Jul 22

Software licence server changes may affect some staff

A new licence server called Oblivion is being created to replace our current licence server (Babbage). It will take over all existing licenses from Babbage as the licences come up for renewal during the period of July and August 2014. In most cases users of the affected software (see list below) will not notice any interruption of service.

There may be some users, particularly if they have software provided from the Welcome Desk on unmanaged University machines, who may need to change some settings.

Unmanaged desktop users may need to change settings

Some users will need to change settings either in the machine environment, editing file(s) or within the software itself. This DOES NOT apply to software installed with single user or standalone licenses only those using Babbage. Further information will be provided on a program by program basis during the course of the migration process.

Staff PC users should be unaffected

The changes should be invisible to these users. App-V software will be adjusted to use the new licence server centrally, which includes adjusting environment variables on the machines via GPO settings. Any updated App-V applications will be downloaded automatically by the user’s PC when they access the software. This may take a few minutes to occur but this download should only occur once on a staff PC. All the other changes will take place in the background as needed.

Software impacted by this change

The following applications currently use Babbage as a licence server and information on required changes will be issued either shortly before, or after the renewal date of the licence:

 

Program Version Renewal Date
1. SPSS all versions 31 July 2014
2. Amos all versions 31 July 2014
3. ArcGIS all versions 31 July 2014
4. Maple all versions 31 August 2014
5. Minitab all versions 31 August 2014
6. Matlab all versions 31 May 2015
7. EViews* 8 23 November 2014
8. Sigmaplot 12 31 August 2014
9. MaxTRAQ* Perpetual

 

*MaxTRAQ and EViews will need to be migrated from the old server to the new server since these licenses don’t expire in the usual manner. E.g. MaxTRAQ is a difficult one from a technical perspective to do because it doesn’t use a proper licence service, rather an EXE.

Advice will be issued to users as each program comes up for renewal and the work necessary to migrate the software to the new server is discovered. If you experience any issues with any of the above programs please contact IT Helpdesk at helpdesk@kent.ac.uk.

Jul 16

SharePoint 2013 major upgrade: complete

sharepoint_2013_by_cassemiro-d64tt98

SharePoint 2013 is now live!

https://sharepoint.kent.ac.uk 

It looks different now, and some features work differently. When you first use it, take a few minutes to become familiar with the new layout and features.

What is different?

Your SharePoint site will look more modern, and you should find it easier to use. The style matches the look and feel of Windows Live/Windows 8.

Meeting workspaces are different

Meeting workspaces needed to work differently in order to be compatible. Meetings that were set up before the upgrade are still available. Post-upgrade meetings can be set up using the new features that SharePoint 2013 offers.

 

New feature: in-browser editing
You can edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents directly in your web browser of choice (including Safari), without using MS Office.

 

Sharing and permissions
There is a simpler sharing interface, which will reduce the time it takes to correctly setup permissions and collaborate with colleagues.

What is the same?

  • The core features of document storage and collaboration.
  • Links to your SharePoint site and its content (documents and pages).
  • The layout of document libraries.
  • All site permissions, documents and folders are in the same location.

Not everything has been upgraded yet

The following features have been split out from the main SharePoint. Now that the main upgrade is complete, they will be scheduled for redevelopment within SharePoint 2013:

  • Events factory* 
  • Module catalogue
  • Work allocation
  • Annual leave calendars

Why did we upgrade?

SharePoint needed to be upgraded to a newer, faster version (SharePoint 2013), on more reliable, higher speed servers with more storage capacity. This version provides added functionality and flexibility to meet current and future business needs. SharePoint 2007 will not be supported by Microsoft from July 2015.

Help and support

Advice on using SharePoint 2013 can be found within SharePoint.

Please contact us you have any queries or concerns.

Online tutorials

You can browse through these short YouTube videos that cover many of its features.

 

Jun 27

Changes in the Templeman Library over summer

carousel1Building work in the Templeman Library continues at a pace during the summer vacation with the refurbishment of Level 1 West, the replacement of all windows in the West Wing and the relocation of the Core Text Collection into Level 1 East. The Loan Desk and Reservations pick-up point will also move to Level 1 East.

Work at a glance

  • 1 July: Core Text Collection completes move into Level 1 East – together with the Loan Desk and Reservations pick-up point
  • 7 July: Level 1 West closes for refurbishment
  • 7 – 19 July: limited access to some books and journals on Level 3 West – find out which classmarks are affected

Study spaces

Some study spaces may be at a risk of increased noise during phases of the Library refurbishment. Please check local signage for alternative study locations.

Every effort is being made to minimise disruption in the building and to keep you informed of any changes to services and facilities.

Library Café opening

Library Café summer vacation opening will be:

  • Monday – Friday: 10am – 4pm
  • Saturday – Sunday: closed

Find out more:

Jun 27

Open access publishing support at Kent

The term Open Access (OA) refers to unrestricted access to peer-reviewed research outputs via the Internet, free of charge and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.

Open Access is often referred to as Gold or Green. The University of Kent supports OA principles and objectives, with a preference for Green but also support for Gold.

Find out more, including:

  • why publish open access?
  • how we are supporting Gold and Green Open Access publishing
  • how to publish to Kent Academic Repository (KAR)
  • which OA journals we publish at the University

 

www.kent.ac.uk/is/open-access

Introduction to Open Access at Kent, on Slideshare:

 

 

 

 

Jun 27

On trial: American Indian Histories and Cultures

You have trial access to American Indian Histories and Cultures until 21 July 2014.

Explore manuscripts, artwork and rare printed books dating from the earliest contact with European settlers right up to photographs and newspapers from the mid-20th century. Browse through a wide range of rare and original documents from treaties, speeches and diaries, to historic maps and travel journals.

Please note that trial PDF download options are not available.

Please email comments and feedback to: eresources@kent.ac.uk

Jun 18

Prospective students help us improve course content

To help us meet the needs of prospective students, we took a user-led approach to designing how we present courses on University websites.

This has resulted in an improved course finder on the University homepage, and the development of course snippets, a joined-up way to manage and present course information on school and central course pages.

User-led approach

User testing session, and screenshot of course summary snippet

User testing session at an Open Day, and screenshot of course summary snippet

At a recent University Open Day, we were able to engage potential students in the testing process, in addition to asking current undergraduates and postgraduates their views.

Findings

They all asked us for clear, simple and uncluttered content. We learnt about how users expect ‘apply’ links to work, and what related course information they expect.

This fed directly into the design of the course pages/course snippets, and the design of the online course finder on the University homepage –  now placed more prominently and optimised to deliver the right result in one click.

Course snippetsSnippets

This new method for academic schools to display their course information is gradually being adopted across school websites.

Advice on managing University web content

Jun 18

Student Data System replacement project: June update

SDS-imageBelow is a quick rundown of what’s happening in June/July – including the forming of a stakeholder group to represent SDS users, the project team starting work, and a summary of the full project plan.

Project team start work

The new project team will attend briefing and initiation sessions in the next two weeks, to look discuss their roles and practical aspects of getting started on the project.

This will be followed by three weeks of intensive training with Tribal consultants from 30 June (Tribal SITS are the system provider). In the last week of July, system configuration work begins. This will continue until Spring 2016.

Project plan summary

The full project plan is a considerable size, so this summary document offers a more detailed overview of project timeframes: project plan summary (pdf)

Stakeholder group: representing SDS users

Invites are being sent shortly for the first meeting of the Stakeholder Group, formed of around 30 representatives from across the University (academic, administration and professional services). They will represent the knowledge and experience of SDS users across the University and feed their views in to the Project Board. The project board are responsible for operational decisions relating to the project team.

If you have any questions about project governance, please contact me, Nicci Place – details below.

Presentations and feedback

Presentations to staff, to give them an overview of the project and invite feedback and questions, will continue to run across campus until 24 June. Feedback will then be collated, and answers to specific questions filtered back to the relevant groups. A list of FAQs is being compiled and will be published online by the end of June.

Presentation slides (ppt)

Contact me

For more information, about the project, please contact Nicci Place, Project Communications Lead:

Jun 18

Limited access to parts of Level 3 West– early-mid July

There will be restrictions to accessing some books and journals on Level 3 West from Monday 7 – Wednesday 16 July, as work on the Templeman Library Development project continues with the replacement and refurbishment of the windows in this area.

Arts & Architecture books and journals

  • from 7-10 July you can access books with classmarks ND-NX between 4-7pm only
  • from 7-11 July you can access journals with classmarks N-NM between 4-7pm only

Political Science books and journals

  • from 14-19 July you can access books and journals with classmark J between 4-7pm only.

If you are unable to access materials between 4-7pm, we will retrieve items for you which can be collected the following day.  Please visit the IT & Library Support Desk on Level 2 Centre to place your request. If you cannot make your request in person please phone the IT & Library Support Desk on 01227 824999.

Phone requests are available between Monday 7  July - Wednesday 16 July for materials located on Level 3 West only. IT & Library Support Desk opening hours are 9am – 6pm Monday to Friday.

Not affected

  • Arts & Architecture books with classmarks N-NC
  • Law books and journals
  • Government publications
  • DVD and CD collection

Study spaces

Access to quiet study spaces will be limited and study carrels on Level 4 West may be at risk of increased noise. Please check local signage for alternative study locations.

We will make every effort to minimise disruption in the building and to keep you fully informed of any changes to services and facilities. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Find out more:

 

Jun 09

Course snippets bring consistency and ease-of-use to our websites

Snippets

The new method for academic schools to display course information on their website, ‘course snippets’, is gradually being adopted across school websites.

How the snippets work

They are Dreamweaver snippets that pull course information into school websites from a central database, making them consistent with central course pages.

The design of central course information was user-led, with prospective students and current undergraduates/ postgraduates involved. They asked us for clear, uncluttered information, told us how they expect ‘apply’ links to work, and what related information they expect about courses.

More about the snippets and how to get them

Why is this important?

Once all schools have adopted the snippets, we will have a consistent way of presenting and maintaining course information across the University, that has been designed with prospective students’ feedback at the heart of the process.

This helps us as a University to comply with one of the major themes of the Higher Education Review (HER) in early 2015:

The provision of information with an ‘expectation that information for intended audiences about the learning opportunities on offer is fit for purpose, accessible and trustworthy’.

The new snippets, which draw content from an agreed information source (the Programmes Plant), will facilitate compliance with HEFCE expectations.

Read how prospective students helped us

Advice on managing University web content

 

 

 

Jun 04

DVDs and videos are moving

DVDs and individual viewing stations are currently moving from the Core Text Collection to Level 3 West – please look out for signage in that area.

You can access the DVDs throughout the move: they will be either on the original shelf or being reshelved in their new location. If you can’t find what you are looking for please ask a member of staff.

VHS videos are all moving into the basement Store – please fill in a store request.

We are moving these items to prepare for the move of the Core Text Collection into Level 1 East at the start of the vacation. We apologise for any inconvenience.

 

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