- OIT is offering drop-in and training sessions via Zoom to support instructors in the transition to teaching remotely. Visit the Academic Technology training page to learn more.
- The campus network has sufficient capacity for these uses. Many services used for remote instruction are offered through vendors (e.g. Zoom, Canvas, etc.) for large scale use.
- Most of CU Boulder’s resources and tools do not require a VPN connection. You can see a list of the few that do in FAQ below.
- Three main guides to help you get started: Academic Technology Resources for Teaching Continuity, Remote Learning Guidance for Students, Technology Resources for Working Remotely
Technology Help and Resources FAQs
- Please contact the IT Service Center (ITSC) at 303-735-4357 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours can be found on the OIT website.
- Dedicated Desktop Support Customers: OIT’s Dedicated Desktop Support (DDS) has expanded their capability to serve customers remotely. You can reach out to your DDS support staff the same way you always have either by clicking on your “get desktop support” icon on your desktop or going to https://desktopsupport.colorado.edu. Due to campus guidance on non-critical staff during the COVID-19 outbreak, service offerings may be limited while the DDS team is working remotely.
Working & Teaching Remotely
- Remote Teaching Training: In collaboration with the Center for Teaching and Learning, OIT is conducting a number of Remote Teaching Training sessions. For additional guidance, review on-demand videos and Zoom-based sessions covering how to use various academic technologies to teach remotely.
- Remote Teaching Drop-in Sessions: There are daily Teaching Remotely virtual drop-in sessions. Visit OIT's Academic Technology Trainings webpage for dates and times. Find up-to-date information regarding teaching remotely on the Academic Technology Resources for Teaching Continuity page.
Faculty/Students: Zoom web conferencing should be utilized for teaching and learning purposes and where ADA accommodations are needed.
- Staff: It is recommended that staff utilize Microsoft Teams for administrative purposes rather than Zoom and leave Zoom for teaching and learning purposes. The administrative and collaborative functions in Microsoft Teams go beyond video only capability and are extremely helpful; however, we recognize that people are still getting comfortable with Microsoft Teams. Updates have been made to the Microsoft Teamswebsite including useful tips and tricks to get users started quickly. Users can also call a toll-free number to dial into a Microsoft Teams meeting. Learn more about Microsoft Teams at one of the Microsoft Teams workshops and Q&A sessions.
- It is recommended that staff use Teams but we recognize there are certain use cases where Zoom may be more appropriate and it is okay to use in those situations. CU Boulder OIT is working directly with Microsoft to improve the accessibility of Microsoft Teams. While this effort is underway, you may consider alternative approaches as described here.
OIT’s Academic Technology Resources for Teaching Continuity page offers tips to keep out uninvited guests, how to enable authentication for meetings to Zoom Accounts or CU Boulder users, and more. Review Zoom Security and Privacy in the “Conduct or Record a Lecture with Zoom” section under “Deliver Course Content.”
You can forward your calls and get call-to-email transcriptions of voicemails. Information about how to enable this functionality can be found OIT’s working remotely page, under phone settings and accessing voicemail.
OIT has developed three audience-specific guides to get started with teaching, learning and working remotely. This is the best starting point based on what you’re trying to accomplish. The guides also include links to help information on using tools like Zoom, Canvas, Office 365, G Suite and more.
To provide a cohesive unified experience to our campus community, it is highly recommended that you utilize the campus’ supported tools. CU Boulder needs a familiar and streamlined approach during this stressful time and a proliferation of a variety of tools, without sufficient support, will further disrupt the task at hand.
If you encounter access issues, notify your instructor or supervisor immediately so that workarounds can be identified. Students registered with Disability Services should work with their Access Coordinator as well as their instructors to identify solutions. If you are not currently registered, you will need to register with Disability Services. Employees can consult with the Digital Accessibility Office with questions or concerns about the accessibility of campus-supported tools, and with ADA Compliance regarding accommodations.
- Instead of purchasing equipment for employees to work off-site, consider allowing them to take their current office equipment home to support their remote work. Equipment removed from campus should be recorded and tracked appropriately.
- Spend prudently. Departments should not anticipate being reimbursed by campus for expenses they incur related to the COVID-19 response.
- Evaluate if a purchase is criticalto conducting business. If the purchase is intended to optimize a remote working situation but is not critical to conducting business, it must be considered carefully. Departments should err on the side of creating work environments that are sufficient, not necessarily optimal.
- IT hardware should be shipped to a campus location. The Procurement Service Center (PSC) is unable to ship items to an off-campus address; items purchased outside the PSC channels must still be tracked by departments to ensure assets are properly accounted for.
- Using personal credit cards is not recommended for any purchases.
Many faculty and staff are asking about secondary equipment for home use in order to work remotely. OIT recommends, per existing policy, that an employee should work with their respective supervisor to identify and document what IT equipment they need for home use and whether those needs can be addressed by taking home equipment that the employee normally uses while on campus. This may include items such as desktops, laptops, monitors, keyboards, a camera, and a mouse, etc. and take it home while the campus works remotely. When possible, this is a better course of action rather than requesting or buying additional equipment.
Internet Connectivity & Software Availability
Most of CU Boulder’s resources and tools do not require a VPN connection. A few that do include:
- CU Boulder's file servers like UCB Files
- CIFS, NFS file sharing
- CU System administrative tools from off-campus like HCM and CU-SIS
- Cisco VOIP Phone Self Care Portal
- Specific library databases
- Some servers specific to one or more department, school or college or research institute
To connect to these services, use CU Boulder’s VPN. Note: Some countries outside the United States filter internet traffic. As a result, access to some CU resources (including VPN) may be restricted. Such restrictions are outside of CU's control and can change frequently. OIT is unable to know which resources may not be accessed from countries outside the United States.
- The campus network has sufficient capacity for these uses.
- Many of the services being recommended and used for remote instruction, including Zoom, Canvas and Office 365, are hosted off-campus by the vendor and are designed for large scale use. Where needed, we are increasing licenses for OIT’s supported tools to ensure CU Boulder doesn’t face usage limits. We are not expecting unusual demand for on-campus resources, such as the network or on-campus storage, with the exception of the campus Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. The architecture of the VPN has been modified so it has the capacity to handle the expected increased usage. VPN is only needed to access certain on-campus services and most remote students, faculty and employees do not need to use it.
In order to help support CU Boulder's switch to online-only learning, temporary free software licenses are being offered for Adobe Creative Cloud (CC), SAS, SPSS and IDL to CU Boulder students, faculty and staff for a limited time. Additionally, OIT has a number of other software programs available for personal computers for free or at a reduced cost. Visit Software Downloads and Licensing for the full list.
With so many people working from home, there are a number of reports of peoples' home connections (Xfinity, CenturyLink, LiveWire, etc.) having bandwidth issues. An OIT service alert will be issued if there is a problem with the campus network (e.g., VPN, firewall, etc.).
It’s possible the internet service provider (ISP) one uses at home may be at capacity and experiencing performance issues. If there is an issue with your home network, please contact your ISP. Sometimes, just restarting your internet router can help relieve network issues. Please consider these are unprecedented times and we should be flexible with one another given these unique remote working situations. If you are still experiencing issues after talking with your ISP, please contact the IT Service Center at 303-735-4357 or email@example.com.
A limited amount of hotspots can be checked out to students in need who have no other means of accessing the internet to complete their schoolwork. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE) for further information.
University Owned Hotspot for Faculty/Staff
University employees who do not have internet access at their remote work location should work with their department to determine the best course of action, which could result in purchasing a hotspot. Many university-provided cell phones can be used as hotspots, but most plans will limit speeds after certain data limits are reached. Limits vary based on the carrier and plan.
Plans vary as to the data allowed per month, monthly rates and the initial cost of the device. Please contact the representatives listed below for more information. Departments should provide a speedtype to the representative and it will be used against a standing CU Boulder purchase order.
Paul Motto: 719-214-6316, email@example.com
Rory McCabe: 720-485-7693, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Bachmeier: 719-649-2431, Jessica.Bachmeier@Sprint.com
Brad McDivitt: 303-518-4375, email@example.com
Personally Owned Hotspot
As an employee of the state of Colorado, CU employees receive discounts on telecommunication devices such as phones and hotspots. Information on discounts can be found on the Employee Resource Center Benefits Hub.
Testing methods are at the discretion of faculty. OIT is in the process of licensing an online exam proctoring system. When it is available we will post instructions on Academic Technology Resources for Teaching Continuity and Remote Teaching Guidance for Students page.
OIT manages virtual lab solutions for specific instructional programs. Ensuring these existing virtual labs could still be accessed and utilized by those instructional programs was a top priority and has been successfully completed. OIT is now working on a solution to offer software, that was previously only offered in campus computer labs, to the campus community in a virtual capacity.
OIT also has a number of software programs available for personal computers for free or at a reduced cost, including Adobe Creative Cloud, ChemDraw, Mathematica, SolidWorks and more. Visit Software Downloads and Licensing for the full list.
- In general, OIT does not purchase or retain extra equipment.
- The Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement is working with units across campus to identify students who need computers to complete their academic responsibilities. ODECE is working with OIT and Property Services to supply a limited number of refurbished computers to students who demonstrate financial need. Please submit a laptop request on behalf of students via the ODECE website.
Resources for teaching remote:
- Academic Technology and Teaching Continuity guide
- Schedule for Academic Technology Remote Teaching Sessions
- Remote Learning Guidance for Students
- Technology Resources for Working Remotely
- FERPA regulations regarding the privacy of student educational records
- OIT guidelines for storing and sharing data online.
- ASSETT Program’s guidance for hybrid courses
- Final Examination Policy
- Schedule for CTL Remote Teaching Techniques Webinars