Box Departmental Storage Coming Collaborated folderBeginning February 15, we will be accepting requests for departmental storage using Box. With Box, departments will have unlimited storage on the cloud system to collaborate and share files. These departmental folders will show up in your Box space and will be designated by a blue folder icon.

To request a departmental folder in Box, please contact the OIT Help Desk at We will need to know your department or school, the preferred name for your folder, and those individuals who will require access. It’s important to note that Box uses “waterfall” permissions; this means that users can be added to subfolders without impacting the top-level permissions, but permissions granted at the top level cannot be revoked from subfolders! Please keep this in mind when requesting a resource, and add only the minimum required users to your top-level folder. You can always add additional users to your subfolders later.

For additional information on managing folders in Box, please see Folder And Subfolder Permissions.

OIT will soon provide guidance on migration of data from Locker.SMU and BStore.SMU to Box. Stay tuned!

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Getting started with Duo

Installing the Duo Mobile App

The Duo Mobile app allows you to approve your connections at anytime with just a swipe and a click on your smartphone. In preparation for the two-factor authentication using Duo, please download the Duo Mobile app.

Duo Mobile App Store

    1. In your device’s app store, search for Duo Mobile.
    2. Download the app.
    3. Launch the Duo Mobile app.

Duo Mobile Notifications

  1. If the Duo Mobile app requests permission to send you notifications, we recommend allowing this.
  2. You may need to Accept the License Agreement before continuing for the first time.

Once you receive your invite from Duo Security, you can continue to the “Duo Account activation with Duo Security Invite.”.


Duo Account activation with Duo Security Invite.

You will receive an email invitation directly from Duo Security. The email will come from and will look similar the image below.

Duo Invite

This email will have a URL with your unique enrollment code. Please do not share this URL with others. You can click on the link or copy-and-paste it in to your web browser to get started.

Just follow the directions in “Activate Duo Mobile for your Device” below to enroll your device.


Duo Account activation through a web browser.

If you are logging in to a protected system for the first time, you will be required to do a Start setup with Duo two-factor authentication. You should have the Duo Mobile app (see “Installing the Duo Mobile App”) installed on your smartphone in advance.

Duo Start Setup

  1. Click Start setup.Add a new device
  2. You will be asked which device to add. Choose Mobile phone and click Continue.
  3. Enter your mobile phone number. Click the “is the correct number” checkbox and then click Continue.
  4. Choose which type of mobile device and click Continue.
  5. If you have not installed the Duo Mobile for your device, do it now. Otherwise, click the I have Duo Mobile installed button and continue.


Activate Duo Mobile for your Device.

  1. Open the Duo Mobile app.Duo Mobile Add Account
  2. Tap the “+” button or “Add Account“.Duo Login Barcode
  3. Scan the barcode on screen. The app should automatically recognize the code. Once Duo has recognized the code, click the Continue button.Duo Login My Settings
  4. Set your settings. If you choose Automatically send me a: Duo Push, your smartphone will send a notification when accessing your secured online area.Duo Mobile Approve
  5. Your device will be sent an access request. Click Approve.

You can now continue logging in to your system knowing you are doing it securely.

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Preparing & Building Courses in Canvas

CanvasWhen teaching any online course for the first time, course materials and files must be readied and assembled for course uploading.  Creating new organizational folders for each course is one easy starting point for ensuring that your course materials for the transition to Canvas.

  1. On your computer, create a new course folder for each unique course you are teaching. (Include any/all courses you have taught previously using Blackboard that you will teach again—especially consider courses you teach infrequently but will teach again in the future)
  2. Copy or move all relevant course files into the relevant course folder.
  3. Utilize SMU’s Box cloud storage service to maintain your course folders so as not take up space on your hard drive (Tip: SMU Box is also a great way to share your course folders/files with colleagues!)
  4. Use your reorganized course folders to build your courses in Canvas.

Exporting, Reclaiming & Reorganizing Course Materials from Blackboard

Many teachers who have utilized Blackboard have accumulated substantial course materials and course artifacts which are still only stored within Blackboard.  While Blackboard is still openly available to faculty until the end of June, all teachers are advised to export/download any and all course materials for reuse well before the June deadline.  Since courses, course materials and files will not be moved automatically into Canvas, all teachers must ensure, before June 30th, that course materials required for reuse are exported or downloaded from Blackboard for use in building new Canvas courses.  Academic technology team members and instructional designers are available immediately to help guide you through this process.  While SMU will offer numerous day-long “Canvas Conversion Labs” during May and June to assist with exporting course materials from Blackboard, please start preparing your materials now.  Recovering Blackboard course materials after June 30th will be handled on case-by-case requests, since Blackboard will no longer be openly accessible.

Build Courses in Canvas

After you’ve become familiar with Canvas and have consolidated digital course materials in folders for each course, you are ready to build out your course.  Course shells for your upcoming courses will be available for building and publishing well before the start of each term.  If the official course shell is not yet available, please request a “sandbox course” from the OIT help desk for each course you’d like to get a head-start on building.

We’re excited about the opportunities that the Canvas course management system offers the SMU community.  SMU, OIT and CTE are committed to providing as much training, guidance and instructional design assistance as possible during this transitional year.

Even with that support, however, most of the work that needs to be completed between now and the time SMU turns off Blackboard now falls to the teachers.

If you have yet to begin preparations for using Canvas, please begin the process of learning Canvas, preparing your course materials (especially those which you might need to retain from old Blackboard courses) and start building your courses in Canvas itself.  An initial investment into planning for this imminent change in course management systems will pay dividends as SMU moves exclusively into Canvas.


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Canvas is Now: Learn, Prepare & Build

CanvasSMU’s transition to Canvas is rapidly moving forward. Formal weekly Canvas training workshops began in early January and will continue through September.  Road-show sessions and “convert to Canvas labs” will be offered throughout May and June and customized departmental Canvas training sessions may be requested. OIT’s embedded academic technology team, in partnership with the Center for Teaching Excellence, is gearing up to provide expanded support and instructional design consultation to assist and to ensure SMU’s teachers can capably LEARN Canvas, PREPARE course materials, and BUILD courses with this exciting new SMU cloud system. If you are an instructor who has yet to begin preparations for using Canvas, the time to begin is now.

After the current term, SMU courses will be published exclusively for use within Canvas. Blackboard will no longer be available for open use after this semester.  As of June 30th, 2016, Blackboard—and all course materials and information stored therein—will no longer be openly accessible to teachers or students.  

How should teachers proactively prepare for changing to Canvas?

Do not wait until the last minute.  Prepare now.   All teachers currently have unrestricted and open access to previous course materials in Blackboard.  However, waiting until the last minute will result in frustrations and challenges which are entirely avoidable and will result in unfavorable teaching experiences for teachers and students alike.  While SMU’s academic technology team, training team, help desk and instructional designers are available to assist teachers and students through the transition to Canvas, teachers must begin learning Canvas in order to ensure the best and smoothest experience in building out courses in the new system.

Canvas Preparation Elements:

  1. Learn Canvas
  2. Prepare Course Materials for Canvas
  3. Build Courses in Canvas

LEARN CANVAS.  The more you learn about Canvas and its capabilities, the more Canvas can be used to serve you and your students in your classes.  Though many teachers have already chosen to “jump in” and find Canvas to be highly accessible and intuitive, attending a training session, participating in an online Canvas class or watching self-paced online tutorials will help grow your own broad awareness of the powers (and subtle nuances) of SMU’s new LMS. Please take advantage of these resources:

Workshops Canvas Resources Request Departmental Training
Online Training Canvas Community SMU Canvas Page

We hope to see you at one of our workshops and labs soon!

Continue Reading: Preparing & Building Courses in Canvas.

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Inside.SMU moving to SharePoint Online

App_Icon_Sharepoint_90x86[1]OIT is  happy to announce that Inside.SMU, our on-campus collaboration tool, is moving from an onsite Microsoft SharePoint server to a Microsoft-hosted SharePoint in the Cloud service. This upgrades our SharePoint software to the latest version automatically. On top of that, we also will have greater storage and backup capabilities. Most existing sites within Inside.SMU can be moved over to the new system with ease. We are working with primary stakeholders to design a roadmap for a final switchover sometime before the end of Q2.

Even though the functionality of SharePoint remains the same, some features have been renamed and moved around. The new version will also have a look-and-feel that is reminiscent of Office 365 and Office 2016. In preparation for the conversion to the cloud service, OIT will be offering a webinar for current users interested in learning more about how the new system will function and the new features. The webinar will take place on February 26 at 2PM. Visit our upcoming workshops page to register.


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Matlab License Expanded Campus-Wide


SMU has recently expanded our software license for Matlab to include student access.  This expansion allows students to install Matlab 2015 directly from the vendor. Instructions for downloading this application are found on our Matlab services page.

Use the Matlab Resource Kit to find tutorials, webinars, teaching materials, books, and more to help you use MATLAB and Simulink.

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Two-Factor Authentication Coming to SMU

DuoLater this month, OIT will begin rolling out two-factor authentication to certain online SMU systems, starting with Employee.SMU. The two-factor authentication will be handled by a third party called Duo Security.

What is Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds a second layer of security to online services. Verifying your identity using a second factor (like your phone or other mobile device) helps prevent anyone but you from using your SMU account to login, even if they know your password. Basically, it is how SMU will know that you are who you say you are.

How It Works

Once you’ve enrolled in Duo you’re ready to go: You’ll login as usual with your SMU ID and password, and then use your device to verify that it’s you. This can be done via SMS, voice call, one-time passcode, the Duo Mobile smartphone app, and so on.

No mobile phone? You can also use a landline or tablet, or even a USB hardware token. Duo lets you link multiple devices to your account, so you can use your mobile phone and a landline, a landline and a hardware token, two different mobile devices, etc.

Why Are We Doing This?

Passwords are increasingly easy to compromise. They can often be stolen, guessed, or hacked — you might not even know someone is accessing your account. We had over 50 accounts compromised due to phishing and malware last year alone.

Duo notification Two-factor authentication adds a second layer of security, keeping your account secure even if your password is compromised. With Duo, you’ll be alerted right away (on your phone) if someone is trying to log in as you.

This second factor of authentication is separate and independent from your SMU ID and password — Duo and SMU never sees your password.

How Do I Get Started?

You will receive an email invitation directly from Duo Security. The email will come from and will look similar the image below:

Duo Invite

This email will have a URL with your unique enrollment code. Please do not share this URL with others. You can click on the link or copy-and-paste it in to your web browser to get started.

Just follow the directions to enroll your device.

Much of text and images in this article was provided by Duo Security.
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PaperCut Secure Print Launches February 29

logo-papercut-ng[1]Campus printers will be upgraded to a secure print release environment beginning February 29th. During this process each area across campus will be contacted and notified of a “Go Live” date for this service to be activated.

Why PaperCut Secure Print?

In a standard printing environment, a user’s jobs are sent directly to the printer for immediate printing. This results in wasted paper and toner when printing is forgotten and not collected. It also presents a security risk if those forgotten jobs were sensitive or confidential. PaperCut print release provides a simple solution that places jobs in a holding state until the user swipes their SMU ID card to release the print job. Walk-up device features such as scanning and copying will also require card swipe access once this service has been activated.

Instructions on how to set up this device to release secure print jobs from your computer are available on the print services page. (See departmental printing.) Additional communications for this upgrade will be forthcoming.

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Watching Lynda on TV

lyndaCampusWhile the tutorials available at are wonderful, sometimes you don’t want be stuck behind a computer watching them. Maybe you want to take advantage of many of the documentary shorts and insightful discussions they have on Lynda, but from the comfort of your couch. Well, there is a way if you have a Roku Streaming Media Player or Chromecast. With one of these devices, you can watch the many offerings of on your television.

Continue reading

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Microsoft ending support for older browsers

Microsoft EdgeMicrosoft will soon stop supporting older versions of Internet Explorer and will only continue to support Internet Explorer (IE) 11 and their new Edge web browser.

In fact, you may begin receiving prompts to upgrade your version of IE from Microsoft. This raises a common question regarding browser compatibility issues with the various applications and tools we use on a daily basis.

What browsers are available?

Microsoft Internet Explorer/Edge, Firefox and Chrome are the most popular browsers.  It is recommended that you have at least two if not all three of these browsers installed on your computer.

Should I upgrade my browser when prompted?

Yes!  The vendors provide upgrades to the browser software on a regular basis. Most of these upgrades include critical security patches to ensure the safety of your browsing sessions.  Failing to install the latest version makes your system vulnerable.

What do I do if my web applications aren’t working?

When vendors develop the upgrades, they are not able to test their upgrades with every application on the market.  Unfortunately, it is not unusual for a website or web application to “break” with a particular update.  Thus, it is beneficial to know a few troubleshooting steps when you encounter issues with an application:

  1. Clear the browser cache and relaunch the browser completely
    Sometimes, the temporary files behind the scenes cause issues.  Clearing the browser cache and restarting the browser completely often fixes application issues.
  2. Try a different browser
    If one browser isn’t working right with your application, try launching that application in a different browser.  Believe it or not, the applications may function a little differently in each browser.
  3. Use the browser compatibility option in Internet Explorer
    Because application developers are not always able to integrate new changes in the browser code quickly, browsers have several tools built in to fix compatibility issues.  It is often helpful to know how to activate these tools if you really want to continue using a specific browser.  For example– in Internet Explorer, click the gear icon and select Compatibility View Settings.

For additional troubleshooting tips for each browser, click on the appropriate links below

  1. Firefox:
  2. Chrome:
  3. Internet Explorer:
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