services (ITS) Facebook page at facebook.com/MSUDenverITS. Please see the StaySafeOnline.org website for general information about NCSAM.

Office 365

Office 365 provides MSU Denver staff, faculty, and students with email, online document editing and storage, and access to the Office Web Apps. Currently the following Office 365 applications are available:

  • Outlook - manage your email, calendar and contacts
  • OneDrive for Business - store, sync and organize your work documents
  • Groups - share emails, conversations, files, and calendar events with your team members
  • Skype for Business - collaborate using instant messaging, audio and video conferencing
  • Delve - discover the information that's likely to be most interesting to you right now - across Office 365
  • SharePoint MySite - manage and store your documents, content, links, and contacts
  • Video - post and view videos with the MSU Denver community

In addition, all students, faculty and staff receive five FREE copies of Microsoft Office for Windows and Mac or personal use at no additional cost. Find out more about Office 365 at msudenver.edu/office365.

ITS Spotlight

Meet the Liaisons

Have you met Corey Miller, Quan Tran, Jordan Hamilton, Lee Crawford and Josh Korpela?  If not, we would like to introduce you to our Desktop Support Liaisons, who provide a personal connection between ITS and the MSU Denver academic and administrative departments that ITS serves.  For example, if your department has a project that involves technology, a liaison will work with you to ensure that all of your technology related needs are met.  Additionally, all of the liaisons are fully trained and experienced in troubleshooting computer-related problems, so if there’s an issue that the ITS Helpdesk is not able to resolve remotely, a liaison will come to your office to provide one-on-one assistance.  The liaisons also collaborate with the University departments, the other liaisons, and ITS staff members to share new ideas, improvements, and efficiencies.

The Desktop Support Liaison program began in 2013 as a pilot project with one liaison who supported all of the departments in the Student Success Building.  Within six months, it was clear that the program was a huge success, so now a team of five liaisons supports the entire MSU Denver campus community.  Each liaison is assigned to specific departments to be a resource and advocate between those departments and ITS.  This successful program has fostered trusting relationships between the University community and ITS and helped to define and support the technical needs of the individual departments and the campus.  The liaisons are led and managed by Lee Taylor within the ITS User Support Services group.

ITS Liaisons 2015

ITS Liaisons (left to right) Corey Miller, Quan Tran, Jordan Hamilton, Lee Crawford and Josh Korpela

 

ITS Newsletter Footer


Edit this page