More Computer Maintenance – March 8 – 7 am to 1 pm

springbreakSpring has more ‘sproing’ than ‘sprung’ at this point… and can you believe the time change for Daylight Savings time is *this* weekend…. I’m sleep deprived enough that I can’t afford to lose the hour at this point.

Don’t touch office computers or anything; it’ll all reset itself automagically. If the time is not right on Monday, reboot it once, and if it’s still cranky, send an email to helpdesk@genesee.edu and we’ll find a sun lamp for it. You’re on your own for your personal computers, but they should reset fine!

But our intrepid crew of Computer folk will be forging onward, performing system maintenance on Sunday, March 8 between 7 am and 1 pm.

ALL SYSTEMS WILL BE AFFECTED. Not everything will be offline for the entire time, but if you do connect during this time, you may be disconnected without warning.

FACULTY – please warn your online students. Since it’s the start of Spring break, you probably do not have work due, but some of your students may be looking to catch up on Sunday morning… (okay, we know that’s not really going to happen, but someone has to be an optimist about it!)

Me? I have blackout curtains! I’m going to sleep in on Sunday… I need all the sleep I can get!

Questions? Send me an email: mjheider@genesee.edu

–Mary Jane

Computer System Maintenance – Monday, February 16 – 8 am to 4 pm

On February 17 in history*:

  • 1876 – Sardines first canned (Julius Wolff – Eastport, Maine)
  • 1933 – US Senate accepts Blaine Ace: ending prohibition
  • 1949 – Chaim Weitzman elected 1st president of Israel
  • 1967 – Beatles release “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields”
  • 1983 – Netherlands adopts constitution
  • 1996 – Garry Kasparov defeats Deep Blue 4-2 in chess
  • 1998 – USA Women’s Ice Hockey Team beats Canada and wins the first Olympic Gold medal

And joining all those illustrious events:

Monday, February 16th, 2015 – Computer Services performs all day system maintenance; all systems unavailable

Yup! Another glorious day in history, where all electronic systems will be off line between 8 am and 4 pm. This includes: Blackboard, Web, Library, Faculty/Staff email, Banner. If you get connected during this time, you may be disconnected without warning.

And don’t even think about trying to sneak on campus to try to get some work done; we’re going to be rebooting internal systems which means office areas will be disconnected from the network as we reboot those devices.

Questions? You know where I live!

–Mary Jane Heider

Calling the Help Desk with Blackboard Problems/Questions

bb-logo2Honestly? Not the best option.

The problem is, the nice folk on the help desk can tell you if Blackboard / Genesis is up and running *and* they are excellent at helping you with login issues. Beyond that? Nada.

What happens is that the folk at the help desk do not have access to Blackboard and cannot help you with access to courses, questions about why your exam isn’t working or anything else inside the system.

Your options:

  • Always start with your instructor. Contact him/her and describe your problem.
  • Send an email to helpdesk@genesee.edu — the folk there have better access to Blackboard and can better answer your questions.

Now, I’ll admit that the help desk email isn’t watched 24 hours a day, but, well, you get pretty much the same response time whether you call the help desk or send an email to helpdesk@genesee.edu. That’s because your Blackboard questions are ALL answered by the folk who work in Batavia. So whether you call the phone number at 11 pm on Saturday night, or send an email at 11 pm on a Saturday night, no one may get back to you until Monday morning.

Yikes!

So be patient with the folk on the phone if you do call. They don’t have access, can’t help you and can only take a message that gets passed on to us in Batavia.

Questions? Send an email to the help desk email or to online@genesee.edu — we’ll be glad to help!

Winter Courses – What Really Happens!

It sounds like such a good idea.

Take the ‘break’ between the Fall and Spring semesters and make some courses available… students can take a course to either catch up and/or get ahead on something they might need.

So, glutton for punishment that I am, I offered to teach Statistics (Mat 129) over the Winter session. An entire semester of Stats in 26 days.

I’ll tell you, I learned a lot!

One of the best things I did was to be relentless with the workload warnings before the start of the session. Starting in mid-November, I started sending emails to students with a draft course schedule. I was blunt about how much work the course was and the expectations I had. I told students that if they didn’t have 20-30 hours per week to devote to the course, they should re-think their plans. A lot of students dropped from that alone!

What I didn’t quite plan on was my own workload. I was warning students that they really had to figure how Christmas and New Year’s would figure into their workload, and then I find myself with enough family obligations that I didn’t get any work done on the course over those days myself! And now that we’ve reached PAD week and Spring classes start next week, I’m scrambling to keep up with the correcting and feedback.

Being the last part of the course during this week, a good number of students are also struggling. Test 3 was due Monday (yesterday) and I’ve had to add an extra day since a good portion of the class wasn’t finished. But that puts them further behind, since the class technically ends on Friday and the final exam is due on Saturday at midnight. (I suspect that will slide to Sunday, but don’t tell anyone!) So there’s a ton of work for all of us to do this week.

Will I do it again? Probably! I did end up with a great group of students and they’re hard working. I only had a couple of students ‘walk away’ from the course and not finish it. That’s going to be an excellent completion rate for a traditionally tough course, much less in the 4 week session.

I will be even tougher next time on warning students about the workload. It’s not for the faint hearted or anyone struggling with their math skills. Computer skills and access turn out to be really important. A dependable working computer is key, especially since there’s no real time to re-group and find another place to work.

Teaching a Winter class was an interesting experience! Hope my students thought so, too!

Fall 2014 Grades Now Available!

From the hard working folk in the Records Office:

  • Fall 2014 grade processing is complete.
  • Students can view their grades and cumulative info on Genesis.
    • Log into Genesis > Banner Self Service > Student Services
  • Student questions regarding grades should be directed to the instructor.
  • Academic Probation has also been run.
  • Students who pre-registered for Spring 2015 courses and, after Fall 2014 grading, didn’t meet the pre-requisites, can view their revised schedule on Genesis.
  • Degree Evaluations can now be done.
  • Transcripts will now be sent if they are not waiting on degree information.
    • Transcripts awaiting degree information (i.e. if you were supposed to graduate as of December) will be sent in the next few days.
  • Dean’s & President’s list will be run in 2 weeks.

Subway Now Open on Batavia Campus!

On Tuesday, December 2, American Food and Vending opened the Subway franchise in the student union.  Subway will be open each week as follows:

  • Monday – Thursday  10:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday   10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Saturday  noon-  6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday  noon-  3:00 p.m.

The Subway franchise carries a full line of Subway products (except for breakfast items).  All promotions that you see advertised nationally are honored here at Genesee.  Subway points, on Subway cards, can be accumulated and redeemed here at Genesee.

Students who have purchased a meal plan can use Subway as an option for their meal plan.  A Subway meal includes a six inch sub, drink, and chips or two cookies.  Subs that are eligible for the meal plan are those shown on the first two screens of the menu panels behind the serving line.

Computer System Maintenance – October 13

TiredJust because it’s a holiday, doesn’t mean there isn’t work to do!  ::grin::

If you’re relatively new or simply don’t remember, Computer Services routinely uses the Monday holiday in each semester to do major system maintenance. The advantage is that for our vendors, it’s a normal work day, and for us, well, you-all aren’t here!

What makes this important is that ALL SYSTEMS will be OFFLINE AND UNAVAILABLE between 6 AM and 4 PM on Monday, October 13.

This includes and is not limited to:

  • College web site
  • Genesis / Blackboard
  • Employee Email (mail will not be lost; it will be held until delivery is possible later in the day)
  • Student Email (well, not offline, but they won’t be able to get to it)
  • Library
  • Access to Banner Self Service

FACULTY: If you have work due in any course on October 13, please take this into account. Students will not be able to submit work until later in the day.

I am very aware that many working students like to take advantage of the day off from classes to catch up on assignments. Your instructor can help by providing a list of “things you can do for 10 hours while Blackboard is offline.” There are reading assignments, research papers, videos and other work that can probably be completed without Blackboard. We’re not shutting down the entire Internet (although don’t you wish we could every once in a while?), just our little corner of it.

Questions? You know where I live!