Fall Technology News for Students!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 2:29pm

As we begin a new academic year, I would like to share with you some of the recent technology updates and initiatives that are underway across campus, specifically for students! Please see our Annual Report for the fiscal year 2015-2016 for even more accomplishments and plans for IT on campus.

Improved Wireless Experiences - We’ve been listening to your feedback and continue to work every year to improve your wireless experience on campus! We added an additional 500 access points during the summer for wireless access. We are also rolling out a new “onboarding” solution which will improve the connection process to the Wi-Fi network. See wireless.appstate.edu for details.

You can extend your password expiration date!  A new Password Standard has been approved and when strong passwords are chosen the expiration date could be 120 or even 180 days. Our support team has developed tips for creating a strong password which will help you extend your date. You can also keep tabs on your password expiration date by visiting checkyosef.appstate.edu.

Submit Print Jobs from a Web Browser or your Mobile Device - Currently, if you need to print in a lab or the Library, you need to access the document on a lab or library computer and submit it to print. With our new Pharos Print Center website and Pharos Print Mobile app, you can submit a print job to the queue via a web browser or your mobile device and release the print when you arrive in the Lab or Library.

To access this mobile app, go to the app store and search for Pharos Print. To use Pharos Print Center from a web browser go to myprintcenter.appstate.edu. Visit the Pharos Print Center and Pharos Mobile Print support sites for instructions and updates.

Preferred First Name Initiative - You may remember in March, 2016, the Registrar’s office began an initiative to display preferred first name on selected pages accessible from the Faculty Services and Advisor menus regardless of whether the student has legally changed their name. You can update your preferred first name in AppalNet by clicking on the Personal Information tab, and then the Preferred First Name link.

Students are eligible to use our web-conferencing tool “Zoom” - All students have Zoom Pro accounts! Through Zoom, available at http://appstate.zoom.us -- students can create and host meetings with up to 50 participants from any computer or mobile device. Invitations can be sent to any email address- no ASU account required. Students can also attend Zoom meetings added by their instructor in AsULearn courses.

Remember to Download our Appalachian Mobile App! - A popular and successful mobile app is available to provide timely and important information for students. This mobile app shows grades, course schedules, directory searches, maps, AsULearn, Library info and GOASU. To download, go to the Apple App Store or the Google Play store and search for Appstate.

Improved Process to make your life easier!

  • Course Overload Workflow - We simplified the process for students who wish to take more than 18 credit hours in a semester. Students who meet the GPA requirements required by the individual colleges will automatically be allowed to add the course. College intervention can be completed electronically, eliminating the paper process. This option is available through the Self Service tab in Appalnet.
  • Financial Aid System for Summer Enhanced - Students are now provided with more information about Financial Aid options. The registration process has been simplified and enhanced to help make registration easier and faster! 
  • Major Declaration Improvements - Students can now declare their major electronically and University College can see the declaration request immediately to approve or deny the request. Approvals will be automatically sent to the appropriate college and denials will be emailed back to the student. If you are eligible, this option is available through the Self Service tab in Appalnet.

Our Students are using AsULearn and Degree Works! 
AsULearn usage continues to increase every year. There were over 7,000,000 sessions last year, which is an 11% increase from the previous year. AsULearn service and performance was also improved this year.. The average page load time was 1.63 seconds, which is a 20% improvement from last year. Degree Works had almost 27,000 hits during the 3rd week of May this year. That is a new record!

Smart Classrooms - Currently there are over 320 Smart Classrooms at Appalachian. During the past 18 months, ITS has installed 24 new Digital Smart Classrooms, replaced or refreshed 52 analog projectors, replaced or refreshed 52 podium computers, and replaced 15 manual projector screens with digital electric screens in Peacock Hall.

Thank you for taking our Technology Survey this spring! - During March and early April of 2016, we asked all of our undergraduate students to take a national survey on their technology experiences at Appalachian. We had 1674 students take the survey and 83.3% of you ranked your technology experience at Appalachian as Good or Excellent. Only 76% of our peer schools had the same ranking. We take the results of these surveys very seriously and work to improve your experiences. See the complete results from the survey.

Including student feedback is a high priority as we plan technology improvements. Please send your feedback to cio@appstate.edu.