CAD software consulting hours for students

CAEN is piloting Winter term weekly office hours for students who need on-site help with a variety of CAD programs and tools. The weekly office hours are scheduled for Thursdays from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Wilson Student Team Project Center, conference room 1000. After the pilot, the program will be re-evaluated and adjusted to fit demand.

 


Box and Google Drive file streaming clients for your computer

Google and Box have released new file streaming clients for Windows and Mac OS. Google Drive File Stream and Box Drive are available for use now on student personal computers. These new clients make Box and Google storage appear as a network drive to your Mac and Windows computers. Instead of syncing all the files to your computer and taking up disk space, they instead only pull down files when you access them. Changes to files are reflected instantly to the cloud.

To install the newer Box Drive, first remove the older Box Sync client if you have it, and then follow the instructions at https://www.box.com/resources/downloads. You want to install the “Box Drive for Mac/Windows (public beta)” depending if you have a Mac or Windows computer. NOTE: Currently, Box Drive does not allow for offline access, nor can you lock/unlock files at the moment. Those features are expected in the near future.

To install the newer Google Drive File Stream, first remove the older Google Drive for Mac/Windows client, or the current Google Backup and Sync client,  if you have them installed. Then, follow the instructions at https://www.google.com/drive/download. You want to select the Get Started box under the “Business – Drive File Stream” section. NOTE: It is very important that if you run an anti-virus product that you exclude the Google Drive File Stream volume from anti-virus scanning. This is a known problem that will potentially bring your computer to a crawl as well as generate unnecessary network traffic.


CAEN Shapiro Lab to get more computers and new furniture during Winter term

The CAEN Shapiro Lab will be expanded from 42 to 56 computers as soon as possible during the Winter term. This change will likely happen before Spring Break – we are currently waiting on the installation of more work tables and a network switch. We are also evaluating other possible Shapiro Lab enhancements for the future, including new furniture and chair upgrades.

 


Enhanced Gradebook functionality now available in Canvas

There are a number of enhancements that have been added to the Canvas Gradebook for this term. These features are intended to help instructors easily view and enter grades for students, making grading more flexible and intuitive. Additions include Late Policies, which allow instructors to set up rules and be more efficient about grading late and missing submissions.

Other new Gradebook enhancements include:

  • New menus with more filtering and sorting options
  • Visual crosshairs to make it easier to see the current student or assignment cell
  • Custom color coding for assignment status (late, missing, resubmitted, dropped, or excused)
  • Keyboard shortcuts to improve accessibility on grade entry
  • Capability to drag and drop total columns

Features coming soon include:

  • Ability to override final grades
  • Defining if grades should be posted automatically or manually

For the Winter 2018 term, New Gradebook must be manually enabled at the course level under Settings >> Feature Options. In future terms, it will be enabled automatically in all courses. Until then you can revert back to the old Gradebook, except in cases where you have added a grading policy.

Tips for using these enhancements can be found on the Canvas New Gradebook Guide. In addition, ITS has created a video screencast highlighting many of the new features on the Canvas at Michigan site.


New classroom & computer lab entrance display pilot

This term, CAEN is piloting new electronic displays outside select computer labs and College of Engineering classrooms. The displays show room availability at a glance, and allow searching for rooms based on course or event name. For CAEN computer labs, the displays show the current workstation availability. All displays will indicate when a recording is in progress using the lecture capture service.

In addition to information about the rooms, the displays show DPSS alerts for campus. Also, to aid accessibility, a two-finger swipe down the screen will speak the room’s current status. An update later this month will add building and campus maps, directions to building lost-and-found locations, and emergency information.

Displays have already been installed outside of the following classrooms:

  • 1670 Beyster
  • 1690 Beyster
  • 1008 EECS
  • 1012 EECS

and the CAEN computer labs in:

  • B505 Pierpont Commons
  • B507 Pierpont Commons

We value your feedback on these new displays. Feel free to send your comments and suggestions to us at caen@umich.edu.


New lecture recording status lights in every classroom

You may notice a new attachment to the cameras used for lecture recording in College of Engineering classrooms.

Each camera now has a light that will illuminate when a recording is in progress. The intent is to provide instructors a quick visual confirmation that the recorder is running.

Additionally, the light acts as a presentation timer by changing colors to indicate the time remaining in the recording. It will change from green to yellow (10 minutes remaining), and finally red (2 minutes remaining). Manually-started recordings will be indicated with a cyan (greenish-blue) color.

Any questions or feedback on the new status lights can be directed to caen@umich.edu.


Reminder: Duo Two-factor authentication required for off-campus remote access on October 3

Beginning Tuesday, October 3, access to CAEN’s off-campus Windows Remote Desktop and Linux Login/VNC services will require Duo Two-Factor Authentication at U-M. In order to use Duo two-factor authentication, you will need to enroll a device as described in the CAEN Knowledge Base. In addition, you may also need to update your remote access client software. Links to download and use the latest versions are provided below:

Two-factor Authentication (2FA) is a security tool being used to mitigate the threat of online attacks. It provides an added layer of protection by requiring an additional security check, in addition to your password, when logging into your computing account. For example, it is especially useful in preventing malicious intruders from accessing University resources using stolen or hacked passwords, such as those obtained via phishing attacks or malware.

CAEN is requiring the use of Duo on its off-campus remote access services in order to help protect the account data of Michigan Engineering students, faculty, and staff, as well as better secure the College’s IT infrastructure.

The University of Michigan recently adopted Duo as its two-factor authentication solution. Any U-M student, faculty, or staff member can enroll a device in Duo at no cost. In addition to using it for securing off-campus login to CAEN remote access services, it may also be used to protect access to other University systems that use the U-M Weblogin page. Doing this helps protect web-based access to your online University data, including:

  • Personal information in Wolverine Access, such as enrollment and payroll
  • U-M Google services, such as Email and Drive storage
  • U-M Box storage
  • Canvas course data

Contact the CAEN Hotline at 734-764-CAEN(2236) for assistance with Duo. If you have any other questions or concerns about this change, please send email to caen@umich.edu.


New features now available in Canvas

Since Canvas was adopted as the learning management system (LMS) for course sites at the University of Michigan, there have been many feature updates and additions to make teaching with Canvas easier for faculty, and enhance the learning experience for students.

Canvas Skill for Amazon Alexa

The capability to integrate voice recognition with Canvas has been added to assist both students and instructors. By using the Canvas Skill with Amazon’s Alexa service, students and instructors can verbally ask questions, perform quick tasks, and get information about their courses from any Alexa-enabled device. The Alexa voice service will respond with the relevant information according to their Canvas account. For example, students can ask about “what assignments are due,” or “what are my grades?” Instructors can ask about tasks like “what submissions still need to be graded?”

The Amazon Alexa App can be downloaded for free from the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play.

Further information about setting up Alexa with the Canvas skill, including examples of useful voice commands, can be found on the Canvas Community page.

BluePrint Courses

Blueprint Courses allow sub-account admins (i.e. individuals within departments who manage Canvas course sites) to create, deploy, and maintain a course design “template” across any number of courses or instructors within the department. For example, if you have a newly-created Canvas course that has not yet been configured, you can use a Blueprint Course to automatically:

  • Push out content (pages, files, assignments…)
  • Update settings (sections, apps…)
  • Organize the course navigation (menu, links, redirects…)

This process can save time for instructors who have a standard way to organize their Canvas courses. It is especially useful if a course is taught each term, and the curriculum/site navigation does not vary greatly. A sub-account admin can create a Blueprint Course in Canvas and push (or sync) out a standard set of settings and features to the new course each term, so there’s no need for the instructor to set it up manually. In addition, if a department would like to have a standard navigation menu for all of the courses they offer, a Blueprint Course can be used to sync those settings to each Canvas course site within the department.

When syncing occurs, any content that has already been added or updated by the instructor will not be overwritten, and new content created in any associated course is also not affected (i.e. this is an manually additive function, and it will not overwrite what has already been added by the instructor).

More information on using Blueprint Courses as templates for Canvas course sites can be found on the Canvas Community page.

Teacher App

Canvas Teacher App

The Canvas Teacher App allows instructors to interact with their Canvas courses and data, both inside and outside the classroom, from their mobile device. This app provides quick access to the most frequently used Canvas tasks – Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes. For example, instructors can browse submissions and provide feedback to their students, post announcements, send messages, and participate in course discussions. They can also update course content such as due dates, and even publish assignments or adjust quiz options.

The Canvas Teacher App can be downloaded for free from the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play.

Guides for using each version of the Canvas Teacher app can be found on the Canvas Community page.

Updated Canvas App for Students

Canvas continues to offer a separate “Canvas by Instructure” app that students can use to access their course sites and data. The app is updated frequently to apply bug fixes and performance improvements, so students are encouraged to download the latest version. It is available at no cost to students from the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play.

Guides for using each version of the Canvas by Instructure app can be found on the Canvas Community page.

Future Feature Updates & Support

ITS provides a Canvas at Michigan course site, where faculty and course instructors can sign up for announcements and updates about the service. College of Engineering faculty and instructors are also welcome to contact CAEN with any questions or problems they may have using Canvas in their courses.


New software listing website now available

CAEN Software Listing Website

A new CAEN software listing website is available for the Fall 2017 term. This website offers an improved search for finding and viewing CAEN licensed software. It is now possible to search for software applications that match titles as you type them in real time, as well as obtain application version numbers, supported operating systems, and details about the licensing restrictions on usage.

 


CoE Classroom & CAEN Lab entrance display pilot

CAEN is piloting new College of Engineering (CoE) classroom and CAEN computer lab entrance information displays in select locations. Data and feedback from the pilot will help guide the final version of the interface. (Click images below to enlarge)

CoE Classroom Entrance Display
CoE Classroom Entrance Display

For CoE classrooms, the entrance information displays will show:

  • A quick glance of the room status to see if it is available (green) or reserved (red)
  • Current and future scheduled classes and events
  • A weekly view for the classroom schedule
  • A list that will show classroom availability in the same building, or around the College
  • A feature to search the next 10 days of the schedule by class, department, or room
CAEN Lab Entrance Display
CAEN Lab Entrance Display

For CAEN computer labs, the entrance information displays will show:

  • Whether or not the lab is currently reserved
  • Any future reservations for the lab that day
  • Current number of open computer stations for the lab
  • A scrollable list of open computer stations in other CAEN computer labs
  • Important CAEN Service Status messages
  • An interactive button to “Report a Problem”

 

Students who have interacted with these displays are welcome to contact CAEN with any feedback or suggestions for improvement.