Locating Your Summer 2011 Courses

If you are interested in locating your Summer 2011 course in PirateNet, go to the Blackboard Courses & Communities module, and click on the Other Courses tab. This will list previous and future courses in which you are enrolled either as instructor or student. Simply click on the name of the course to access it. If you do not see your course listed, you can click the All Courses link at the bottom of this list to view all courses in Blackboard.

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Open in a New Tab

How do I stop links from opening in a new screen?

Within the modern versions of the popular web browsers (i.e. Internet Explorer 7 or higher, Mozilla Firefox, Apple’s Safari, Google Chrome, etc.) you can open webpages in a new tab as opposed to a new window.  Some people find this process more user friendly so that instead of having to navigate through multiple windows or screens your webpages will be the same window, just different tabs.

To use this instead of simply left clicking on a link if you were to right click (or control click on an Apple Macintosh machine) from the menu would be an option to open the link or target in a new tab.

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Have You Backed Up Your Files Lately?

Here’s the scenario, you come into work one morning, start your computer up and nothing happens. A technician checks it out and lets you know that your hard drive is fried. He’ll replace the hard drive and use your backup file to reload all of your Word files, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets, your pictures, your music, etc.

Oops, you say, there’s a problem. You’ve never backed up your documents, what happens now? What happens is you’ve probably lost all your work forever! Scary thought, isn’t it.

All that work that you often refer back to is now gone. Please don’t let it happen to you. As I’ve gone around campus recently, I’ve run into more and more people who do not back their files up. You are running a terrible risk. I’ve had experience with a faculty member losing a 300 page document, a student losing an entire semesters work, papers, presentations, everything. It’s heartbreaking.

Don’t let it happen to you!

What to back up

The general rule is; back up any files you cannot afford to lose. Some suggestions:

  • Word, Excel, PowerPoint files you have created
  • Bank records and other financial information
  • Digital photographs
  • Software you purchased and downloaded from the internet
  • Music you purchased and downloaded from the internet
  • Personal projects
  • Your Internet Explorer bookmarks/favorites

 Where to back up your files

The following are some storage devices and locations to consider.

  • External hard drive
  • CD
  • DVD
  • USB flash drive
  • Online backup and storage service (carbonite.com, box.com)

Make sure that no matter which device you use, it is protected from fire, water damage, misplacement, etc.

It is vitally important that you protect what you have created, do it today!

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Quickly Access Email and Blackboard

Follow the steps below for a quick and easy way to access your email and Blackboard from the SHU website:

1. Go to http://www.shu.edu

2. Click the BlackBoard link at the top of the page.

3. Log in with your Piratenet username and password.

4. You will then be taken directly to your main Blackboard page.

5. From there, you can quickly switch to your email by clicking on the myWEB@SHU logo.

6. Although this will take you back to the SHU website, you are still logged in to PirateNet and can click on the E-Mail link at the top of the page to go directly into your email without having to log in again.

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Password Expiration

Why do I keep getting these emails stating that my password will expire soon?

As per the current network security policy all Seton Hall University users must change their password on a set schedule.  For employees this time frame is every 90 days, for students and faculty every 180 days.

When changing your password please keep in mind there are several additional processes that would need to completed after setting a new password:

1. Update saved password within the WebDrive or Xythos applications.  We use these two products to connect to the files stored within the Blackboard Content System.

WebDrive Update: Go to Start – Programs (All Programs) – WebDrive folder – WebDrive program, then change the password stored in the lower right hand gray section

Xythos Update: Go to Start – Programs (All Programs) – WebDrive folder – Drive folder – Xythos Drive program.  On the “Connect” tab click on the “Service” button and select “Edit”.  On the “Service Properties” screen update saved password.

2. If you access your email through a mobile device (like a Blackberry, iPhone, etc) please make sure to update it right away.  *This is for employees and faculty ONLY*

3. Reboot your on campus computer fully and then log into it using your username and new password.

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Windows Live Contact Request

Have you recently noticed when you log into your Windows Live@EDU student email account that you immediately receive a “Contact Request” alert message, like the one below stating that someone wishes to be your friend and if you want to add them to your contact list?
Windows Live@EDU Contact RequestAnd even if you hit “Decline” the message immediately comes right back?

If so then you’re student email account is actually logged into the built-in chat function and so this message is coming in like a friend request on Facebook or a new buddy is trying to connect with you on AIM.

To disable this function you would simply need to log out of your email account’s instant message function:
1. Log into your student email account.
2. In the upper right hand corner of your account there should be a colored circle to the right of your name showing your status.  This circle would be colored green for online, red for busy, orange for away, etc.  By clicking on the down arrow to the right of the status indicator circle will be an option to “Sign Out of IM”.

Windows Live@EDU StatusBy selecting this option you’re mail account chat function will be turned off and your account will not be able to receive anymore “Contact Request” alerts.

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Clearing A Student Assignment

If you have set up an Assignment in your course to allow only 1 attempt from students, you may encounter a situation where a student submitted the wrong document or for another reason needs to be able to submit again. This is an easy fix. The steps are provided below:

  1. Go to the Grade Center in the course.
  2. Find the column for the assignment and the student’s name. There should be an exclamation point in the cell for that student under the assignment column.
  3. Click on the exclamation point and then click the double down arrows.
  4. Choose “View Grade Details”.
  5. To remove the student’s submission entirely, click the “Clear Attempt” button. Warning: This will remove the student’s document from Blackboard, and you will no longer be able to access it. This should be used in situations where the student submitted the wrong document.
  6. The second option is simply to allow the student to submit again. To allow this, click the “Allow Additional Attempt” button. The student should then be able to click on the Assignment link and submit another document.

This illustration demonstrates where these options are located.

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Using the Right-Click Button

Among all the technical questions I receive each week, a good deal of the time, the answer requires the user to right-click on their mouse to get to a particular menu item. I am still surprised at how often the user makes a statement like, “I didn’t know that was there!”. Using the right-click to access a short cut menu lets you avoid having to switch tabs on the ribbon to get to a specific feature.

I found a good article from Microsoft at Work that explains using the right-click button much better than I could so here it is. Enjoy and happy right-clicking!

Basic Right-Click Tips

As a mouse user, you’ve probably noticed that there’s more than one way to click it. There’s the primary click that you do with your index finger, and there’s a secondary click that you do with one of your outer fingers. This is known as the right-click. (Why? Because right-handers rule. It’s a left-click for left-handers.)

Maybe you’ve seen some of these menus but haven’t taken much notice, or you haven’t realized how pervasive—and how useful—they are. The items on the lists change depending on where you are and what you’re doing. They’ll give you speed and convenience without the need to memorize keyboard shortcuts.

Right-clicks in Microsoft Office programs

Microsoft Office programs are so packed full of right-click menus that you may never need to use the ribbon again. Give it a try.

In a Microsoft Word table, right-click and you’ll be able to do all sorts of table formatting, directly from the shortcut menu. For example, you can insert and delete rows, columns, and cells, add borders and shading, and adjust the width of the table.

Likewise, in Microsoft Excel, you can format cells with a right-click. The exact commands you see on the menu depend on where you click in the spreadsheet. For example, you can easily filter or sort a list from a right-click.

Microsoft Outlook also has lots of useful right-click menus. For instance, you can right-click the Mailbox – your name folder to create more folders in your folder list—an excellent way to organize and keep on top of your email messages.

Right-clicks with files

I use both the CTRL+C and CTRL+V keyboard shortcuts and the right-click menus to copy selected text from one place to another in a document. But it took me a while to notice that this also works on files. For example, I can right-click a file in a folder and then click Cut, Copy, Delete, or Rename. I can even click Send To to copy a file directly to another location.

Want to be able to open a file or program quickly? Right-click the file or program and then click Create Shortcut. This creates a shortcut icon that I can move to wherever I want.

And here’s a handy way to open a folder that’s been compressed. I right-click the folder name, point to Extract All (Windows 7 only) or Open With, and then click an option for extracting the files. In fact, I can’t remember how to do it any other way!

Right-clicks with pictures

When you double-click a photo on your computer, it opens in a program, such as Windows Live Photo Gallery, that is your default program for opening pictures. If you want to open a photo in another program (for example, if you want to edit it in Microsoft Paint), simply right-click the picture icon, click Open With, and then click the program you want to use to open the file.

You can download Photo Gallery for free: Paint is included with Windows 7 and Vista.

You can also print the picture right from this menu, without even opening the file.

And speaking of pictures, if you see a picture you like on a webpage, you can right-click the photo and print it or save it to your computer.

Right-clicks with the taskbar and desktop

Sometimes, during a multitasking session on my computer, I lose control of the number of windows I have open. I regain control by right-clicking the taskbar and then choosing an arrangement for displaying the open windows on the desktop so that I can see them.

Likewise, if I have lots of files open for a particular program, I click the program icon in the taskbar and then click Close all Windows to close all the files I have open in that program at once.

Finally, I should point out that right-clicks aren’t only for use with documents and files. For example, every once in a while I get the urge to change the background on my desktop. So I right-click anywhere on the desktop and click Personalize (Windows 7 or Windows Vista) or Properties (Windows XP), click Next Desktop Background, and then choose a new photo.

These examples give you some ideas for why you might want to use the right-click menus yourself. You’ll understand their usefulness more fully if you give right-clicking a try while you’re working and see what’s on the menu.

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Active Directory passwords and Smartphones, Secondary Computers

When updating your PirateNet password (aka Active Directory) password it is necessary to subsequently update the stored password on your mobile device or smartphone for your email account as well.  If not you will lock out your account due to your mobile device repeatedly trying to connect to and your update your email account using the wrong password.

Additionally if you are using multiple computers you must also reboot the computer to update the password on those secondary machines because again if your password is changed but a computer somewhere on the campus is still attempting to use the old password it would result in the same type of account lockout.

So when updating your PirateNet password please make sure to do all of the following:
1. Update stored password in the WebDrive or Xythos programs, with are used to connect to your Blackboard content system files
2. Update stored password on smart phone or mobile device
3. Reboot all computers that you actively logged into and then re-log into machine(s) using new password.
4. If you haven’t already do so establish your challenge questions with known questions and answers, that way if you forgot your password in the future you may reset it yourself.

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Blackboard Tutorials

Do you have a question about how to do something in Blackboard? Many Blackboard tutorials are available on the SHU website for both students and faculty. These tutorials illustrate many different features and functions within Blackboard, including how to create and submit assignments, customize the course menu, and create exams. Tutorials are available in both video and print format at the following link:

http://www.shu.edu/offices/technology/tutorials.cfm

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