IT Remote Continuity Plans for Employees

  • In the event that routine work or academic functions are disrupted due to prolonged campus or building closures, employees may find it necessary to work or teach a class from off-campus. IUP provides a variety of services to connect employees with colleagues and students remotely so that work and learning can continue.

    Equipment Preparation

    In preparation, the following equipment would be recommended:

    • Laptop or desktop computer (OS doesn’t matter)
    • Microphone: This may be built into laptops/computers, or an external device such as a USB microphone or headset can be used (headphones with microphone)
    • Webcam: A camera may already be built into laptops, but an external USB camera for video conferencing can also be used. If looking for a camera recommendation, the Logitech Webcam C930e can be considered.
      • IT Services has a select number of webcams available for employees that may need to borrow for either home or office use (although most office computers already include webcams). Users are asked to log an ihelp ticket to make such requests.  
    • Internet: Either commercially provided (e.g., Comcast, Fios), or a wireless hotspot (Verizon, AT&T, etc.)

    Be prepared! It’s best to know these options will work before they are needed. Test access to this equipment and the various IUP resources/services at home before the need arises, and contact the IT Support Center if any questions or issues arise.

    Please note, IUP employees are not permitted to take their office desktop PCs home with them as they will not work at home anyway.  

    If users do not have adequate internet, please see the following links for specific carriers that are making internet available during this critical pandemic.  

    Broadband Resources

    • FCC agreement stating that providers will waive late fees, not cut off service for lack of payment, and open hotspots.
    • Comcast COVID-19 response: Offers free WiFi for two months to low-income families, plus all Xfinity hotspots are free to the public during this time.
      • Contact: Victor W. Cardona  
      • Senior Strategic Executive, Enterprise Services  
      • Office, 908-624-6051; Mobile, 973-405-9271
    • Charter free internet offer for two months
    • AT&T COVID-19 response: offers open hotspots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low-income families.
    • Verizon COVID-19 response: no special offers, but following the FCC agreement.  
    • Sprint COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, provides unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hotspots for 60 days at no extra charge.  
    • T-Mobile COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hotspots for 60 days at no extra charge.  

    Working Remote

    Email and Office365 Applications

    Ensure that access to university email and other core applications is in place and working properly. Most of these are provided as part of the Microsoft Office 365 application suite. Here are email and calendar details

    The rest of the Office 365 applications can be accessed online and by logging in with regular IUP computing accounts. In addition, Office 365 applications are available for download to personal computers by following these instructions

    Full details about each of the applications that comes with Office365 can be found here:

    Accessing IUP Phones and Voicemail

    If your office/department has converted to IUP’s VoIP phone services, access to the VoIP voicemail system can be completed as follows:

    1. Dial 724-357-1287 from mobile cell phone or landline.
    2. Type in your extension (i.e., 71234#)
    3. Enter passcode when prompted (i.e., 23457#)
    4. Press option 1 to get to voicemail box.

    If your office/department has not yet been converted to IUP’s VoIP services, here are full details on how to access Verizon voicemail

    Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    Many technology services provided by IUP IT Services require one to first connect to the IUP VPN before accessing the service (for example, mapping network drives, accessing staging on the CMS, access LDAP, Remote Desktop access to your office computer, etc.) Please find details on how to set up the IUP VPN and how to connect

    Mapping Network Drives

    Staff and faculty can access the network shares on IUP’s network through mapping the appropriate drive letters. The IUP VPN must be connected before accessing these network drives. See the details about mapping network drives

    • When working remotely, employees may want to consider moving files to OneDrive. Accessing files and folders on OneDrive is much easier. See the section above related to Office365 applications. OneDrive is also accessible on tablets and mobile devices by downloading the Microsoft OneDrive app from relevant device App Stores.

    VCL (running/access IUP applications from personal computer)

    IUP provides a service called the VCL or Virtual Computer Lab, which allows users remote access to Windows desktops (one for the Administrative Standard Desktop and another for the Public Lab Desktop). When connecting to this service, the Windows images have all the same IUP software that is on the Administrative Standard Desktop and the Public Lab computers on campus. This gives access to software such as SAP, Office365 (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), SPSS, Respondus, Scientific notebook, Wolfram Mathematica, Endnote, ArcGIS, Visual Studio, etc. Here are full details on how to access to the VCL

    Remote Desktop Access (connecting from home to your office PC)

    If you intend to remote into your PC from off campus, please ensure that you have the VPN enabled and connected. Please find details on how to setup the IUP VPN and how to connect

    In order to remote into your PC you will need to be added to security group, so please log an ihelp ticket with your PC number so this can be set up. Here are the details on how to perform the Remote Desktop Access.

    Accessing Software for Personal Computers  

    IUP has licensing for certain software titles that can be used on personal computers. Access to the IUP Software Downloads site to see what is available.  When prompted, please enter your IUP computing account. Enter username in the format iupmsd\username.  

    Adobe Creative Cloud Access  

    IUP has an enterprise license that allows for Adobe Create Cloud to be installed on personal computers. Employees can make a request via ihelp to gain access to the Adobe.  

    Adobe has also made a special exception during the pandemic to also allow students to access Adobe through May 31, 2020. Students can browse to adobe.com, click on the Sign-in link in the top right corner of the screen, enter their username@iup.edu, and sign on with their IUP computer account credentials.  The student will click on the box on the top right and choose Creative Cloud. Then:

    • Click on All Your Apps.
    • When the “Permission May be Required” screen displays, click OK.
    • The Application will begin to download.
    • Depending on the browser, you may need to go to your downloads to run the install for the applications.

    Remote Instruction

    Desire2Learn (D2L)

    IUP’s Learning Management System is Desire2Learn (D2L). All IUP course/sections and their enrollments are pre-loaded within D2L course shells, and the enrollments are updated on a nightly basis. If not already done, an IUP faculty member must make a course available to students in Desire2Learn.

    Here are some direct links to relevant D2L pages for faculty that are not regular users of D2L:

    IUP offers a full support page for D2L.

    In addition, D2L has created a resource page specifically created in response to the potential COVID-19 virus outbreak

    Zoom: Hold a Synchronous Class Online

    Zoom is IUP’s supported online meeting tool. It unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, group messaging, and conference/classroom solutions. Zoom offers the best video, audio, and wireless screen-sharing experience across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

    To access Zoom, browse to https://iupvideo.zoom.us and select Sign in, which will proceed to IUP’s Single Sign-on page.

    To download the Zoom client, browse to https://iupvideo.zoom.us/download on any device

    These direct links offer support for relevant Zoom activities:

    In addition, a dedicated support page for Zoom is available

    Recording Lectures

    There are many ways to record a lecture, from the very basic (recording a video on a tablet or smartphone) to recording in “Studio1B” at the IUP Library. If these methods are chosen, faculty can save video files on IUP’s video streaming services. Here are the links to the streaming services:

    However, Zoom offers a very easy way to record lectures. The steps below outline the process:

    1. Start a Zoom meeting (you will be the only participant in the meeting).
    2. Prepare the Zoom meeting with appropriate content and activities that will be recorded (screen sharing, etc.).
    3. Record the Zoom meeting
    4. Stop recording.
    5. After the recording is stopped, Zoom will have to process the video and save it the Zoom Cloud Recordings within your account. (This could take several hours.)
    6. Once video recording has been processed by Zoom, an email will be sent to your account that the cloud recording is available. The message will be from “Zoom <no-reply@zoom.us>” and the subject will begin with “Cloud Recording...”
    7. Open the email. It will have a section “Share recording with viewers:”. Copy the web link under that section and send it to students (via email or by placing it in D2L).
    8. Cloud recordings will be available for 120 days.

    Course Section Email Lists

    Course Section Email Lists (CSEL) are a specialized mailing list that instructors can request. They enable you to send messages to all of the students in a particular section with one email address. More information on Course Section Email Lists

    Library Resources

    Easily access many IUP Library resources online with IUP username/password. For help accessing library resources, Ask a Librarian for assistance.

    Other Resources

    The IUP Center for Teaching Excellence (teaching-excellence@iup.edu) can provide support and has recently updated its website with best practices and resources recommended by the “CTE Online Teaching and Learning” Teaching Circle. Also, the IUP Instructional Design Services and the IT Support Center provide a variety of services and are available for consultation, via ihelp.

    The Chronicle for Higher Education has also released an interactive How to Be a Better Online Teacher Advice Guide. In addition, they’ve released an article titled Going Online in a Hurry: What to Do and Where to Start.