IT Peripherals to Support Home Working

To support University staff with home working, a small range of IT peripherals (keyboards, mice, webcams, headsets etc.) is available via NUIT where the requirement is business-critical.

All requests must be reviewed and authorised by the Head of Unit (or nominee). An approval email also needs to be attached to your request along with a relevant cost code.

Request can be made at go.ncl.ac.uk/itservice/peripheral-request

NUIT will advise on the latest availability and the process for collection.

If you’re unsure of the best solution for your needs, please contact the IT Service Desk

University students who don’t have a computer, laptop or another device they can use for studying, or have no or very limited access to an internet connection and are currently in receipt of financial hardship support, may be eligible for support with IT equipment.

Zoom Drop In Sessions

NUIT are running a series of online training sessions, to demonstrate basic and advance use of Zoom, and to give you the chance to ask questions and get some 1-1 support with the team. 

You can sign up online at https://videoconferencing.ncl.ac.uk/softwaresolutions/zoom/dropinsessions/

Here’s the schedule for May:

Session 1 : Tuesday 12th May 2020 at 10am : 30 minutes duration (+30 mins for questions)

  • How to install Zoom and sign in using Single Sign On (SSO)
  • Best practice and meeting security
  • How to schedule and join a Zoom meeting
  • Basic in-meeting controls

Session 2 : Wednesday 13th May 2020 at 12pm : 45 mins minutes duration (+15 mins for questions)

  • Screen sharing
  • Assigning scheduling rights to colleagues
  • Recording your Zoom meetings
  • Chat and Polls
  • Breakout Rooms

Zoom drop in surgery : Thursday 14th May at 2pm : 1hr duration

Session 1 : Tuesday 19th May 2020 at 10am : 30 minutes duration (+30 mins for questions)

  • How to install and sign in to Zoom
  • Best practice and meeting security
  • How to schedule and join a Zoom meeting
  • Basic in-meeting controls

Session 2 : Wednesday 20th May 2020 at 12pm : 45 mins minutes duration (+15 mins for questions)

  • Screen sharing
  • Assigning scheduling rights to colleagues
  • Recording your Zoom meetings
  • Chat and Polls
  • Breakout Rooms

Zoom drop in surgery : Thursday 21st May at 2pm : 1hr duration

Access popular cluster PC software and your University files away from campus

Log in to the Student Windows Virtual Desktop

To help support your studies while you’re away from campus and can’t get to a cluster room, we’ve launched an online service which gives access to popular cluster PC software and your University files.  

The student Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) has most of the software that’s available on a standard University cluster PC.  See the software currently available.  

You can log in on a PC, laptop or tablet that’s connected to the internet:  

Once you’ve tried it, we’d love your feedback. You can submit comments or suggestions via our online form.  

If you have any questions or problems logging in, please contact the IT Service Desk.  

IT support before and during your assessments

University IT support is available 24/7. If you have any issues accessing your assessment or University IT systems you can call us on +44 (0)191 208 5999 at any time, or email it.servicedesk@ncl.ac.uk (email is monitored 08:00 – 17:00 BST, Monday to Friday).

For your own peace of mind, before the assessment period begins, and to ensure you are prepared, we recommend the following:

  • Check you have your University username and password
  • Make sure you can log in to Blackboard or any other online systems that are required
  • Try accessing software you may need such as Microsoft Word

If you have any problems please contact the IT Service Desk.

You can access the full suite of Microsoft Office applications at https://office365.ncl.ac.uk – simply log in and click on the ‘app launcher’ in the top left corner.

The Student Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) has most of the software that is available on a standard University cluster PC, including specialist applications to support students with health difficulties, dyslexia and disabilities. You can log in to it from a PC, laptop or tablet that is connected to the internet via https://go.ncl.ac.uk/itservice/wvd.

The Student Wellbeing Service also provides advice and support to enable all students to study effectively. 

Full details of the NUIT support for the online assessment period are available on the IT Service website.  

Getting the most from MS Teams – Weekly Webinars

Over the next few months we will be running weekly webinars covering communication, collaboration and customisation in Microsoft Teams. Below are the session running next week and you can sign-up for sessions here.

Tuesday 21st April 2-3pm
Collaboration in Microsoft Teams

In the session we’ll cover:  

  • Sharing files with your Team/stakeholders
  • Sharing files in meetings
  • Managing files and channels
  • Co-authoring best practice
  • Restricting permissions on files

Thursday 23rd April 2-3pm
Communication in Microsoft Teams

In the session we’ll cover:  

  • Chatting: 1:1 and Group Chats- Do you really need all of those Teams?
  • Posting to a Team: best practice and tips
  • Voice and Video Calls: How to schedule and manage meetings
  • Notifications: Controlling the noise

Sign-up for your chosen sessions here

Your name’s not down, you’re not coming in. (Tips to prevent Zoombombing)

There’s a few steps you can take to make sure unwanted guests don’t hijack your Zoom meetings:

Use a unique meeting ID

Don’t use your Personal Meeting ID (PMI) to schedule meetings as this may allow users that have joined a previous meeting to rejoin. Your PMI is best kept for instant meetings with people you chat with regularly.

Schedule meetings with a Unique Meeting ID, especially for large or public sessions.

Add a meeting password

It’s recommended you set a password for all meetings and webinars. You can add ‘require meeting password’ when scheduling your meeting. Invitees will be asked for the password in order to join.

Make sure you send the meeting password in a separate email (not in the meeting invite in case calendars are public). For attendees joining by phone, pick a numeric password (6 digits is good).

Create a Waiting Room

You can create a virtual waiting room when scheduling your meeting and, as a host, decide who you will or won’t allow into your call.

Lock your meeting

Once a meeting has started you, as a host, you can lock the meeting to stop anyone else joining (at the bottom of the screen choose More > Lock Meeting).

Limit screen sharing to the Host

Zoom screen sharing settings can be configured either in advance or during a meeting to allow only the host to share their screen:

  1. Click the up-arrow next to Share Screen.
  2. Select Advanced Sharing Options.
  3. Under Who can share, click Only Host.

Meetings in your Outlook calendar

Remember, Zoom meetings in your Outlook calendar may include the Zoom meeting password – exposing it to anyone who views your calendar. Try making the calendar entry private or editing the entry to remove the Zoom meeting password.

Remove an unwanted guest

If you need to give an unwanted attendee the boot:

  1. Click Manage Participants at the bottom of the window.
  2. Next to the person you want to remove, select More.
  3. Click Remove.

Screen Sharing in Teams and Zoom meetings

During a video meeting in Microsoft Teams or Zoom, you might want to share your screen with a coworker. This could be useful as it’ll help them see content on the program or app you have open and are discussing.

We’ve put together some handy links and best practice advice to get you started.

Remember, during screen sharing, your entire screen can be visible. To avoid displaying everything on your screen during a meeting, you can choose the option to share a program or application only, so people in the call will only see the program of your choice.

Support for Delivering Teaching Remotely

LTDS are providing information and resources on their Education Continuity web pages to support colleagues  moving from on campus teaching to delivery of teaching materials online. 

You’ll find detailed guidance on communication, lecturesseminarsaccessibility and assessment policies for the current situation.

There is support for remote teaching delivery including a number of daily webinars and a twice daily online drop-in session to get real time help with delivering teaching remotely. These start Thursday 19 March and currently run until Friday 3 April.

The resources will continue to evolve and be added to, so check back regularly.  

Student working on a tablet

Working from home with children

For many people, this will be the first time they’ve had to try to balance childcare with home working. It’s not easy and it will take time to establish new routines, new ways of working and realistic expectations.

There are lots of articles on the web giving hints and tips about how to be effective but this one makes an interesting point in the current circumstances ‘long-term loneliness can induce “fight-or-flight” stress signalling, which negatively affects the immune system, so people who feel lonely have less immunity and more inflammation than others.’

Have a look at the article for some practical suggestions but remember, keeping in touch with colleagues and making time for grown up conversations might be more beneficial than you realise!

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/tips-working-home-children

Stressed, scattered and distracted by email? Here’s a few tips that may help…

Set boundaries around you work email 

Email is essential for remote working, but every email has a cost in time and attention. Here are some tips that may help: 

  • Use your out of office message to set response-time expectations. 
  • Update your email signature to include when and how you’ll answer emails.  
  • If you need to send emails out of normal working hours (e.g. for childcare) be clear about what you need the recipient to do and when.  
  • You can delay or schedule sending email messages 
  • Is an email necessary? Try a chat message or a call in TeamsSkype or Zoom 
  • Lead by example. If you send and respond to emails outside normal working hours, others will too. Discuss and set clear expectations. 

Remember, you shouldn’t expect an instant response to email – particularly outside of normal office hours. See the useful email guides on the IT Service website.