For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Technology Update
November 17, 2014

Table of Contents

Critical Patch for Windows Released
Computer Encryption and Data Security Update
Most Common Passwords of 2013
Resetting Your Drexel Computer Accounts Passwords
Virus/Phishing Protection and Prevention
Purchasing and Setting Up University-Owned Computers
OS X Yosemite and Compatibility
Office 365 for Students

News and Notes from the Online Learning Team

Check Out the Online Learning Team Blog
Two Enhancements to Turnitin's GradeMark Feature
Bb Grader App for iOS
Moving Your Videos from DragonDrop to Kaltura
Test Availability Exceptions in Learn
Sign Up for OLT Workshops


Critical Patch for Windows Released

Microsoft has announced the discovery of a critical vulnerability (bulletin MS14-066) in the Microsoft Secure Channel (Schannel) security package in Windows. This vulnerability could allow the execution of remote code on affected installations of all current versions of Windows and Windows Server—essentially, it could allow unauthorized access to your computer.

In response, Microsoft has released patch KB2992611 via Windows Update. We strongly recommend that all Windows users install this patch immediately. According to Microsoft, there are no workarounds or mitigating measures for this flaw, except the installation of this patch.

Be sure to check for and install Windows updates regularly, and if you haven’t done so already, consider turning on automatic updates (Microsoft provides instructions here for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.1).


Computer Encryption and Data Security Update

As the end of the calendar year approaches, we are working toward the encryption of all University-owned computers per President Fry’s data security directive. In order to meet this goal by the end of 2014, we would appreciate everyone’s continued cooperation as IRT and other departmental IT personnel contact offices to arrange for Sophos computer encryption.

When your office or department receives new computers, and before you set them up, please contact your departmental IT professional. If you do not have a departmental IT professional, contact IRT at 215-895-2020.


Most Common Passwords of 2013

At Drexel University, your computer accounts represent an integral part of your Drexel identity. That is why password security is paramount, and it is critical that you create a strong password to protect your accounts. The creation of a strong password means, in part, avoiding the use of 2013's most common passwords, listed in this article on Mashable.

If you are using any of the passwords in that article for any of your computer accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them. Try to use a mixture of letters and numbers while avoiding any words found in a dictionary. Don't use birthdates or pet names or Social Security numbers. If you have trouble remembering your passwords, consider using a reputable "password safe" app on your phone or tablet—do not write them down where anyone can see them. Finally, never share your password with anyone.


Resetting Your Drexel Computer Accounts Passwords

It's easy to forget a password—especially when you have to remember so many of them! But don’t worry; if you forget your password, there are several options available.

The first option is to use the Password Reset Service. When you pick up your accounts through the accounts.drexel.edu service, you will be prompted to set up the Password Reset Service security questions and answers. Then, if you ever need to use it, password help will be available by clicking the "Help! I forgot my password" link on the accounts.drexel.edu sign-in screen.

If you are unable to access the Password Reset Service, or if you forget your security answers, IRT can help reset your password. To request a password reset, visit the Help Desk in person or call 215-895-2020. IRT will not reset passwords via email (never send your passwords in any email), and this service is limited to business hours.

If you know your password but would like to change it, log into accounts.drexel.edu, click "Continue," and then click the large keys icon near the top of the page. Follow the instructions to choose your new password. Here are some tips for choosing a strong password that meets Drexel’s password requirements:

  1. It must be between 6 and 16 characters in length.
  2. It must contain at least two letters and at least one non-alphabetical character that falls somewhere inside the password (not just at the beginning or end).
  3. It should not match any word found in an unabridged dictionary or "most common passwords.” Avoid using your name, nickname, birth date, Social Security number, easily-guessed number/letter sequences, or any combinations thereof.
  4. The new password must differ from the old one by at least three characters.
  5. The new password should not be one you used recently or for any other secure service.

Virus/Phishing Protection and Prevention

Users must remain vigilant and follow basic safety precautions to keep their computers free from infection. Here are some tips to prevent you (and your computer) from falling victim to viruses or phishing scams:

  1. NEVER open an attachment to an email (nor click on a hyperlink in an email) that appears to be spam or that is sent (especially unsolicited) from an unknown source.
  2. NEVER give out your passwords to anyone. Legitimate organizations will never ask for your password via any means.
  3. NEVER blindly click hyperlinks. Always check URLs by hovering over the link to see if it matches the one displayed. Most scam links don’t match the text, or the context of the message.
  4. Keep your anti-virus software and virus definitions up-to-date by installing Sophos Endpoint Protection, which is available for personal PCs and Macs at software.drexel.edu.
  5. Scan your computer at least once a week for viruses. Most anti-virus programs can be configured to scan automatically at regular intervals. Be sure to regularly select full scans.
  6. Be wary of suspicious-looking Web sites. If the site doesn’t appear trustworthy or is poorly maintained, click nothing and leave it.
  7. Avoid downloading content from peer-to-peer (P2P) programs. These programs tend to be infested with viruses and malware (and are riddled with illegally-shared content).
  8. Be mindful of where you make your email address visible (e.g. social networking sites), and who you give it to (e.g. Web forms). Scammers search the Web for addresses to spam.
  9. Finally, DELETE spam immediately. Don’t respond to it, and never, ever give out personal information or passwords, no matter who is asking for it. If you get an email telling you your account is over quota or about to expire, call the IRT Help Desk first at 215-895-2020.

Purchasing and Setting Up University-Owned Computers

University Procurement has created a list of standardized Dell computer configurations. These configurations are approved for purchase and professional use by faculty and professional staff at Drexel.

If you are considering the purchase of a University-owned computer for you or your department, please review these standard configurations first to ensure that these standards are met by your purchase.

All departmental purchases are handled through Smart Source. If you have any questions about Procurement Services, email smartsource@drexel.edu.

Next, once computers are ordered and delivered, contact IRT at 215-895-2020 or your departmental IT professional first for computer setup. This step is important and ensures that your computer is set up with the necessary software, drivers, anti-virus, and encryption. Computers for administrative and academic offices at Drexel should never be set up “out of the box,” as critical software can be easily missed or improperly installed.


OS X Yosemite and Compatibility

Apple’s next major update, OS X Yosemite, was released in October 2014. However, as with all major software updates, IRT recommends that Drexel Mac users continue to hold off on installing the update until compatibility testing on key applications can be finished and patches for critical software can be obtained.


Office 365 for Students

Drexel students: Did you know that you might be eligible to use Office 365 for free? Through Drexel, currently-enrolled students can use the fully-featured Office 365 software package, which includes Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access, until graduation/separation from the University.

Office 365 can be installed on up to five computers or mobile devices (including Windows tablets and iPads). Office 365 also includes 1 TB of storage on OneDrive, a real-time collaboration space where you can work with your peers online and view changes without having to email documents back and forth.

See Microsoft’s Office in Education Web site for more information.


Check Out the Online Learning Team Blog

Did you know? The Online Learning Team (OLT) maintains a blog for news and updates regarding online course tools and services such as Collaborate, Blackboard Learn, Turnitin, Respondus, Kaltura, and more. Get all of the latest update information, tips and tricks, maintenance notices, and more through IRT’s Web site.


Two Enhancements to Turnitin's GradeMark Feature

As an instructor, you might already know that Turnitin is great for checking the originality of student papers, marking them up electronically, and facilitating them as peer review assignments. Now, via the new GradeAnywhere feature, you can use your iPad to electronically mark up your students’ Turnitin assignments. You can even grade them offline on your iPad and later sync them in Blackboard Learn. GradeAnywhere should streamline the grading of paper assignments and complement the current capabilities of GradeMark.

Turnitin also recently acquired LightSide Labs in its effort to support formative feedback on student writing. According to a recent press release from Turnitin, this acquisition carries the “expected benefits of: better feedback, engaged students, relief for teachers, greater insight, and support for standards.” You can learn more about LightSide Labs here.

For more information about Turnitin’s originality check, GradeMark, PeerMark, or GradeAnywhere, call the Online Learning Team at 215-895-1224, visit them in Korman 109, or email them at olt@drexel.edu.


Bb Grader App for iOS

The Bb Grader app for iOS provides instructors with a tablet-based mobile solution for reviewing, providing feedback, and ultimately grading student submissions to Blackboard Learn Assignments. The iPad is a great medium for grading assignments inline. Use of a native app for this task allows quick access anytime, anywhere.

The Bb Grader app (supported on iPad 2 with iOS7, iPad 3, and iPad Mini) is available to all Blackboard Learn users with course grading rights. However, this app is not intended to replace all grading workflows in the Learn environment; rather, it is meant to complement workflows with enhanced key features that translate best to a mobile device.

The app provides an Assignment Listing as a grid that can be filtered based on grading status. Instructors can select an individual submission from the “Submissions Listing” page to view documents submitted to the assignment and/or to view content within the inline Content Editor. They can also navigate between pages of the document by scrolling or using the arrows at the top of the document, and can zoom in or out using the plus or minus “eyeglass” buttons in the upper left-hand corner. The following document types can be viewed and annotated in Bb Grader: PDF, PNG, JPEG, Microsoft Word (DOC or DOCX), and Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT or PPTX).

The Bb Grader app also enables instructors to provide rich feedback to students as grades, text, audio, video, and/or rubrics. They can also enter private grading notes that are invisible to students.


Moving Your Videos from DragonDrop to Kaltura

Faculty and professional staff should review any videos they have uploaded in DragonDrop and determine what should be moved into Kaltura, the new media management application. Kaltura will eventually replace DragonDrop, which will be phased out in steps. To learn more about Kaltura, see this post on the OLT blog or this video of a Kaltura workshop.

Note: We anticipate that by the end of 2015, the DragonDrop system will no longer be available to receive, encode, or stream your media content.


Test Availability Exceptions in Learn

Not long ago, if you wanted to give a student or group more time to complete a test in Blackboard Learn, you had to make a copy of the test and use the “Adaptive Release” option.

Now, you’ll find a new “Test Availability Options” section in Learn’s Test Options. Just click on the “Add User or Group” button and select any enrolled student or group. You can select the number of attempts, set the timer, and select the availability. You can also select “Auto Submit,” which will close and submit the test once the timer has expired.

The last option is Force Completion, which means the test must be completed in one sitting. However, we recommend leaving this option unchecked, since it can be problematic for students who are using a wireless internet connection or a laptop without a fully-charged battery. If the connection between the student's computer and the server is broken, students cannot complete the test.

Note: These are exceptions to the general settings that have been applied to the test, and are not meant to be used for all students in a course.


Sign Up for OLT Workshops

The Online Learning Team conducts training sessions on Learn, Camtasia, Kaltura, Web basics, Mac OS X, Respondus, SharePoint, and more. In addition, several brown bag lunches and workshops on technology products of interest are held each month. These training sessions are open to members of Drexel’s community as well as the general public.

To reserve a spot at any of these workshops, email us at olt@drexel.edu with your name, institution (if other than Drexel), contact information, and the name of the workshop(s) you would like to attend.

Below is a sampling of workshops taking place in December:

Learn Basics
Tuesday, December 9, 10:00 a.m. – noon

iWebfolio Basics
Monday, December 1, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Kaltura – Video in the Classroom
Thursday, December 11, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Introduction to Sitecore
Wednesday, December 3, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Visit our Web site for our complete training schedule and workshop descriptions. If you need a separate workshop for your department or faculty group on a specific topic, you can email the Online Learning Team to coordinate a session.