Computer System Maintenance – Monday, October 12 – 7 am to 5 pm

Yeah, sorry… all day computer maintenance on the Columbus Day holiday.

Tired

All systems will be affected; access to computer systems will be impacted. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Genesis
  • Blackboard
  • Banner / Banner Self Service
  • Library
  • College web site
  • Faculty/staff email — student email will NOT be impacted

If you do gain access to any system during the day, you may be cut off at any time without warning.

STUDENTS — now I know a lot of you take advantage of the holiday to catch up. Especially adult students who have ‘day jobs’ and need to do homework when you can. You can still do a lot of things without Blackboard, if you plan properly. Make sure you download and print your syllabus and course schedule, and have your textbook available. With those you can do any or all of the following:

  • read and outline textbook chapters
  • study textbook materials for a test
  • outline/write projects or essays that will be due (just because the Genesee library isn’t available, doesn’t mean the entire Internet is closed!)
  • do homework at publisher web sites (make sure you have direct login information; if the only way you know how to get there is through Blackboard, then you’re kind of stuck)
  • print tests that do not have time limits on them; do the work offline so you can enter the information later
  • work with a calendar to plan out your work for the rest of the semester; what will be do when and when will you do the work for it. Planning also takes time and the holiday is a great time to do that!
  • ask your instructor for materials you may need

There’s always lots to do! You just need to be prepared!

PS — the next maintenance day will be Saturday, November 28. All day, again. I’ll be back with these same suggestions!

Blackboard Maintenance – Monday, October 5 – 5:00 pm

There have been known problems with Blackboard this past weekend into today. The most often reported problem has been about slow or no access to tests and assignments.

We are aware of the problem and are working on it. Those of you who reported problems were helpful to us in clearly communicating the problems to Blackboard technical support.

Blackboard technical support has recommended some changes be made to our system. We will spend the rest of the afternoon preparing to make those changes.

Blackboard will be unavailable TODAY (Monday) starting 5:00 pm for about an hour for maintenance.

Instructors have been informed about this work and the scope of the problem. Contact your instructor about what to do next.

Check the “Blackboard Tip of the Week” box on the My Courses page for updates. If Genesis is not available, check https://maryjane47.wordpress.com for updates.

Thank you for your patience.

–Mary Jane Heider

Degree Works and Chrome v44 — Problems!

DW-logoInformation from the Records Office:

Please be advised that there is an issue rendering audits using Google Chrome version 44.

Ellucian (the company that publishes Degree Works) is aware of the problem, however they have not supplied a workaround or solution yet.  If you are having issues processing an audit, please be sure Chrome is not the browser.

When in doubt, always try another browser!

When in doubt – clear cache!

… and reboot!

Now… for some context.

bb-logo2The Blackboard update we did in July has fixed some things and broken others. That’s always a given, when you do a software update.

We’re keeping an eye on the servers and find we need to reboot the servers a tad more often than we like. We’re working on fixing that but, in the meantime, you can do some basic troubleshooting by clearing the cache in your browser when you encounter Blackboard issues.

Here’s how: https://help.yahoo.com/kb/web-browsers-cache-cookies-sln4525.html

Additionally, when given a time frame for the clearing (for example, Firefox default is only for the last hour), make the time “Everything” or “Forever” (or whatever really long time period is available) to make sure you clear out all of the cache.

And then, because if you’re anything like me, you really never do this, reboot your computer.

If nothing else, it may speed up your computer in general.

Couple other things you should be aware of:

Make an exception for GCC in your pop-up blocker. Here’s how: https://kb.indwes.edu/Apps/Blackboard/Getting_Started/02._Preparing_for_Online_Courses/Pop_Up_Blocker_Exceptions  (Replace “*.indwes.edu” with “*.genesee.edu” and “blackboard.indwes.edu” with “learn.genesee.edu”)

Make sure your operating system and browser combination is compatible with Blackboard. Find compatible configurations here: http://help.blackboard.com/en-us/Learn/9.1_2014_04/Administrator/010_Release_Notes/Supported_Technologies_for_End_Users

That should help keep your system and your Blackboard interactions working more smoothly.

Blackboard problems? Try this!

If you didn’t notice, we did some necessary upgrades on Blackboard over the 4th of July holiday weekend.

There were changes as a result of the July 4th update which necessiate a reevaluation of your system.

Most folk are getting in fine, but there’s the occasional “Module loading” issue still at this point.

Make sure your operating system and browser combination is compatible with Blackboard. Find compatible configurations here: http://help.blackboard.com/en-us/Learn/9.1_2014_04/Administrator/010_Release_Notes/Supported_Technologies_for_End_Users

Doing these steps will make for a better Blackboard experience.

Spring 2014 – Final Exam Schedule

exam

The Final Exam schedule for Spring 2014 is now available! (Hey! It’s not even Spring Break! How can the final exam schedule be available??? 🙂  )

Not all courses have exams during the May 12 – 14 (Monday – Wednesday) exam window, but many courses do.

The schedule can be found here: https://maryjane47.wordpress.com/spring-2014-exam-schedule/

It is subject to change and students are responsible for verifying the time, date and location with their instructors.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming!

Computer System Maintenance – Feb 17 – ALL DAY!

broken-computerComputer Services will be doing routine maintenance on Monday, February 17 (Presidents’ Day holiday) between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm. Um… yeah. All day.

This will affect access to ALL systems:  Web, Library, Genesis, Blackboard, Email, Banner – there will be NO access to these systems during the maintenance window. 

Things to consider:

–if you have any assignments, tests or something to be completed and turned in on this date, you should take this outage into consideration and plan ahead

–STUDENTS: for online and hybrid courses, we are very aware that, on holidays like this, working and adult students like to take advantage of the non-class days to complete assignments. Hopefully, your instructor prepared a list of “things you can do, even if Blackboard and the Library are not available” that you already have. After all, we’re not taking away textbooks or the entire internet, just Genesee things!  

–FACULTY: if you were going to catch up on grading or your own work, make sure you download papers before that Monday. Grading of tests and other online submissions will not be possible. Even access inside the building will be affected; coming to Batavia won’t let you get in.

 If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask!