News for IT Support Staff

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Scantron multiple-choice exam processing replacement coming soon – Sept 17

What is happening? In November 2018, the Exam Management, Assessment and Processing Evaluation project team began investigations into the replacement of the existing exam scanning service, Scantron. The committee is pleased to announce the request for proposal (RFP) has been awarded to Akindi Inc.   
  
About Akindi: Akindi is a web-based assessment system that automates the creation and grading of multiple-choice exams. This tool allows clients to use any scanner and sheet of paper, offering a low cost of ownership by eliminating the need for costly equipment, supplies and dedicated staff resources, while facilitating the use and accessibility of the exam scanning service across campus.   
  
What our clients will receive  
The new exam processing service will provide:  
  • A user-friendly interface designed with faculty and instructional team members in mind.    
  • Excellent support, with extended hours available during exam periods.   
  • Seamless integration into existing workflows. Where you once used Scantron you can now use Akindi. 
  • The ability for clients to assess exam results when they want, where they want.   
  • Actionable data that can be used to immediately identify gaps in understanding and provide feedback to students.    
  
When is this happening? Optional use of the service will begin September 23 and continue through the fall term. Instructions on integrating Akindi with a course in LEARN will be available from both the LEARN Help and Akindi websites by this date. During the winter 2020 term (date to be confirmed), Akindi will become the centrally supported multiple-choice exam processing service. Scantron will no longer be available for use.  
 
Important note regarding Crowdmark MC: As part of this implementation, Crowdmark Multiple Choice (MC) is no longer available for use and clients are encouraged to transition to Akindi immediately. If you have already planned a fall-term assessment using Crowdmark MC, please contact Matt Harford (mharford@uwaterloo.ca) to discuss options for use this term.  
  
What do users need to do? Get familiar with Akindi. Review the training materials now available, and plan to attend the September 30 live-training webinar.     
  
For more information on Akindi and the upcoming training session, please visit our Akindi website.  
   
Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 44357. 
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Activation of employee Microsoft Office 365 accounts – September 19

What is happening? IST will activate Microsoft Office 365 accounts for members of the following groups that have not yet activated their account:
 
  1. Member is full time faculty, or
  2. Member is full time staff, or
  3. Member is full time contract (temporary), or
  4. Member has a job with the “Job Family Group” equal to “Affiliated Colleges/Institutions Family Group”.
 
Why is this happening? To allow employees immediate access to the suite of Microsoft Office 365 applications (removes activation wait period) and to prepare for a future deployment of Office ProPlus.
 
When is this happening? Accounts will be activated by 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 19.
 
What do users need to do? No action is required.
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Duo two-factor authentication (2FA) SMS delivery issue – September 12

Update (Sept 12, 1:20 p.m.): The issue has now been resolved. Users should be able to continue using SMS to authenticate 2FA challenges.

What is happening? Duo two-factor authentication (2FA) is investigating an issue causing SMS delivery issues and are working to correct the issue as soon as possible.
 
What is the impact? If an individual chooses to receive a 2FA challenge via SMS text, they will receive a successful confirmation message from Duo, but the codes will not have been sent.
 
Alternative to SMS challenge: Individuals can choose to receive a 2FA challenge via the “Call me” option until the issue has been resolved.
 
IST will send an update when more information is known, or when the issue has been resolved. Thank you for your patience.
 
Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 44357.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Discontinuing use of @edu.uwaterloo.ca email domain – April 2020

What is happening? Use of the @edu.uwaterloo.ca student email domain will be discontinued. Student email domains will return to the @uwaterloo.ca domain.
 
Why is this happening? The recommendation to move students and employees to a single email domain (i.e. userid@uwaterloo.ca) was an outcome of a review of the current email environment that was conducted as part of the project to investigate moving Waterloo employee email to the Office 365 cloud environment.
  
What is the impact? All Waterloo students and employees will use the @uwaterloo.ca email domain.
 
What are the benefits? A common email domain will allow for:
  • Improved collaboration between students and employees using Office 365 apps
  • Simplified troubleshooting and support processes
  • Clarification and simplification of login processes for systems used by both students and employees (e.g. LEARN, Quest) 
When is this change taking place? The change is tentatively scheduled to take place in April 2020.
 
Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Exchange server maintenance - September 12 - September 27

What is happening? Exchange servers are being removed from service for maintenance/updates. Individual servers will be taken out of service between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. each night throughout the maintenance period. 
  
When is it happening? Thursday, September 12 to Friday, September 27 - between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. each night.
 
Why is it happening? To keep the software current with vendor-provided updates.
 
Who will it impact? Users that are actively connected to a server when it is removed for maintenance may be prompted to enter their username and password. Outlook may also alert about being redirected to autodiscover.uwaterloo.ca. This is normal behavior and the user should click 'Allow' when this happens. No other impact is anticipated as the remaining servers will continue to carry out email and calendar functions.
 
Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 44357.
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