Wednesday, 30 July 2014

SSiD to moderate student myAnnounce emails

The Student Communications Team in SSiD will be taking over the moderation of student announce emails from the 1st August. The messages will be moderated by the team in line with a new student announce policy which has been designed to make the emails more relevant to students.

The new policy has been developed after research revealed that students feel they are sent too many ‘spam’ emails from the University and as a result they don’t read their messages, meaning that they sometimes miss vital information relating to their studies.

Messages sent through the system will need to be more targeted and relevant, while events and volunteering announcements will be published in a weekly digest.

However, this does mean that messages with a student and staff audience will need to be submitted twice and approved separately. This makes it likely that staff and students will receive the message at different timnes and possible that the message could be approved for one audience and declined for another.

Eventually Corporate Affairs will take over the moderation of staff announce emails, which will mean changes to the way emails are currently sent to announce. The present system allows you to send one email and specify who you want it to be sent to as moderation was carried out by Peter Armstrong for both staff and student announce emails.

In the future when you want to send a message it will be moderated by The Student Communication Team if it is for students and by Corporate Affairs if it is for staff. It is hoped that this will reduce the amount of emails staff and students receive as more targeted announcements are possible.

Monday, 28 July 2014

New anti-phishing measure for University email

We've put in place a new measure to alert you if an email you have received looks a bit suspect.

Specifically, it will detect if a University of Sheffield email address appears to have been spoofed from a non-Sheffield Uni server - that means if somebody has tried to make it look like the email that they have sent is actually coming from someone else. 

When you receive an email like this, you'll see the message: 'Warning: Sender not verified' at the start of the email subject.

The trouble is, there are sometimes legitimate reasons why someone might send a message appearing to be from someone else.  Event management websites such as Eventbrite might send automatic reminders about an event, with the email appearing to come from the event owner's address.

We don't know at this stage how many, if any, false positives there might be. If you do find a false positive in your inbox, then let our helpdesk know by forwarding it to

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Student printing upgrade: Monday 14th July

On Monday 14th July we will be doing a major upgrade on the pre-pay printing system which means you won't be able to print to Black&White_A4, Black&White_A4_A3 or Colour_A4_A3 university printers or use the photocopiers.

If you have an urgent need to print or copy on the day, please visit the Level 1 Information desk in the IC, or call our helpdesk on 0114 2221111.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

MOLE Downtime 5pm Fri 18 July - 9am Wed 23 July

We are currently undertaking the first part of the annual summer work on MOLE. 

  • The rollover is progressing as planned and is due to be completed by the end of Friday 18th.
  • The agreed downtime for the annual upgrade is from 5pm on Friday 18th until 9am Wednesday 23rd July.   

We still intend the 18-23 July downtime to occur, however we are now working towards using this period of time to move MOLE from servers based here at Sheffield to a managed hosting environment provided by Blackboard (the developer of the system MOLE runs on) that is based in Amsterdam. This will mean that MOLE will be running on an environment that has a greater support resource which should bring greater stability and increased performance for everyone using MOLE.

When MOLE becomes available again there will be no difference at all in how MOLE looks and works. We have decided not to upgrade to the latest version at this moment in time due to some issues which are yet to be resolved. As soon as this has been fixed, we can then consider how to approach an upgrade to the latest version. We hope to be able to do this sometime before the start of the next academic year and will be discussing with FDLTs, the MOLE governance group and others the best time to do this.  We’ll be updating you with schedules as soon as they become available. 

CiCS Presents TELFest 2014

The Learning Technologies team in CiCS are running a week long Technology Enhanced Learning Festival taking place 8-12 September in the Hicks Building. The festival has been designed to offer help, guidance and support to anyone at the University of Sheffield who wishes to develop their delivery of teaching during 2014-15. Whether you are new to using technology to enhance learning or have a great deal of experience, we have developed the festival to ensure that you walk away both inspired and equipped with the skills required to enhance your current practice.

Throughout the whole day we are running drop in sessions (G29/Hicks), where members of the learning technology team will be available to answer specific questions that you may have, no matter how basic or complex they seem. You can sign up and view the agenda now -

As well as this, we are running a variety of scheduled workshops, which will include:
  • Introduction to MOLE
  • Using Social Media to Enhance teaching and Learning
  • Mobile Learning
  • Online Assessment and Feedback
  • Multimedia to enhance learning and teaching
  • E-portfolios/PebblePad
  • Flipped Learning

And that's not all, during lunch you can participate in panel discussions and presentations from colleagues engaged with the use of technology to enhance learning in their practice.

Sign Up/View Agenda When 8-12th September 2014, 10am-4pm
Where Hicks G39A/G29/LT4
Cost All sessions are FREE!

Do I need to attend all week?
No just attend the sessions that interest you.
Do I need to sign up for scheduled workshops/training sessions/lunch? 
Yes, we recommend you do, to secure your place.
Do I need to sign up for drop in sessions? 
No, just turn up. If you have a very specific query, you can email the team: in advance, to ensure that we provide you with access to the most appropriate support.

For more information on TELfest 2014 email:

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Student Services: University tackles student email apathy

Student services have issued the following announcement:

From 1 August there will be a significant policy change in the moderation of emails sent through the MyAnnounce system that are targeted towards students.

The messages will be moderated by the Student Communications Team in line with a new student announce policy which has been designed to make these emails more relevant to students.

The development of the policy follows extensive research into the subject of email carried out with staff and students. The research revealed that students feel overwhelmed with what they consider “University spam”. As a result they often don’t read their messages, meaning that vital communications related to their studies or important University news are missed. This then impacts negatively upon their overall student experience and leads to email apathy.

To resolve the situation, the Student Communications Team has worked with colleagues across the University to create a new, comprehensive, student announce policy. This policy will come into force from 1 August and will mark a significant change in the way the University communicates with students. Messages sent through the system will need to be more targeted and relevant, while events and volunteering announcements will be published in a weekly digest.

Staff are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the policy which can be found at before 1 August and contact a member of the Student Communications Team if they have any questions or concerns.

A policy for staff announce emails will also be developed later in the year, led by the Internal Communications team.

Monday, 7 July 2014

National MATLAB Event Hosted in Sheffield 16th July

CiCS research support staff are pleased to announce that Mathworks Inc. will be presenting a nationally publicised MATLAB seminar at the University of Sheffield.

MATLAB is a highly popular scientific computing tool. The vast numerical capabilities provided in MATLAB combined with built in high quality graphical visualization and presentation features makes it an ideal platform to carry out research computing work with.

The wide range of subjects covered will include:
  • graphical visualization, 
  • parallel and GPU computing, 
  • Simulink 
  • Raspberry Pie support.

For further details and registration for this free event please follow the link below.