Information Technology

November 2013

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Division of Information Technology
P.O. Box 6888
Radford, VA 24142
Phone: (540) 831-5173
Fax: (540) 831-6217
Email: cio@radford.edu


IT Security Tip
Be cautious when using social networks such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. The data you put on these websites may not be private. Carefully read each website's privacy statement and be sure to fully understand how your data may be used.



IT Tip
Pressing Alt + D in any major Internet browser will move the cursor into the address bar. This is a great way to quickly enter an Internet address without having to click the mouse cursor in the address bar.



Accessibility Tip
If you find the text on a website is too small to read on a PC, hold down CTRL while pressing the + key to enlarge the font. To make it smaller, hold down CTRL while pressing the key.



DoIT Logo

Division of Information Technology
Radford University

MyRU update

As you know, the Division of Information Technology has launched a new MyRU portal that provides users with streamlined access to business functions within a fresh new interface. The overhauled portal houses functions that require you to login to get access to information or to complete business functions. "Content only" channels will be eliminated; you should visit departmental websites to find information about hours, upcoming events and forms that do not require authentication.

To help with that transition, the information in content channels in the old MyRU has been replaced with links to websites that provide that information so you can create bookmarks in your browser to those pages if you wish.

If you haven't had a chance to explore the new portal, visit http://myru.radford.edu to find a link that allows you to log into a beta version of the portal. Once you log in, you can explore the new portal. Most functionality will be in place and you can complete tasks within the new portal without having to log into the old portal. In addition to eliminated content channels, some of the significant changes include:

  • A clean, easy-to-use interface. The new interface was designed to make it easy to navigate the portal. Tabs have been consolidated into pages that can be accessed by clicking on the page's icon on the Welcome screen. The icons make it easier to use the portal on your smartphone (full mobile optimization of the portal is expected in a future phase of the project).
  • Consolidated Quick Links. On the old portal, users navigated to various tabs to find specific Quick Links. In the new portal, look for the Quick Links option in the top navigation. You'll find a drop down menu that takes you to a page with Quick Links sorted by category. Think something is missing? Let us know at webcomm@radford.edu.
  • Enhancements for students. Students will be able to see all their financial information on the Finances page and update their contact information, RU Alerts profile and emergency contact information from a single portlet.
  • Enhancements for faculty. Faculty will find enhanced portlets on the Teaching page. These portlets let you see your schedule at a glance. You will also find a portlet that allows you to view a class roster or email your class all from a single screen. Enhancements also allow you to access class and term information more quickly and with fewer mouse clicks.
  • Enhancements for employees. Employees will find portlets that allow them to submit a timecard or approve a timecard all from the same page.

It's important for us to note that, although it is beta, if you update your contact information, pay a bill or perform any other function in the new portal, the updates will be permanent in Banner.

We anticipate phasing out the current MyRU portal later this fall. If you have any questions, please email webcomm@radford.edu.


Desire 2 Learn (D2L) tips

With the semester a little more than half complete, we have included a few tips below that might benefit you as well as your students to give a snapshot of how students are doing.

Tip 1: Progress at a Glance: Faculty can view the progress/participation of students in a particular class at a glance. This tool allows faculty to see items such as how often content has been viewed, objectives completed, number of logins and grade items at a glance.

To access this information, go to the More Tools icon on the courses toolbar and click the User Progress button. More detailed information about students can be accessed by clicking the student's name.

Tip 2: Final Grade Visible to the Student: Another feature that may be useful for your students is to find out what grade they have so far (or "find their current grade achievement") in the class. The default setting in the grade book is to not show final calculated grade to user. You can find step-by-step instructions with screen shots on how to enable this feature by visiting the Make Final Grade Column Visible article in the Lore knowledge base. https://php.radford.edu/~knowledge/lore/article.php?id=483.


Thanksgiving break schedule for labs, Young Hall and Technology Support Services

Technology Support Services will provide limited support during Thanksgiving break. Staff will be on call to check voice mail at regular intervals if immediate assistance is needed.

Young Hall will be closed the week of Thanksgiving break. If students need computer access, Walker Hall labs will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 8 a.m. to noon on Wednesday. Young and Walker Halls will resume regular hours on Sunday, Dec. 1.

 

Walker Hall
Labs

Young
Hall

Technology Support
Services

Saturday 11/23

Closed

Closed

Closed

Sunday 11/24

Closed

Closed

Closed

Monday 11/25

8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Closed

8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Tuesday 11/26

8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Closed

8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Wednesday 11/27

8 a.m.-noon

Closed

8 a.m.-noon

Thursday 11/28

Closed

Closed

Closed

Friday 11/29

Closed

Closed

Closed

Saturday 11/30

Closed

Closed

Closed

Sunday  12/1

2 p.m.-midnight

Reopen 10 p.m.

Closed

 


SEO Brings More Traffic to Radford.edu

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of website traffic from natural or organic search results. Having a site that is optimized for search engines is important because search engines drive traffic and help users find what they need.

From late 2011 to early 2013, Web Strategy and Interactive Media completed a two-phase SEO project for the Radford University website. Before the project was started, search engine traffic to Radford.edu represented 4 percent of total traffic. After we completed the project, search engine traffic represented more than 22 percent of total traffic!

Web Strategy and Interactive Media offers periodic workshops on SEO and also can provide SEO consultations. To schedule a consultation, contact us at webcomm@radfor.edu for an appointment.


Watch Out For Phishing Scams

Phishing is a common type of spam that can lead to theft of a user's personal information. Phishing attacks work by "spoofed" emails that are made to appear as if they come from a legitimate website with which a user has online dealings and at which the user has set up an account. Common spoofed accounts may come from what appears to be a user's bank, credit card company, Internet service provider (ISP) or workplace.

The phony email may ask a user to reply with pertinent account details to "update security," for example. The phishing email may also provide a link to a spoofed website or pop-up window that mimics a real site. In reality, the site to which the link connects has been set up for the purpose of obtaining a victim's personal information, such as credit-card numbers, passwords or other account-specific details.

To protect yourself:

  • Never respond to emails that request personal financial information.
    Reputable organizations do not ask their users/customers for passwords or account details in an email. If you think the email may be legitimate, contact the company by phone using a number from official documents or from its website. Be sure to access the official website by typing in the URL manually and not from an email.
  • Be cautious about opening attachments and downloading files from any email, regardless of its source.
    If the systems of trusted friends or colleagues have been compromised, messages could be sent from those systems without their knowledge.
  • Visit important websites by typing the URL into the address bar and not by clicking on email links.
    Phishers often use links within emails to direct their victims to a spoofed site, usually to a similar address such as "mybankonline.com" instead of "mybank.com." The URL shown in the address bar may look genuine, but there are several ways it can be faked to take a user to a spoofed site. Again, if you suspect an email from your bank or online company is false, do not follow or retype any links within the email. Access the known address only by typing it in manually.
  • Keep an eye on your accounts
    Log into your online accounts. Check your statements often. If you see any suspicious transactions, report them immediately.
  • Keep your computer secure.
    Some phishing emails or other spam may contain spyware or open a "backdoor" that allows hackers access to your computer with a "trojan." Maintaining the latest antivirus software will help detect and disable malicious software but will not stop phishing emails. Make sure you keep your operating system up to date, and download the latest security patches for your Internet browser.
  • Never guess. Always ask.
    If you receive a suspicious email and are uncertain what to do, contact RU's Technology Assistance Center at (540) 831-7500 or your ISP. You can also contact the organization that you believe is being spoofed and ask them if the questionable email is legitimate. Never be afraid to ask. Your skepticism could save you time, money and embarrassment.

As a reminder, no one from Radford University will ever ask you to confirm your account or your account password. If you ever receive an email like this, or if someone calls you asking for your login information, contact the IT Security Office at itsecurity@radford.edu.


Wireless presentation tips for classrooms

Did you know that all classrooms on campus have the capability to present wirelessly from your laptop? In three simple steps you could be sending your presentation wirelessly as you move untethered around the classroom.

    First - Select the Wireless Presenter System (WPS) icon on the classroom control pad. You will now see a splash screen from the WPS device on the associated projector screen or TV.

    Next - Launch the WPS application from your laptop. WPS software was previously installed on all RU built computers. Contact the Help Desk if you require the program to be installed.

    Last - Enter associated IP address and login code found on the screen shown on the screen.

    You are now connected and presenting wirelessly to your class!

If you would like more information or need assistance you may contact the Help Desk at x7500.


Meet the DoIT Staff

Don HallDon Hall
Manager of Voice and Video Technologies


How long have you been employed in the Division of Information Technology at Radford University? 15 years.

Family: Wife Anne, daughter Lillian and son Elliott.

Hometown: Lynchburg, Va.

Education: B.M. Music Composition, M.A. Musicology.

Interests/Hobbies: Woodworking, instrument building and researching human history with music as a vehicle.

Favorite vacation destination: Southern Africa.

Favorite part of your job: Ultimately being helpful to others. Along the way, meeting folks, understanding their needs and discovering their interests.