A-LEC/OIT Learning Workshops Return for Fall!

We are excited to announce this semester’s student workshops at the Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center (A-LEC)! Along with the A-LEC’s stellar lineup of learning strategy workshops, OIT also joins in with classes on Lynda.com, note-taking, and Excel. Here’s a quick rundown of the classes we will present this semester:

Lynda.com: Your 24/7 Tutor

Lynda.comAs an SMU student, you have unlimited access to Lynda.com, which provides thousands of on-demand courses ranging from Photoshop to Public Speaking. This quick workshop will show you the basics of the Lynda.com service.

Note-Taking & Organization

OneNoteIn collaboration with the A-LEC, OIT provides a brief primer on how to utilize digital notetaking in your classes using Microsoft OneNote. We’ll also go over other handy tools you can use to organize your digital life. After that, the A-LEC takes over to show you the most efficient note-taking methods for your academic career.

Microsoft Office Certification Info Session

OIT is launching a pilot program to enable SMU students to take Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification exams without leaving campus! Stop into this info session to learn more about the requirements for this program and what certification can do to elevate your career.

Microsoft Excel Workshops

ExcelWe will be offering three unique Excel workshops this semester:

  • Intro to Excel
  • Excel Formulas
  • PivotTables & Charts

You will need to bring your laptop for these sessions since they are intensive hands-on workshops. From the basics to working with complex formulas and interactive charts, you can learn just how powerful Excel can be.

All of these classes will be held in the A-LEC, located in the Loyd All-Sports Center suite 202. Check out our website for dates and times for the OIT workshops and the A-LEC’s site for the rest of their schedule for this semester.

InstructureCon Reveals Upcoming Features in Canvas

Instructurecon LogoLast month, instructional designers from around the world descended on Keystone, Colorado for the annual InstructureCon. This convention is hosted by Instructure, the makers of the Canvas LMS, to announce upcoming features as well as allow educators to discuss innovative ways of using Canvas. SMU’s own Canvas administrators paid a visit to the Rockies to find out more about what Canvas has up their sleeve, and they weren’t disappointed!

Improved Gradebooks

Some of the most requested improvements to Canvas by faculty include improvements to the gradebook. Instructure has listened and is working on additional automation features to make grading easier. There will also be an option to directly contact students who meet or don’t meet certain criteria to ensure they are staying on track.


The quiz function is one of the most frequently used features in Canvas, and it too will be undergoing an evolution. This new examination platform is currently in early beta testing, and Instructure hopes to offer more robust analytics to gauge student development along with better question management.

Canvas Teacher App

Canvas Teacher AppThere has already been a Canvas app for Android and iOS devices for some time, but now instructors have their very own app, too! The Canvas Teacher app is now available for faculty to download. The app allows instructors to access the features they use most frequently – from creating assignments to grading submissions – in a lightweight and simplified interface.

For more details on what’s being worked on for future updates of Canvas, check out the Canvas community!

OIT Resources for Your Sitecore Needs

SitecoreSMU’s main website holds around 45,000 web pages, and each one of those pages runs on our Content Management System known as Sitecore. If you have editing privileges on any of SMU’s web pages, you may already know the basics of how Sitecore works, but you also realize how complex and intimidating the system can sometimes be.

If you ever have any problems with Sitecore or are just curious about learning more about what it can do, we have plenty of resources to assist you. Continue reading OIT Resources for Your Sitecore Needs

Ethernet Switches: The Other Campus Networking

Here we are! The new semester is almost here, and you’re gearing up for move-in. You have all of your furniture, your decor, those hand-me-down bath towels that mom wouldn’t let you leave the house without, and anything else you might need, right?

Ethernet Jack and CableOn second thought, you remember hearing at AARO that there is one Ethernet port per bed in each residential commons. You also remember that not only do you have a PlayStation to connect, but also your Amazon Fire TV and your desktop computer. Sure, you could connect some of these devices to the PerunaNet wireless network, but you want the absurdly fast performance that only a wired connection can provide. Continue reading Ethernet Switches: The Other Campus Networking

The New my.SMU Makes Subscription Management Easier

Students, you have enough on your plate during your time here at SMU. On top of all of the lectures and projects; sifting through loads of e-mails is never an exciting event. A few years ago we introduced a new and simpler way to manage your e-mail subscriptions from SMU organizations. The new upgrade to my.SMU makes using this service even easier than before! Continue reading The New my.SMU Makes Subscription Management Easier

iOS 11 Brings Improvements and Innovations to iDevices

WWDC17At Apple’s Wordwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this week, a new version of the iOS mobile operating system was announced for a fall release. iOS 11 brings several improvements and new features to iPhones and iPads, many of which have been long-desired by Apple fans. Continue reading iOS 11 Brings Improvements and Innovations to iDevices

Phishing Alert: Fraudulent DocuSign E-mail

Phishing AlertDocuSign, one of the document and signature management platforms SMU utilizes, recently reported a phishing campaign that attempts to mimic a DocuSign signature required notification e-mail. Here’s what they had to say:

DocuSign has observed a new phishing campaign that began the morning of May 16 (Pacific Time). The email comes from “dse@dousign.com” with the subject “Legal acknowledgement for <person> Document is Ready for Signature” and it contains a link to a malicious, macro-enabled Word document. We suggest you do not open this email, but rather delete it immediately.  If you have received the email and opened it, please change your password as soon as possible.

If you have received an e-mail like this, delete it immediately! If you clicked on any links or attachments in the e-mail, reset your SMU password immediately at smu.edu/password and call the IT Help Desk at 214-768-4357.

If you would like to be automatically informed about the latest security updates and alerts for DocuSign, please follow @askdocusign (DocuSign Support) on Twitter, where they will be posting notifications when the Trust Center is updated.