IRT Announces Changes and Upgrades for Students

IRT’s new website, and Facebook and Twitter alerts pages

Over the summer, Information Resources and Technologies revised and remodeled its website, providing simpler and easier access to IRT news, alerts, services and technology resources. The changes include:

  • Updates on technology outages and alerts will be posted to IRT's Twitter and Facebook pages, which will display in IRT's main website page.
  • An improved left-side navigation bar that groups help topics in an easy to use, expandable menu format.
  • A new main menu at the top of the home page that provides one-click access to a help form, sources for people new to campus, and the most recent IRT news.
  • An improved full-site search capability.

Printing: duplexing and quota rollover

In response to the Student Printing Survey conducted during the 2011 spring semester, IRT is implementing two changes to printing at UST this fall.

The default printers in the St. Paul and Minneapolis Library Info Commons labs have been changed to automatically print duplex. Black and white duplex print jobs will be charged at a rate of $.085 per side, and simplex (one-sided) black and white print jobs will be charged at $.10 per page. Color prints will remain at $.25 per side for simplex or duplex. Duplex printers will be available in other public locations throughout campus, but the printer will not default to duplex. All printers that are able to print duplex will be identified by a “-D” at the end of the print queue (e.g., LIBLL1-295-D). For more information on the location of public duplex printers, as well as how to select or deselect duplex printing, visit the printing section of IRT’s website.

The second change is to allow carry-over of unused print balances. As an example, if you only print 300 black and white pages ($30) during a semester you will have a balance of $10 in your account. This amount will be left in the account and another $40 will be added for the next semester – giving you a balance of $50. Balances will carry over from semester to semester up to a maximum value of $120 (1,200 single-sided black and white pages). The first carry-over will occur from the end of fall semester into J-Term/spring semester.

Blackboard Learn

In early August, Blackboard was upgraded to Blackboard Learn 9.1, which includes a new look and feel, drag and drop functionality and additional features such as group assignments, blogs, journals and wikis. If you are new to using Blackboard or if your instructor is using one of the new features, visit the On Demand site to find short tutorials on how to use the new features. Be sure to also review the information on supported browsers and operating systems to ensure your computer is compatible with Blackboard Learn.

Outlook 2010 Web App

The migration from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010 was completed this summer. Outlook Web App “OWA” (formerly Outlook Web Access) has some new features, including:

  • Conversation View: Similar to capabilities in Google Mail and full-version Outlook, Exchange now allows users to have conversation-view-enabled group messages with the same topic together. This view is enabled by default in OWA. Messages in a single conversation can be moved or deleted all together. If you don’t like Conversation Vew, you can turn it off by going to View and unchecking “Use Conversations.”
  • Multiple Browser Support: OWA 2010 now offers full feature-rich capabilities across Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari Web browsers.
  • Single Page of Messages: No more clicking from page to page in OWA – Outlook Web App now offers the ability to scroll through all messages in a single folder.

If you are on a secure computer (i.e., not at a public hotel or airport kiosk), make sure to click on “This is a private computer” when you log into to allow downloading of attached files; otherwise, you will only be able to preview them in the Web browser.

Find more information about Outlook Web App on the IRT website.

Microsoft Office 2010 and 2011

This summer, the St. Paul and Minneapolis Info Commons and classroom PC computers were migrated to Microsoft Office 2010. The move to 2010 integrates Microsoft’s ribbon to all Office applications. The Ribbon is Office’s interface that replaces old menus with groups of buttons for common tasks. The Ribbon concept was first introduced as part of Office 2007 (which IRT moved to in 2009).

IRT also started the process of moving Mac-based laptops to Office 2011.