Improved Classroom Controls Now Available

There is little question that the classroom is the most prominent place on any university campus. With all of the frequent changes in technology utilized in the educational process, our classroom equipment requires constant attention to make and keep SMU on the cutting edge of what’s needed to shape the next generation of world changers.

Classroom keypadOIT has taken immense strides over the summer to update and improve classrooms across campus. One of the largest projects has been to consolidate the multiple types of control systems into fewer and simpler configurations. This means that no matter what classroom you’re in, the controls for the audio/visual equipment will be the same or very similar. Plus the controls will be easier to understand and more reliable when it matters most. Continue reading Improved Classroom Controls Now Available

Remote Control Assistance in the Classroom

Technology plays an vital role in classroom instruction.  When it doesn’t work as expected, it’s not only a tremendous disruption but it can be quite stressful as well.  Knowing that time is of essence, we began planning for a way to decrease the amount of time a class is interrupted due to technology issues or waiting for help to arrive. Continue reading Remote Control Assistance in the Classroom

Getting TA’s and Others in Your Canvas Course

Canvas Tips & TricksThe process to put people and classes into Canvas is an automated one; whatever information is in my.SMU is what will be used to populate those users and roles into Canvas. There are several designations in my.smu that help to get people in their correct course and role, such as, Instructors, Co-Instructors, TAs, and students. All students, Instructors, secondary instructors, observing/supervising instructors, and students are enrolled every couple of hours throughout the week. Continue reading Getting TA’s and Others in Your Canvas Course

The Help Desk is Moving Back to FLW

We're Moving
Help Desk in FLW
On May 23, the Help Desk will be relocating from the Hughes-Trigg Student Center back to Fondren Library West.  We are looking forward to providing top-notch support in a beautifully renovated space, and in a convenient, central location on campus.

Summer Hours beginning June 1st:

Monday through Thursday  8AM – 9PM
Friday  8AM – 6PM
Saturday and Sunday 12PM – 6PM

Contact Information:

Phone:  214.768.4357
Email:  help@smu.edu
Submit a Ticket Online:  help.smu.edu

Classroom Emergency Support

 Please phone 214-768-8888 to request assistance.

Page updated 05/16/2016 to fixed summer hours.
Page updated 05/17/2016 to add exact move date.

Winter Break Brings New Classroom Upgrades to Campus

During the winter break, our Classroom Support team was hard at work to make sure classrooms in need of technology upgrades were ready for the new semester. As semesters go by, heavily used equipment becomes less reliable and older technology requires replacement to keep classrooms functional.

Almost forty classrooms received upgrades over the break with improvements including new projectors, enhanced functionality, revamped control systems and more. Here are a few examples of the work that’s been completed across campus:

  • Annette Simmons:  New projectors in 138, 144 and 218.  New lamps in 221 and 213.
  • Dedman Life Science: New projectors in 110, 127, 128, 129, 130 and 131.
  • Clements Hall: New projectors and control systems in G16, G18, 120, 126, 225, 324, 325, 326 and 334.  New computers installed in 225, G18, 326 and 334.
  • Dallas Hall: New control systems in 120, 137 and 138.
  • Umphrey Lee: New power control in 233.
  • Owens Arts Center: New power control in B150 and 2020.
  • Hyer Hall: TV/wall monitor installed in G21.

These repairs and improvements are just a small portion of the larger mission to update all classrooms on campus for a more consistent experience for faculty and students. As always, if you have any questions regarding the operation of classroom equipment, feel free to contact the IT Help Desk at 214-768-4357. If there is an immediate technical problem with the classroom, a support representative will be dispatched to your location and should arrive within five minutes.

Where do I go for help?

Over the past 6 months, there have been a large number of changes as we transitioned to Shared Services. Although we are still modifying and improving processes, the main contact channels will remain intact.  This ensures you always know how to get help when you need it.

Classroom Emergency Support

  • Please dial 214-768-8888 to access the classroom support line.
  • Faculty in Cox can continue to use the help button on the podiums in the classrooms.

Classrooms in Lyle:

  • For Computer or Network issues in the classroom, contact 214-768-8888.
  • For assistance with AV and recording equipment, please contact the Lyle Distance Education Help Desk at 214-768-1260 or email dehelp@lyle.smu.edu.
    Lyle Help Desk Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30AM-5:00PM
    Control Rooms: Monday – Thursday 11:00AM-9:45PM and Saturday 8:00AM-12:30PM

Reporting issues or requests for assistance

The IT Help Desk is now fully staffed (see We are excited to announce the new Help Desk team!) and last month, we began offering full-time Help Desk support coverage 7 days a week. To ensure that all reported issues are being addressed quickly, support requests will be first handled/reviewed by the IT Help Desk rather than being distributed immediately to the local IT Resources.

All requests for assistance (outside of the classroom emergencies) should be made through one of our contact channels listed below.  The Help Desk will either respond to the issue directly or route the issue to the appropriate personnel for resolution.  Since many of the responsibilities of our IT personnel changed with the move to Shared Services, this process will ensure an efficient and timely response to your request by the appropriate personnel.

 Hours:

Monday through Friday: 8:00AM-8:00 PM
(classroom support line opens at 7:45am)
Saturday: 9:00AM-5:00PM
Sunday: 12:00pm-6:00pm

Contact Information

Email: help@smu.edu
Phone: 214-768-4357
Ticket System: help.smu.edu
In Person: Hughes Trigg Student Center

After hours emergency

Call the help desk number at 214-768-4357 and activate the emergency pager line.  This notifies the help desk consultant on call as well as the Director of Customer Service.

Additional Information

Printing issues/requests:  email imagenet@smu.edu

IT Purchases (Hardware and Software only): techsales@smu.edu

The Cox IT Desk: The Cox IT Desk will continue to serve the Cox community for checking out equipment and general assistance.  They are open Monday- Thursday from 7:30am- 9:30pm, Friday 7:30am-5:00pm, and Saturday from 7:30am-3:30pm.

As with any transition, some modifications may be needed.  We promise to address issues as quickly as possible.  Your feedback on requests for assistance is greatly appreciated can easily be done by replying to the ticket survey. You are also welcome to contact Help Desk Manger Lauren Nelson or the Director of Customer Service, Rachel Mulry, with any feedback.

New Embedded Support Model Brings Improved Support to Campus

OIT Support ZonesAs part of the OE2C initiative this past year, OIT has been working to increase the quality and efficiency of customer service. One method adopted was to make support staff more accessible to the University community. A new structure has been put in place by the Customer Support division that places field support and AV/Event representatives into assigned zones which include several buildings that each representative will support. These representatives will be the first point of contact for desk-side support and emergency classroom/conference room support in their respective area. They will also be cross-trained in order to assist other zones when needed for larger projects or issues.

The following individuals are currently serving in an embedded zone:

Desktop Support

  • Jesus Martinez: Umphrey Lee room 122
  • Glenn Taylor: PAB 300
  • Jim Tuley: Maguire 170
  • Paul Tubb: Maguire 170
  • Walter Hwu: Caruth 472
  • Deborah Seiter: Underwood 320
  • Brad Pittler: Underwood S302
  • Robert Burkett: 6200 N. Central Expressway 2050
  • John Blank: Prothro 208B
  • Andy Maupin: Fondren Library
  • Jawaid Hussein: Fondren Library
  • Andrea Thach: Guildhall- Plano
  • Jon Pickle: Plano
  • Richard Franks: Taos

Classroom/AV Support

  • Jim Jaeger: Prothro 208A
  • Mike Gebreselassie: Maguire 170
  • Chris Gaut: Hughes-Trigg Student Center
  • Shawn Remek: Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall
  • Winston Phan:  Underwood Law Library
  • Adam Jones: Hyer Hall

To review the zone map and the areas each individual supports, visit http://www.smu.edu/~/media/Site/OIT/AboutUs/Zone%20Layout.ashx

Early Issues with ExamSoft and El Capitan

Update: ExamSoft announces a new version of SofTest compatible with El Capitan is available now.

Update: ExamSoft announces a new version of SofTest supporting El Capitan will be available by the second week of November.


examsoftEl Capitan (OSX 10.11) was recently released to the public by Apple. While it is exciting to be the first one to use a new OS, if you use ExamSoft, we would urge you to wait.

At this time, ExamSoft’s SofTest is not compatible with El Capitan due to a vulnerability identified during the initial testing. If you are running El Capitan as your OS, ExamSoft will prevent you from downloading or registering SofTest on your device.  We urge you to please refrain from updating to El Capitan until an official support announcement has been made by ExamSoft.

Questions about Mac OS upgrade should be directed to the Help Desk.

If you need to access your ExamSoft account, please visit www.examsoft.com/smu. Log into the account under the ‘Administrator/Faculty’ area.  If you forgot your password, use the ‘Lost Password’ link to have it resent to you.

Post Updated 10/02 to include information about Mac OS upgrading and ExamSoft account login.

Classroom Support Enhancements

In addition to upgrading the technology equipment in several classrooms, we are also working on a few new processes to provide quicker response to classroom calls as well as keep faculty informed of maintenance issues in their classrooms.

Emergency Response:

  • We currently have 4 full time staff on the AV/Event Support team.  These individuals are currently serving as first responders to classroom calls.  They also have a team of student workers and the OIT Desktop Support team to assist as backup.
  • As we implement the shared services model in IT, there will be embedded desktop support technicians throughout campus.  These individuals will be responsible for providing quick classroom response due to their location.  They will continue to be dispatched from the Help Desk, but can provide a quicker response time as they will be in near proximity of the classrooms in their area.

Classroom Maintenance

  • When classroom technology fails and requires maintenance, the AV team will first attempt to install temporary equipment in the room that day to be used until the room is unoccupied for maintenance to occur.  Carts are being compiled with the necessary equipment and will be stored in various buildings on campus.
  • The AV team is implementing a notification process to alert any faculty that are teaching in an impacted classroom of the technology issue and if temporary equipment is available.  The faculty will be notified via email throughout the fulfillment of the maintenance activities.
  • A webpage has been built which will automatically display a list of any classrooms that are currently under maintenance as well as a status of these rooms. The information is available at www.smu.edu/BusinessFinance/OIT/classroommaintenance
  • We are also in the process of implementing new management tools to provide reporting, health checks and possibly even remote capabilities for the classroom equipment.  As these tools are implemented, many issues can be prevented or resolved quickly without dispatching a technician.

Finally, we realized that our instruction sheets in the classroom were not updated following the upgrade of equipment in several rooms.  We are working on new instructions and will ensure that these are accurate and available in all classrooms quickly.

We will continue to look for opportunities to improve our classroom response service as it is a critical component for instruction!

Classrooms Get Upgrade Over Summer

During the last few weeks of summer, several classrooms in Dallas Hall have been given a much needed upgrade.

2015-09-02_11.53.14Faculty teaching in these rooms will now notice that HDMI is an available source and the black AV box has been moved into the lectern to give you more room to stand. We’ve also re-designed the keypad interface so users can select a laptop input just by pressing a single button. (Previously it was necessary to also make a selection on the small switcher that was under the keyboard tray.) If you want to use your laptop, simply choose VGA or HDMI on the familiar keypad and plug in the appropriate cable. These rooms have also been given new projectors that provide a brighter, clearer image.

Continue reading Classrooms Get Upgrade Over Summer