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Image of ITS Newsletter Header for Spring 2016‌Teaching & Learning  |  Advising & Degree Planning  |  Technology Resources & Support  |  ITS Spotlight

Teaching & Learning

Curriculog Online Curriculum System

The Provost’s Office, Faculty Senate and Information Technology Services are working together to replace the current paper-based process for submitting curriculum proposals with an electronic submission process using Curriculog, an innovative management tool. Curriculog will allow MSU Denver to create a comprehensive repository that supports the entire curriculum management process by providing an intuitive, flexible online platform for:

  • automating curriculum workflow and approval processes
  • creating customized curriculum proposal forms
  • establishing curriculum meetings and agendas
  • tracking proposal edits and approvals
  • producing impact, bottleneck and proposal status reports

Curriculog seamlessly integrates with Acalog, the catalog management tool that MSU Denver uses to create, organize and publish course information. With this integration, curriculum developers will be able to pull relevant proposal form fields from Acalog into the online proposals they are creating; and curriculum administrators will be able to automatically push curriculum updates to Acalog once final proposal approvals have occurred in Curriculog.

New Student Lab Opening Soon

A new student computer lab with 24 workstations, including one ADA-compliant station, will open during the spring semester. Conveniently located in the Student Success Building room SSB236, the lab will provide a learning space where all MSU Denver students, especially First Year Success students, can do homework, access assignments, and use a variety of applications needed for their classes. Students can get assistance in this unstaffed lab by calling the ITS Helpdesk using a provided phone.

Electronic Student Ratings of Instruction (SRI) Pilot Initiative

MSU Denver is exploring how to effectively and efficiently provide the electronic collection of resident and hybrid course SRIs (Student Ratings of Instruction), in response to the recommendation made by the SRI Task Force. Goals of this exploration are to determine if electronic SRI collection will provide greater convenience to students, reduce errors in the data processing, and allow for faster feedback to faculty at the end of the semester.

To fully explore the benefits of electronic SRI collection, a pilot is being conducted during the spring 2016 semester using the same system that has been used for the collection of online course SRIs for the past two semesters. A total of 226 courses opted to participate in the pilot and represent a wide variety of MSU Denver academic departments. Results from the pilot initiative will be shared in the next ITS Newsletter.

Instructional Computing Environments

ITS would like to help enhance the teaching and learning experiences of MSU Denver faculty and students by providing various Instructional Computing Environments (ICE) that are designed to meet specific academic needs. Several ICE options are available, including Blackboard Learn, MSU Denver Sites, and custom VM (virtual machine) environments. Find out about the various ICE options available to you, as well as how to request them, by visiting the ICE webpage.

Advising & Degree Planning

Helping Students Succeed

Several new platforms that help streamline and simplify the overall experience for MSU Denver students, faculty, and advisors are currently being implemented: Transfer Equivalency Self-Service, Student Educational Planner, Degree Works, and the Student Success Collaborative Campus.

Transfer Equivalency Self-Service (TESS)

Prospective transfer students will soon be able to use an online service to see how courses taken at their previous college or university may equate to courses offered at MSU Denver. With this helpful tool, students can quickly and easily see how transfer credits will count toward their chosen degree program at MSU Denver and determine what else they need to do to meet course and degree requirements before being admitted.

TESS will be beneficial because it:

  • Offers an appealing application gateway for transfer students—increasing enrollment potential.
  • Provides a friendly user interface to easily map course equivalencies and degree plans for prospective transfer students.

Student Educational Planner (SEP)

The Student Educational Planner provides a way for students to map out their academic journey to stay on track for on-time graduation. Each student works with their academic advisor to create a plan showing the courses and activities needed to reach their academic and career goals.

SEP has many useful features including:

  • Model degree plans can be assigned to individual students or a group.
  • Simple to complex requirements can be built, including course, non-course, and choice requirements.
  • Clear on- and off-track indicators help advisors know when to intervene to help a student succeed.

The Office of the Registrar and ITS hope to fully launch TESS and SEP during the fall 2016 semester. Watch for updates on these two important initiatives. 

Degree Works

The Degree Progress Report by Degree Works is an academic advising tool that students use in conjunction with their advisors throughout their academic careers. New and transfer students who enrolled during the 2015-2016 catalog year have been using Degree Works for spring 2016 advising. By the fall 2016 semester, the 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015, and 2016-2017 catalogs will also be available, so all students who enrolled during those catalog years will use Degree Works rather than the Curriculum Advising and Program Planning (CAPP) tool. Students who enrolled at MSU Denver prior to the 2012-13 academic year will continue to use CAPP, but will gradually be transitioned over to Degree Works. For more information, please visit the Office of the Registrar’s Degree Progress Report webpage.

Student Success Collaborative Campus

In an effort to provide every student with the opportunity to achieve academic success and to graduate on time, MSU has partnered with the Education Advisory Board to launch the Student Success Collaborative Campus. The Student Success Collaborative is an advising platform that leverages “big data” and predictive analytics to enhance advising effectiveness and increase student retention and success.

Technology Resources & Support

Telephone System Replacement Project

Information Technology Services, in collaboration with Facilities Planning and AHEC, is exploring the possibility of implementing an MSU Denver phone system.

To better understand the scope of the project and the technology a new system would entail, ITS technicians will visit each MSU Denver department to inventory all telephone and network cabling, the type of telephones being used and the number of lines currently in use. One week prior to visiting a department, ITS will notify the associated faculty and staff via email.

ITS is also seeking input from faculty and staff as it works to determine which telephone system would  provide the highest level of functionality, reliability and value to the University. Please take a moment to complete the Telephone Usage Survey to share your input regarding the type of desk telephone you prefer and the features you would be most likely to use. For more information about this important initiative, please visit the Telecommunication Inventory Initiative webpage.

New Copy and Print Services Available

Following an extensive RFP process involving more than a dozen potential providers, Ricoh USA was recently selected as MSU Denver’s preferred vendor for copy and print services.

All departments are encouraged to work with Ricoh USA to procure copy machines and work-group printers as their existing multi-function copier and printer leases end. Using a single provider translates into substantial cost savings for the University and better customer service for departments.

The agreement with Ricoh USA is the result of a collaboration between MSU Denver’s Information Technology Services, the Division of Administration, Finance and Facilities, the University of Northern Colorado and AHEC.

If your department is in need of a new multifunction copier/printer, contact MSU Denver’s Ricoh representative Beverly Dinges at 970-310-3838 or

MSU Denver NetID

ITS continues to increase the number of systems that authenticate using the MSU Denver NetID (username) and NetID password. In fact, now you can use your NetID to access various Auraria Library services, such as online databases and your personal Auraria Library account. A complete list of the applications and services you can access using your NetID is available on the ITS Account Types webpage. If you utilize a service that does not currently use the NetID to authenticate, let us know and we’ll see if we can integrate it.

MSU Denver NetID Password Expiration

As part of our ongoing security efforts, ITS is working to ensure that users reset their passwords regularly. All faculty and staff will start receiving notifications when their passwords are about to expire. The emails will provide instructions on resetting passwords and enrolling in the MSU Denver Password Reset Program.

Regularly resetting your passwords is just one way for you to stay safe when using technology. Please visit our Security webpage for an overview of information security and useful tips for keeping your identity, information, computers and other devices secure.

Web Time Entry

For the past several months, numerous University departments have been using the Banner Web Time Entry system to manage the time sheets of part-time and student employees. Usage of the system has allowed these departments to transition from the traditional paper-based time sheet process to a fully-online process.

Banner Web Time Entry is a web-based time entry system designed to improve accuracy and eliminate loss or delays in paper processing of physical time sheets. The system allows employees to log into a secure website and enter their hours online from any computer with access to the Internet. The employee’s time sheet is then approved online by his/her approver and sent electronically for processing.

The goal is to have all MSU Denver employees using the Web Time Entry system by July 1, 2016, eliminating the current paper-based process.

Helpdesk Reporting

The ITS Helpdesk is a valuable resource for you to use anytime you need help with technology. But, have you ever wondered about the assistance the Helpdesk provides to the University as a whole? Now you can find out, because ITS Helpdesk ticket information along with call and customer service score trends are now available online. View year-over-year stats and trends at

Tech Tips

  • Share the Student Technology Road Map and Employee Technology Road Map with your new students, faculty and staff. The Road Maps are quick reference guides for using technology at MSU Denver.
  • Remember to shut down, restart, or update your computing devices (desktop computer/laptops/tablets) often (at least once a week) to receive operating system and manufacturer updates. Delaying updating your devices will increase the downtime for applying critical security patches and software enhancements.
  • Follow the ‘Rule of Three’ for storing important and irreplaceable files (e.g., pictures, videos, school-related documents): Create copies of the files and store them in three separate locations. For example, you have digital photos of your dog when he was a puppy that can’t be replaced. You could create copies of the photos and store them in three different places, such as your computer’s hard drive, an external hard drive, and your OneDrive cloud storage. If one copy gets lost or corrupted, you still have two other copies to replace it.

ITS Spotlight

Meet the Learning Spaces Team

Technological advances and innovative teaching and learning approaches are radically changing education. As a result, traditional classrooms designed for lectures are no longer adequate for many contemporary teaching methodologies, such as project-based learning, flipped classrooms, and collaborative learning.

In order to fully support a wide range of contemporary pedagogical approaches, special efforts are currently underway to upgrade the technologies in all of MSU Denver’s learning spaces, including classrooms, computer labs, lecture halls, and collaboration rooms. To carry out this important work, a Learning Spaces Team was formed in 2014 to provide support and ensure functionality for all technologies in the various MSU Denver-managed learning spaces. This team is directed by Saima Reese and consists of three learning spaces specialists: Nick Webb, Craig Myers, and David Sharman.

To guide the efforts of the Learning Spaces Team, MSU Denver developed a comprehensive set of classroom technology guidelines and established a goal of updating all learning spaces on a seven-year cycle. The guidelines were developed in collaboration with several stakeholder groups in order to achieve the following four goals: 1) provide spaces that support optimal teaching and learning experiences through a consistent and functional set of technologies, 2) initially upgrade rooms that have non-functioning or significantly out-of-date equipment to better meet faculty and student needs, 3) when possible, upgrade all rooms assigned to a single department at the same time to provide a consistent teaching and learning experience within that department, 4) provide proactive classroom maintenance, management and support to significantly reduce technological problems.

Of the 277 learning spaces that MSU Denver currently supports, 47 have already been upgraded to feature contemporary classroom technologies. The Learning Spaces Team will continually work to upgrade and maintain MSU Denver’s learning spaces in order to offer the best teaching and learning experiences for all of our faculty and students.
Spring 2016 Learning Spaces Team

ITS Educational Technology Center Learning Spaces Team (left to right) Nick Webb, Saima Reese, Craig Myers and David Sharman

Photo taken by Scott Houck, ITS Educational Technology Center


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