Issue 14: September 2007
Newsletter of the Faculty of Humanities ICT Office
in this issue...
l Humanities Welcome
l Student Guide to IT
l Link to IT Support for
Staff and Students
l Changes to IS delivery
l Cluster Updates
l Outlook access to staff
Teaching and Learning
l IT Learning Resources
l Update on Blackboard
l Induction, Registration
Humanities Welcome Site 2007
The welcome site which is designed to give pre-registration support for new
undergraduates went live on the 16th of August. This is the third year of the site which is
designed to breach that awkward and sometimes nerve wracking gap between the arrival
of A level results and Freshers’ week.
One of its main aims is to allow students to feel part of the community before they actually
arrive in Manchester. To this end it contains welcome videos from Alistair and Kersti, plus
interviews with students who were coming to the end of the first year and were happy to
pass on their tips and experiences to new comers. Over the three years the most popular
pages are freshers’ week, accommodation and when you first arrive in Manchester.
There are also discussion boards, general ones as well as school specific ones, where
freshers can contact each other. A constant theme is how nervous and excited they are.
They can also post questions which we attempt to answer with the help of the
undergraduate administrators in the schools.
Students are informed about the site by a coloured flyer and a page of instructions which
are included in the Welcome Pack which schools distribute. It never fails to amaze us how
quickly the first message is posted on the site. On two out of three years its been on the
day the results were published!
We have made changes to the site in the light of feedback received in previous years and
if you want to see it in action then you can logon with the generic username facultyhum and
the password welcome. All comments are gratefully received.
Guides to IT Services
This year sees both staff and students having access to a Guide to IT Services
The Student Guide to IT Services 2007/2008 is available on line at http://
www.manchester.ac.uk/itservices/. Paper copies of the Guide will be available from
Services Desks and Whitworth Hall. The IT Services website contains a wealth of
information introducing new students and staff to IT at the University.
l PGR Update
l Goodbye to Ivy Brember
l Congratulations to Susan
The Staff IT Guide to IT Services 2007/2008 is a new publication developed by IT
Services with support from the Faculty and Central Services. Humanities ICT Office has
made this available online as part of its Staff IT Handbook which also includes Faculty
specific IT information. This will be available from the beginning of October 2007 and will
replace our monthly face-to-face sessions, see http://www.manchester.ac.uk/humanities/
ict/ for more information.
Link to IT Support for staff and students
How to contact us - Service Desk Details September 2007
Humanities Lime Grove, W1.19
This newsletter is available online as a pdf from:
Past copies are also available here as will future copies.
Changes to IS delivery
This note is intended to update staff and students
within the Faculty on the progress being made
towards developing a seamless IS support
function operating efficiently and effectively
across the three levels of the administration:
School, Faculty and Centre.
As part of the May 2007 review of devolution an
IS Task Group was established to look at ways in
which IS could be better structured in order to
deliver more effective services in the most
efficient manner. The Task Group report (see
www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/medialibrary/taskforce/it-services.pdf) produced a number of
principles together with a number of
recommendations as to areas for further
consideration/review. The Faculty IS Managers,
working with the Head of the IT Services Division,
have been working hard to develop new
structures and to revise service delivery models
which reflect these principles and
A great deal of progress has been made in some areas offering the opportunity for early
restructuring (common University staff desktop, shared service desk and infrastructure),
whilst other areas (IT procurement, applications development, reprographics and
eLearning) have produced initial reports containing recommendations which will be
considered further over the coming months.
It is intended that a consultation document outlining these revised delivery models will be
published by the Head of the IT Services Division during the week beginning the 18th
September. This consultation document will be considered at an extraordinary meeting of
the Faculty Information Systems Committee (HISC).
New cluster software
The new cluster image, CLIP 5, will be used in most student clusters for the new session.
You can see the list of software on this image at http://www.itservices.manchester.ac.uk/
Faculty Cluster Closures
Following estates moves during the summer the clusters in Dover Street, the Maths and
Social Sciences building, Harold Hankins and the Mansfield Cooper 4.10 and Bridgeford
Street 2.12 are now closed.
New PCs have been installed in Devas Street B3.17, B3.1, B3.6 and B3.3, Lime Grove
Multimedia studios and W2.19.
Outlook access to Staff Email Service
IT IT IT
We've come across an issue recently accessing the Staff Email Service using Outlook with
the OCFO (Oracle Connector for Outlook). The problem looks to have started after
installing a patch from Apple. If you have iTunes installed on a machine and you apply the
patch, it prevents Outlook accessing the Staff Email Service using secure protocols (SSL).
As iTunes is a popular application, this issue could affect quite a few users.
There is a solution to the problem and a FAQ has been added to the IT support staff email
web site at:
Teaching and Learning
IT Learning Resources
All staff and students have access to a wide range of resources and opportunities to
develop our IT skills.
Recognising that time is a limited resource IT Services and the Faculty of Humanities are
increasingly presenting more resources online.
In addition to face to face training we now also have access to a variety of online interactive
resources covering the main Office products from beginners to advanced level. They also
include resources specifically designed for learners taking the ECDL.
As well as training courses the Corporate Applications Team provide a wealth of
downloadable training materials.
A variety of online video demonstrations and downloadable PDFs for software supported
by the Faculty.
If you are interested in resources specifically for Postgraduate Researchers see our article
on the new Resources for Postgraduate Researchers area on WebCT.
Update on Blackboard
During 2007/2008 the University is implementing the change to the Blackboard Virtual
Learning Environment. The implementation involves three phases. Phase I involves 16
pilots for delivery this semester, Phase II sees a further 60 exemplar projects rolled out in
Semester 2 and Phase III is Blackboard going live to all staff in February 2008
Details of the implementation are outlined in the Blackboard bulletin available from the web
address below. The next issue will be available in October.
31st August was the final date for submission to become one of 60 exemplar project in
Phase Two. These involve courses to be delivered from semester 2. The Faculty is
currently reviewing the submitted projects and will be letting the people involved in this
Phase know soon.
Again full details of the process for selection as a Phase Two Exemplar is available from
the web address below. WebCT will continue to be supported until the end of 2007/2008.
Induction, Registration and IT Sign-Up
Postgraduate Induction Sessions
There are a number of induction sessions for PGR students taking place from 12th
September through to the end of the month. If you are a member of staff and require an
induction session for your postgraduate students please contact [email protected] If you are a student, see your School induction programme for
more information. If you miss your IT Induction you can download a copy of the
presentation from http://www.manchester.ac.uk/humanities/ict/training/induction/.
Support for registration
During registration there will be student support available in the Kilburn building.
Staff IT Induction
To provide more flexible and timely access to IT Induction information for new members of
staff the ICT Office is presenting an online Staff IT Handbook which includes the new
2007/2008 Staff Guide to IT Services as well as Faculty specific information. This will be
available from the beginning of October 2007 and will replace our monthly face-to-face
sessions, see http://www.manchester.ac.uk/humanities/ict/ for more information.
News & Regular Features
A new WebCT Site for PGRs in the Faculty of Humanities will be launched in September. It is intended that it will be a ‘one
stop shop’ for PGRs in the Faculty. To this end it will contain welcome videos featuring the Dean and the Associate Dean for
research students, useful web links and information that is considered useful for both home and international research
students.There will be several discussion boards which we hope will serve a social purpose as well as leading to crossschool research. Communication is a constant problem in a faculty as bid as Humanities and we hope that the discussion
boards will encourage a sense of community amongst our research students.
An important feature of the site will be the training materials some of which have been funded from central funds. There is a
comprehensive guide to academic writing, and IT training materials which have previously been offered in a workshop format
are now being put on-line, so they will always be accessible.
The site is a result of cooperation between the Faculty IT Teaching and Learning Team and the Faculty Research Training
Manager. It is hoped that PGRs will find it a valuable resource and the first students will be given access to it in September.
If it is to run as intended we will need the cooperation of all the schools, in encouraging students to use it, helping answer
their questions and suggesting materials to be uploaded onto the site. Currently the site is managed by Ivy Brember but
when she leaves at the end of September this role will be taken over by Emmet Flynn. The site is not finished and in a sense
it never will be finished because it will constantly being developed in the light of suggestions from users and changes being
made to the materials on it. If you would like to have access to the site then e-mail your username to [email protected]
Everyone involved with the creation and maintenance of the site will welcome any feedback.
Did You Know?
Goodbye to Ivy Brember
1. What does the acronym
ICT stand for?
Ivy Brember is retiring at the end of September
after 42 years happy (this is what she tells us!)
service here at the University.
2. What does the acronym
HTML stand for?
2. Hyper Text Mark-Up
1. Information and
Please send any questions
you may have concerning
IT, Teaching and Learning,
Development and Research
and we will answer them in
the next newsletter.
Ivy spent the majority of her career in
Education in VUM and following Project Unity
moved to Humanities ICT Office to lead the IT
Teaching and Learning Team. Ivy has led and
supported many successful Teaching and
Learning projects during the last three years
including a Welcome site for new
undergraduate students which provides help
and support before students even arrive in
More recently Ivy has been working tirelessly to support the development of a variety of
online resources, support and information for Postgraduate Researchers here in
Humanities. Ivy's support, commitment and enthusiasm will be very much missed by her
colleagues in Teaching and Learning and the wider ICT Office.
Ivy has been a valued colleague and friend to many of us and I am sure you will join the
ICT Office to wish her a wonderful retirement. There will be a send off for Ivy on the 28th
of September 2007 at 4pm. Contact Janet Thompson
[email protected] for more information.
Congratulations to Susan Mackay
Susan MacKay, from our Teaching and Learning Team, has won the Teaching and Learning
Award for support staff. Susan's award reinforces the partnership between academic and
support staff in teaching and learning. She has not only supported development of major elearning projects across the Faculty but has also had an impact on outreach through the
Children’s University and school workshops. Susan says: “A belief that communication and
collaboration are key to successful and productive working relationships informs my
approach to the role of learning support. These create an environment for the successful
facilitation of student-centred,student-led e-learning.” Susan’s colleagues Annie Morton
and Catherine Franc, said: “Her expertise is invaluable; she shares this with IT novices like
ourselves, enthusing us in turn to reflect upon our provision and try out new things under