Disaster Recovery testing

While some very lucky staff are off on trimester vacay, we’re taking the opportunity to complete the annual IT disaster recovery test. We’re putting our Scouts hat on, ‘Be Prepared’.

For those fortunate enough to be on the beach in Bali, you can continue sipping your cocktail knowing we’ve got your covered. You can trust that we’re on the ball, executing a fail-over test in the case of a major disaster.

The disaster recovery test is a major activity to ensure the University’s key information systems can be recovered and continue to operate in the event of a major disruption.

This year’s testing includes

  • A major site fail-over test simulating the loss of all in-house hosted systems. During this test period, access to all systems and associated links including access to the Griffith home page and internet will be unavailable.
  • Testing the fail-over capability of our critical telephone systems, student printing system and SharePoint document repository. During this test period, access to these systems could be interrupted.

When?

The date and times and subject to change (it’s always in the small print) but currently, the date and times are:

  1. Sunday 22 October 2017
  • In-house hosted systems (including internet and wi-fi access)
    8am – noon
  • Telephones, student printing and SharePoint
    8am – midnight

While this may cause some inconvenience, these tests are required and you will receive more information as the date gets closer.

For further information, please contact Sudath Wijeratne.  More information about scheduled maintenance for the remainder of 2017 is available in the Maintenance Calendar.


The Lecture Capture service is getting an upgrade

The current version of Lecture Capture (Echo Centre) is coming to the end of its vendor support in 2017. To continue providing the valuable lecture capture service, the University is implementing the new version, Echo360 (Active Learning Platform) beginning in Trimester 3 2017.

The existing arrangements for automated lecture recording will continue with one change. Prior to the first teaching session in a Trimester, you will need to add the Echo360 link to your Learning@Griffith course site. This will provide you with greater flexibility to either link to a whole course section within Echo360 or to specific recordings.

Help materials including screenshots and a short video to assist you with adding this link will be made available prior to Trimester 3 2017.

In addition to the above change, you will notice some powerful new functionality including:

  • improved personal capture for creating desktop videos,
  • the ability to embed student response activities within your presentations and videos,
  • and a mechanism for students to identify points of confusion.

You can still use Echo360 like you do now, but if you would like to learn more about the new features for your classroom, visit the Project website.


Launch of the new Academic Integrity Tutorial

The new Academic Integrity Tutorial is coming…

It’s out with old, and in with the new!

Information Services is launching a new version of the student Academic Integrity Tutorial on Friday 16 June 2017.

Be sure to say your goodbyes to the current tutorial. It’s served us well, but we’re turning it off to make way for the new and improved version.

How has it been improved? Well, we’re glad you asked. The assessment has been simplified so you’ll no longer have to check the Mark Centre for student completions.

Students will see a certificate when they successfully complete the final quiz; it is similar to the process for the annual fire safety test.

You can instruct the student to submit their certificate by email or via an assignment submission point on their Learning@Griffith course site.

Access to the Mark Centre is still available to you. So if you need to download results for large numbers of students, the Mark Centre is still the place to go.

Giving your students access to the tutorial is easy. Simply, use the Learning@Griffith Organisation Enrolment Manager to automatically enrol students from any of your course sites into the Academic Integrity Tutorial organisation.

The Organisation Enrolment Manager can be found in your Learning@Griffith course site under the Control Panel:

  • Click Users and Groups
  • Click Organisation Enrolment
  • Choose Add Enrolment
  • Enter the Organisation ID: ACADEMIC_INTGY_A1_TUTORIAL.

Need help? Check out this handy Organisation Enrolment Manager guide.

We have also moved to a new version of Study Smart which you can find on the library website. The earlier version of Study Smart will not be available after June 16.

The Study Smart quiz is available on Learning@Griffith and will be updated for Trimester 2. There’s no need to update your bookmarks as the link to the quiz will remain the same.


Learning@Griffith is speeding along

learning_squareThe Blackboard Hosting Migration Project recently migrated Learning@Griffith from our internal hardware to Blackboard’s Managed Hosting Environment.

Supporting the Griffith Online Strategy, this move enhances our capability to ensure issues are responded to at any time of the day or night. It also provides optimal application speed and responsiveness, no matter how many people are logged in!

Information Services (INS) teams (including EIS, ITI & IM) worked with Blackboard staff to provide the support and expertise required to ensure that the migration was a success.

Professor Alf Lizzio, Director of Learning Futures, said: “The quality of the outcome is a testimony to the careful and collaborative planning and implementation of a highly complex and strategically important component of our learning and teaching environment. I really appreciate and value the willingness of staff to go above and beyond to achieve this outstanding result”.

In recent weeks, INS and Blackboard Managed Hosting Services worked together to mitigate the effects of a series of (external) major malicious attacks on Blackboard’s Sydney Data Centre.

Measures are currently in place to ensure that the system performs optimally during Semester 2. Thanks to the combined effort of INS and Blackboard, Learning@Griffith is running approximately 20% faster than it was prior to the migration.

For further information, contact Kristina Nisova (Communication Officer) or Den Cho (Project Manager).


Readings: the New Reading List Service

Course Readings

Readings, the new reading list service, delivers the required learning resources identified in the course profile to students in a timely and user friendly way.

The service was introduced in January 2015. As of 30 June 2015, more than 39,000 users have accessed the new reading list service and have viewed over 330,000 pages.

All the reading lists are created from information in the course profile system and digitised reading in Learning@Griffith.  The lists link directly to resources in the library catalogue, external websites (e.g. eJournals) and any requested digitised readings.

You can access reading lists at Learning@Griffith or visit: readinglists.griffith.edu.au.readings_rectangle

Readings has a number of benefits including:

  • Seamlessly integrating the lists within Learning@Griffith course sites as well as improves procurement of library resources
  • Students will be able to discover and access learning and reading resources via a single source
  • An easy to use Copyright management tool
  • It is scalable to support the changes to the education model over the next few years

For further information information, visit: https://intranet.secure.griffith.edu.au/teaching/course-readings

To provide feedback on the new reading list service, visit: https://griffith.rl.talis.com/feedback.html


Learning@Griffith is moving to the Cloud

learning_squareSince March, the Blackboard Project Team have been working on moving Learning@Griffith from the Information Services basement into Blackboard’s cloud hosting environment.

The move is scheduled to happen on the 11th and 12th of July. This means Learning@Griffith will be unavailable for two days.

There will be no changes to the Learning@Griffith user interface or functionality. The changes will effect the back end of the system only.

Aside from supporting the Griffith Online Strategy, the move to the Cloud provides many benefits to the University, including greater coverage of system-wide outages.

Moving Learning@Griffith to the Cloud presents many challenges – both technical and non-technical. But the project team is up for the challenge as they have experience on their side.

Earlier this year, the team developed a small learning environment that is successfully hosted in the Cloud. The learning environment uses the latest version of Blackboard and created specifically for Griffith’s Accelerated Online Programs.

If you have any inquiries or concerns about the Blackboard Project, please contact Den Cho.


App, App and Away!

  • The Griffith App continues to go from strength to strength.

Griffith AppFrom O-Week to the end of the first week of Semester 1 2014, more than 10,000 new users downloaded the Griffith App, bringing the total number of users up to over 100,000.

Manager of the Griffith app, Leigh Stevenson, says it’s doing remarkably well—with great support from the Office of Marketing and Communications to promote it.

“We recently saw a daily peak of 42,712 application runs on day one of Semester, and the all-time number of app runs across all versions is now over 3.5 million,” he said.

Urban & Environmental Planning student Angela Lavcanovska is enjoying the easy access to information.

“The Griffith App is really handy for me. Especially since this is my first year and everything is still so new,” she said.

“With the app, all the help and information I need is just one tap away. I feel so organised!”

The ‘Map’ and ‘Timetable’ features are proving popular, along with ‘Learning’, which provides mobile friendly access to Learning@Griffith.

Business student Sara Petrovska is one of 49,148 students who enjoyed the perks of using an interactive campus map during O-Week.

“Being a first year student, the Griffith App has really helped me get around campus without getting lost!” she said.

“It’s like my survival kit.”

The Griffith App is currently available in Apple’s App Store, Google Play, and online (mobile friendly version).