Educational Technology Update for Fall 2011

Classroom Updates and Changes for Fall 2011

Operating System and Software Updates

  • Windows 7 – Most classrooms are now running Windows 7 operating system.  The desktop screen should look as similar as we were able to make to the previous version from last year.  One difference that will be noticeable is that the systems will default at the login screen to login into the UNMC campus domain, individuals with a TNMC id and password will need to follow the instructions below the login area for logging into the TNMC network to use these computers.  This is a change in Windows 7 that requires a different way to switch between login networks.
  • Office 2010 – Starting last year, we are now using Office 2010 in all classrooms throughout campus.
  • Smartboard Update – A new update for Smartboard has been installed.  We are continuing to work with Smart Technologies to remove the various pop-ups that appear asking for updates and other software installs.  For the time being, if the software asks to install an update or other package, we are recommending to accept the changes and then proceed to use the computer and smart board.
  • Drivers and plugins – We have updated all drivers and plugins on classroom computers.
  • Deployment and security software
    • The workstations are now using Symantec antivirus and malware software with the campus conversion to this software this summer.  We are seeing little difference in the operation of the computers with this software, one may still experience some nag notices but they have been kept to a minimum on most computers.
    • Citrix software distribution has been upgraded to the latest edition along with an upgrade of the servers that deploy the software to the desktops in the classrooms and clusters.  We have seen a significant improvement in startup with the new system versus the previous version.  Bootup and login still take a minute or so as the Windows 7 operating system takes longer to boot than previous Windows operating systems.
    • A select number of high use classrooms have been converted to a totally local managed system to improve performance.  Sorrell 3001, 3002, 1005, 2010,2014 and 2018 have been converted to locally managed systems with Deep Freeze lock down software.

Classroom hardware and av equipment updates

  • Sorrell 1012 new computers installed and operational, the computers now are setup the same way as Sorrell 1010 and include a flat screen monitor.
  • New computers have been installed in Sorrell 3001, 3002, 1015, 2010, 2014 and 2018
  • New projectors have been installed in selected Sorrell small group rooms where the projector image was degraded by overheating of the projectors.

Respondus Update - Respondus 4.0.4 – Details on Available Update

Respondus, a software for creating and managing exams which can be printed to paper or published directly to Blackboard for computer based administration. Respondus is available to the UNMC campus through June 30, 2012 thanks to a University of Nebraska Kelly Grant. Using Respondus, Blackboard exams can be created off-line using a familiar Windows environment, such as MS Word, and then copied to Blackboard. Learn more about Respondus software at:http://respondus.com/products/respondus.shtml

The Respondus 4.0.4 update includes several small enhancements and bug fixes, as well as support for the latest Blackboard.  To view the complete list of enhancements, visithttp://www.respondus.com/download/respondus40patch.shtml.

Install the Respondus 4.0.4 update by following these steps:
* Start Respondus 4.0
* Select “Help” from the menu bar
* Click “Check for Update”
* Click “Get Update”
* Upon exiting the Respondus software, the update will automatically be applied

The Respondus software can be downloaded for installation:
The campus license and installation instructions for Respondus can be found at: http://ess.unmc.edu
Please print off the Install Instructions to guide you through the software installation process. Once you log into ESS click on Information Technology > Software > Respondus

Respondus LockDown Browser

Respondus LockDown Browser” is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard. When students use Respondus LockDown Browser they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications. When an assessment is started, students are locked into it until they submit it for grading. Learn more about Respondus LockDown Browser at: http://www.respondus.com/products/lockdown.shtml

The installation of Respondus LockDown Browser is strictly limited to computers which are permanently located on the University of Nebraska Medical Center campus AND managed/controlled by UNMC. The installation of Respondus LockDown browser on home, student or any other computers which leave the UNMC campus is not permitted.

Current installation locations:
Michael Sorrell Building rooms 1010 and 1012
College of Nursing at Kearney Learning Resource Center
A campus license and installation instructions for Respondus LockDown browser can be obtained by contacting Melissa Diers at mdiers@unmc.edu

Echo360

The Echo360 classroom and workstation recording system has been upgraded to the latest release.  The latest release added many administrative enhancements but the most significant enhancement for users is an enhanced player that is now available for portable technology such as iPad and iPod as well as other mobile devices.  For access to a manual go to http://confluence.echo360.com/display/40/4.0+Documentation+Home

Blackboard Upgrade

We have completed the upgrade of the campus blackboard system to the latest version and to new servers.  We are continuing to migrate courses from the previous server to the new server as requested.  The transfers have been mostly completed successfully with a only a handful of courses that required special processing.

This version of Blackboard has mostly problem fixes.  The most significant changes in Blackboard in the recent updates have been the testing area including test question numbering and testing updates.  It is now possible to set a time limit on tests that is automatically triggered when the time is up and then the test is closed.  Students can monitor the time left with the addition of time left in the test progress bar at the top of the test screen.

The new version is available at the original web address my8.unmc.edu and the previous version of blackboard is at oldbb.unmc.edu.