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IT at Warwick: online magazine

In this issue...

  • Wireless Casting with Solstice.
  • Our initial responses to the ITLR.
  • New features in Office 365.

IT at Warwick | May 2017

ITLR: Our response

Our initial responses to the IT-related points raised…

We’ve taken a look at the draft recommendations for IT Services made in the Institutional Teaching and Learning Review report. The review was an excellent chance to reflect on our role at Warwick, and to look at how we can improve what’s on offer. Here’s a summary of some of the recommendations relating to ITS and our initial responses to them:

1: Consider how we can join central ITS with departmental services better to avoid duplication and improve consistency.

We’re happy to work on this, and think there are a lot of benefits to be drawn from it, though we understand that the IT needs of an organisation as complex and varied as ours can’t be entirely met by a central service. We’ll work with departments to understand their needs and identify where and how we can improve things.

2: Provide the Student Personalised Information Programme.

We reported on this initiative, which we fully support, in the previous edition of IT at Warwick. We will work with the SPIP team to develop and support the system, and to implement it once we reach that stage.

This work will also address another key recommendation from the report – that we work to remove barriers to students taking modules from departments other than their own.

3: Consider how the Help Desk can be a front door and a hub for student engagement.

We’ll consider how we can better raise awareness with students of the Help Desk and what it offers, and look for more opportunities to enable student feedback. One way we could do this is to set up a shared Help Desk facility with the Library. Another would be to relocate teams that work with staff and students directly to Central Campus.

4: Explore how well-used Lecture Capture is and what effect it has on lecture attendance.

We’re already monitoring Lecture Capture use. Unfortunately we have no way to track lecture attendance – we’d need to work with other parts of the University to set something up for this, which we’re happy to do.

5: Improve the way Tabula works on mobile devices.

We’ve actually made this improvement very recently. Of course, we’ll keep reviewing the service to make sure it’s functioning as people need it to on whatever device they use.

Wireless Casting with Solstice

A new tool for presentation coming to a room near you…

We're introducing a new service to the screens in our timetabled rooms: wireless casting via Solstice. Solstice is a wireless screen casting tool that includes the following features:

  • Wireless connection to the screen - no need to fiddle with cables.
  • Casting from up to 4 devices at the same time on the same screen.
  • Casting from tablets and smart phones.
  • Casting just one application window from your device (as opposed to your entire screen).

How do I use Solstice?

First you need to download the Solstice app for whatever system you use - Windows, Android, iOS etc.

When you get to the room, switch the screen on. Select "Solstice" on the input control pannel, and the screen will display an IP address. Enter the address into the Solstice app, and then enter the code shown on the screen. You don't need to remember all this - we've left instructions in all rooms that support Solstice.

Where can I use Solstice?

We'll roll this new service out one room at a time. At present, it's available in the following rooms:

  • All rooms in The Oculus
  • CMR 2.8 and CMR 2.9 (University House)
  • Teaching Grid (Library)
  • WE126 (Westwood Education building)
Solstice Logo

Project Management Office

How the PMO can support you and your team…

The Project Management Office (PMO) can make your technology project a success. We’ve worked with many teams to help them bring major improvements to campus life. That’s not just limited to IT technology – we can support your changes, your ideas and your team. If you have a major technology project, we can make it happen.

How we can help

Project Management: If you have a project, or a proposal for a project, but need help in taking it forward, you can talk to the PMO about how we can assist you. We’ve worked with many other teams around campus, and would love to help yours.

Programme Management: We don't just manage individual projects, we also provide programme management services - a series of related projects with the ultimate goal of realising outcomes and benefits of strategic relevance. A programme is likely to have a life that spans several years.

A Programme Manager works to understand the way all of these projects depend on each other, assessing the risks, issues and requirements to make sure this over-arching goal is achievable.

Coaching: Do you want to manage your own technology project but feel that some guidance or support from an experienced professional would be helpful? We offer a coaching and mentoring service that would help you to achieve your full potential. For up to one hour per week (either in one session or multiple sessions) one of our Project Managers could support you.

Find out more

If you want to take advantage of any of these services, to see examples of how the PMO team have worked to deliver other projects, or to learn more about project management in general, visit:

Photo of PMO in action

Office 365: New features

Tools you may not have noticed in Office 365…

It’s easy to miss new features as they’re added to Office 365 – we don’t get a lot of notice of when they’re going to be switched on, and when they are, they sit in the apps menu in the top left, waiting for you to discover them. Here are a few recent additions...

Sway icon

Sway: create reports

This tool offers a really straightforward way to create visually impressive, interactive reports that you can share with your colleagues. Do you have some statistics or an update on a project that you need to share with your team? Take a look at Sway to see how it can bring those things to life.

Video icon

Video: start a channel

Here we have a tool that could potentially be Warwick’s own YouTube. Make your own channel and share whatever video content you have with the rest of the Warwick community. The videos you upload here are easy to then embed in web pages and share via other means. The tool also provides stats on views and viewer engagement.

Flow icon

Flow: link your apps

Okay, so this one isn’t as straightforward, and probably not for the faint of heart, but used well it can link together the different programmes you work with in interesting and creative ways. There are templates for everything from automatically logging your emails to an Excel file to having a news digest emailed to you every day.

Skype for Business icon

Skype for Business: get in touch

This one isn’t new, but we can’t emphasise enough just what a fantastic tool this is. Imagine something with the fast and responsive nature of a phone call, but the quick link and file sharing features of an email, then bolt on support for multi-user conversations and an array of presentation options and you’ve got Skype for Business.

You can access Skype through Office 365 by clicking the Skype icon in the top right of the screen on the Mail, Calendar or People apps.

OneDrive icon

OneDrive for Business: share and collaborate

Need to share files with colleagues and access them on many devices? OneDrive for Business is a file sharing service which makes this easy. It’s similar to Box or DropBox but, importantly, it’s been approved for the storage of University data, which the others have not.

IT Training

Free courses on a range of subjects…

If you’re interested in learning more about how to use the programmes and services we offer, we run free training sessions that you can sign up for. These sessions cover a whole range of subjects, but here are some examples of what you can learn about:

Microsoft Office Specialist

You can train for the industry standard Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) qualification with our team. We offer 1,000 places on this valuable course free of charge on a first-come-first-served basis. Learn the ins and outs of one of the most widely-used software package in the world, and get something to show for it on your CV.

MOS training

Office 365

If you're not sure how to use Office 365, which we talked about in the previous article, we can give you an introduction.

Office 365 training


Anyone who works with Warwick web pages will have some experience with SiteBuilder, our in-house content management system. You can learn more about the capabilities of SiteBuilder and good web design practices at our sessions.

SiteBuilder training

One-to-one training

If you need more help after one of these sessions, you can book in some time at your desk with one of our one-to-one trainers.

One-to-one training

Thanks for reading!

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