Thursday, 27 June 2013

Coming Soon: Timeline of CiCS Changes and Service Launches

Date Service Work
Now University Desktop Students have been using a faster, easier, smarter, safer and more flexible computing service with latest versions of software for the current academic year. An equally excellent service for staff is now available and continues to be developed via the Replacement Desktop project.
Replacement Desktop Project
Now MOLE 2 The annual MOLE 2 course rollover exercise started on Monday 24th June and will last for two weeks. Each course will be unavailable for a brief period whilst it is rolled over to the coming academic year. Departments have been contacted with more specific timings for their courses.
28 June Telephone Network The telephone system will be upgraded on Friday 28th June 19:30 - 21:00. All telephone lines throughout the University will be out of service, including within lifts, although assistance will be available via the alarm buttons.
5 July Sheffield HEAR Preparations are being completed to release the internal view of the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) to new Level 1 UG students to coincide with the online release of results to students on 5th July.
Sheffield HEAR Implementation Project
10 July uSpace On Wednesday July 10th, you will no longer be able to create new Groups, Spaces, Sub-spaces or Projects in uSpace. Anything which is already up and running will be unaffected, so you can continue using it as normal.
uSpace Closure Project
16 July MUSE A replacement for MUSE is planned to be launched Tuesday 16th July. This is phase 1 of the Replacement MUSE project providing easier access to online IT services. Phases 2 and 3 of the project will follow.For full details see the projects web page:
Replacement MUSE
19-26 July MOLE 2 MOLE 2 will be upgraded to a new version with extra functionality. It’s a complex upgrade so MOLE 2 must be shut down at 5pm Friday July 19 and will be unavailable until 5pm on Friday, July 26.

Replacement for MUSE due to be launched 16th July

On Tuesday 16th July we plan to replace MUSE. All online services that you currently access via MUSE will now be available directly from the University website. You will sign in to the website itself and receive a My Services menu that gives personalised access to your online services. The My Services menu will follow you as you navigate around the University website. For a preview see the video below:

Friday, 21 June 2013

Core Phone System Upgrade

On Friday 28th June between 19:30 and 21:00 the University phone system will undergo a period of downtime to enable the core hardware and software components to be upgraded. This maintenance relates to the core phone hardware only and no changes in service, features, phones or voice mail should be experienced by users following the work.

Staff should be aware that during this period all telephones and telephone lines on site will be out of service, including lines used from communication within lifts. With this in mind it is recommended that for the duration of this period staff do not use the lifts in University buildings though, as usual, local assistance will be available via the alarm buttons within the lift cars.

This work is being performed by our maintainer in conjunction with CICS staff and is necessary in order for the continued functioning and support of our phone system. In addition the upgrade will enable the University to take advantage of newer technologies creating greater flexibility of service for staff and significantly reducing the costs of voice services in the near future.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

MOLE 2 Upgrade, Rollover and New Features

From Monday 24th June the annual MOLE 2 rollover begins in which each course in MOLE 2 is transferred from the previous academic year to the next. It is an exercise that takes around two weeks to complete with each course being unavailable for a brief period of time within this two week window. The MOLE team have been in discussions with teaching staff in departments about the timing of the downtime for each course.

From 5.00 pm on Friday, July 19 until 5.00pm on Friday, July 26 MOLE 2 will be upgraded to a new version with lots of extra functionality. This upgrade is a complex one so MOLE 2 must be shut down for a full week. However, if we're able to complete this work more quickly we will let everyone know via the usual means, so do check the CiCS service status page and twitter for updates. We are still assessing a number of the new features that we hope to introduce as part of the upgrade. More information will follow.

In September the MOLE team will deliver a series of presentations to learning technologists in departments about the new features that will be made available in MOLE 2, and will ascertain whether there is demand for the features that we would not expect to make available.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Upgrade on staff and student computers

This evening, Friday June 14th, we will be doing some upgrades to the staff and student Windows 7 managed desktop computers. We are going to upgrade the system used to install software from the Software Center to the latest version, helping us to achieve greater performance and stability. 

From 17:00, the Software Center will stop working, meaning you will be unable to install new applications until about 20:00. During this time, any applications which you have installed previously from the Software Center will continue to work as normal. 

There may be some minor performance issues whilst the work is done. But fingers crossed the impact on you will be negligible.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

MyPC three weeks on

After a great deal of work we can report that MyPC has been working continuously for three weeks. The problems we have been having seem to have been caused by a bug in the quick book form allowing bookings to be made which ignore certain booking rules. We have turned off the quickbook method of booking PCs and this seems to have solved the problem.

Over the summer we will be evaluating PC bookings, including a new version of MyPC which should fix the problems we have been having and also remove the problem where students get logged out at 11:59pm. We will also be looking at other products, including one from Pharos.

But for now it ‘s nice to have MyPC working. We can never guarantee there won't be future problems but it's looking good.

MOLE 2 App (Blackboard Mobile Learn)

The University of Sheffield announces the launch of Blackboard Mobile Learn application for MOLE 2, a free mobile application that brings two-way teaching and learning to mobile devices and gives students full access to their course information directly from their smartphones. With elegant, intuitive applications designed specifically for each mobile platform, students can check grades and assignments, view documents, create threaded discussion posts and comment on blogs and journals, upload content and view documents, view course rosters and more. Instructors can also post announcements.

Blackboard Mobile Learn is currently available in native applications for Android and the Apple® iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch®. Students and Staff can download the apps for free in app stores.

Download and Install

From your mobile device tap the appropriate link below:
For more information about Blackboard’s mobile solutions, please visit: