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ITS Newsletter

May 2017 ITS Newsletter Header

Distribution of New Telephones and Phone Numbers

The initiative to implement a modern, feature-rich telephone system and new phone numbers University-wide continues to gain momentum. In the coming weeks, Information Technology Services (ITS) will distribute new phone numbers to all MSU Denver employees and new telephones will be distributed in planned phases during the summer and fall semesters. The new telephone system is scheduled to be fully implemented by December 1, 2017. 

The ITS Telephony Team recently sent an email to the primary contact person for each MSU Denver department, requesting that they review and confirm their current departmental phone list. If you are the primary contact for a department, and have not received an email from the Telephony Team yet, please contact the ITS Helpdesk at 303-352-7548 or

Visit the Telecommunications Initiative webpage for up-to-date information about the project, including an implementation timeline and several informative (and entertaining) videos. Also watch for project status updates in the Early Bird.

The ‘MetroState’ Wireless Network Will Be Renamed

The name of the ‘MetroState’ secure wireless network will soon be changed to ‘MSUDenver’ to adhere to the MSU Denver’s branding standards. The change is scheduled to take place during the summer semester, and will require you to connect your devices to the new ‘MSUDenver’ wireless network in order to use it. Additional information will be provided in the Early Bird and upcoming editions of the ITS newsletter.

Continued Success in Online Course Quality at MSU Denver

The ITS Educational Technology Center is excited about the momentum that’s building with continuous course improvement. As of April 2017, and following active participation in the CourseAssist program, Dr. Katherine (Kat) Martinez’s Women’s Studies (WMS-1200) was awarded an official Quality Matters (QM) Certification. Another impressive accomplishment as QM is a leading, and internationally recognized, quality assurance organization that provides the gold standard for certifying the quality of online courses and programs. QM is a collegial, peer-driven review and feedback process based on a rigorous, design-focused rubric which sets a standard for certification at 85% or better, and WMS-1200 scored a perfect 100%.

This is the third course to achieve formal QM certification and speaks of our commitment to quality-assurance and continuous improvement supported by best practices, rigorous review, and research.

In order to achieve QM certification, Katherine: 

  • equipped learners with the necessary guidance to achieve expected course outcomes.
  • applied a variety of strategies to build community and ensure engagement.
  • enhanced learning activities to promote peer-to-peer interaction.
  • deployed high-quality course materials aligned with institutional policies for accessibility.
  • improved course design for mobile learning effectiveness.
  • implemented tools and techniques for enhancing rigor.
  • stimulated critical thinking skills by engaging learners in thought-provoking activities and assessments.
  • provided a variety of instruction and delivery modalities, allowing students to grasp difficult theories and concepts.

Please join us in recognizing Dr. Martinez’s achievement, enthusiasm, and passion for online course quality. Her dedication to creating exceptional learning environments will benefit countless students and have a lasting impact on MSU Denver.

The ETC HELIX: A New Opportunity for Human Exploration and Innovative Thinking

We invite you to join experts from the ITS Educational Technology Center at this year’s Professional Development Conference to learn about a new pilot initiative, The Human Exploration Lab for Innovative Xperiences (HELIX). A roundtable discussion will take place May 16th in the King Center Dance Studio from 10:40 am-11:40 am & 3:10 pm-4:10 pm.


The Human Exploration Lab for Innovative Xperiences (HELIX), is a new professional development opportunity coming to MSU Denver. In support of the ITS Education Technology Center’s new Continuous Course Improvement programs (CourseAssist, CourseConstellation, and CourseSelect), HELIX provides a refreshing layer of humanity and innovation, and allows us to step back and collaboratively explore the bigger ideas and questions that place teaching, learning and technology into a more meaningful context.


  • Challenge Assumptions: HELIX represents a shared space for MSU Denver faculty and staff to collaboratively explore new ideas and challenge professional preconceptions.
  • Reframe Change: Exploring the boundaries of human potential often catalyzes the construction of new mental models and triggers embracement of the unknown.
  • Inspire Creativity: Our shared exploration of HELIX topics will create the cognitive collisions necessary to inspire unexpected discovery and novel innovation.

Initial Topics

  • Design Thinking: A solution-focused, action-oriented mindset for the creation of a preferred future.
  • Improvisation: An act of composition, arrangement, and/or execution without previous preparation.
  • Culture-shift: A gradual but intentional act of changing beliefs, behaviors, and outcomes.

To learn more or find out how you can get involved, contact Sr. Instructional Designer Taylor Kendal

A New Way to Stay Informed

ITS will soon implement, a system status tool that will make it easier for you to stay informed about the various systems provided at MSU Denver, such as Blackboard Learn and Banner. You’ll be able to get up-to-date information about each system, including announcements about planned maintenance. You can even select how you want to be notified - email, text messages, and Twitter are just a few of the delivery methods available to you. Watch for more information about in the upcoming editions of the ITS newsletter and in the Early Bird.

Academic and Student Affairs Unit Review

As part of the ASA’s Unit Review Committee (ASAURC) program, each student-serving department under the Provost is periodically reviewed to ensure effectiveness and excellence in the services offered. This year, ITS Client Services was one of the selected programs, and recently completed their initial review. During this process, an outside consultant is invited to campus, meets with a range of constituents and prepares a report.

ITS looks forward to receiving the results of this review and hopes to enhance our student service offerings even further in coming years! Client Services is not the only business unit that participates in this program - the ITS Educational Technology Center is scheduled for review in 2019.

Scheduled maintenance on May 30

Information Technology Services (ITS) will perform system maintenance on the Degree Works system from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 30. The Degree Progress Report will not be available during the maintenance period. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ITS Helpdesk at 303-352-7548 or

Step Up to Stronger Passwords

From the Educause Security Awareness Initiative webpage

A password is often all that stands between you and sensitive data. It’s also often all that stands between a cybercriminal and your account. Below are tips to help you create stronger passwords, manage them more easily, and take one further step to protect against account theft.

  • Always: Use a unique password for each account so one compromised password does not put all of your accounts at risk of takeover.
  • Good: A good password is 10 or more characters in length, with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, plus numbers and/or symbols — such as pAMPh$3let. Complex passwords can be challenging to remember for even one site, let alone using multiple passwords for multiple sites; strong passwords are also difficult to type on a smartphone keyboard (for an easy password management option, see “best” below).
  • Better: A passphrase uses a combination of words to achieve a length of 20 or more characters. That additional length makes its exponentially harder for hackers to crack, yet a passphrase is easier for you to remember and more natural to type. To create a passphrase, generate four or more random words from a dictionary, mix in uppercase letters, and add a number or symbol to make it even stronger — such as rubbishconsiderGREENSwim$3. You’ll still find it challenging to remember multiple passphrases, though, so read on.
  • Best: The strongest passwords are created by password managers — software that generates and keeps track of complex and unique passwords for all of your accounts. All you need to remember is one complex password or passphrase to access your password manager. With a password manager, you can look up passwords when you need them, copy and paste from the vault, or use functionality within the software to log you in automatically. Best practice is to add two-step verification to your password manager account. Keep reading!
  • Step it up! When you use two-step verification (a.k.a., two-factor authentication or login approval), a stolen password doesn’t result in a stolen account. Anytime your account is logged into from a new device, you receive an authorization check on your smartphone or other registered device. Without that second piece, a password thief can’t get into your account. It’s the single best way to protect your account from cybercriminals.

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