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IITS Ready for a Virtual Fall

In preparation for the fall semester, CSUSM worked throughout the summer to ensure the campus community has all the technology tools needed during a primarily virtual semester. As part of this effort, IITS has once more demonstrated its flexibility and focus on innovative solutions and continues to look at ways to further support the campus community.  

USU Computer Lab

CSUSM continues to collaborate with units across campus to provide students with all the resources they need to succeed this semester, and the new USU computer lab is another example of this committment. This lab provides computer access and free printing to support student learning.  

This University Student Union—IITS partnership offers students a much-needed resource that increases equity of access to technology. 

Location & Hours of Operation:  The USU computer lab is located at the USU ballrooms and will be open to welcome students from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday on a first-come, first-served basis.

USU lab

Student COVID Screening

Daily student COVID screenings are now just two taps away on the campus app. Students coming to the CSUSM campus must complete the daily "Covid Screening" form via the Campus App or via the website. Since students are already logged into the app, they can quickly and easily complete the screening form on the go and quickly get cleared to visit campus. Student participation in these procedures helps support the safety of the CSUSM community, as this information may be highly beneficial should there be a need for a campus exposure investigation. Use of this system and the data will only be used for COVID-related contact and communication purposes.

COVID-19 Student Screening Form Screenshot

Voluntary Student Check-In

CSUSM is dedicated to keeping our learning environment safe and the campus community informed of any possible COVID-19 exposure. Our on-campus classrooms and labs are setup for safe interactions, and a key element of safe interactions is awareness of any potential exposure. To this end, the campus app now has the capability of quickly scanning QR codes for a variety of functions for students, including but not limited to marking a task as completed or marking themselves as present. Setup takes seconds, so this is a great opportunity for innovative ideas. 

Voluntary Check-in Screenshot

Campus ID Goes Digital

IITS' new Campus ID process has gone online starting this fall. Instead of lining up to take an ID photo—which would have additional challenges this semester—you can now submit their photo online and get your digital ID on the campus app without ever having to come to campus. Visit our campus ID page for more information and to upload your photo

Campus ID sample with Crash the Cougar

Scheduling Tech Support In-Person Appointments

IITS continues to provide in-person tech support to the campus community. Since mid-August, IITS has completed over 300 on-campus appointments, and resolved over 320 online tech support tickets and over 350 faculty specific support tickets.  The IITS Help Desk is open five days a week 10:00 am - 4:00 pm by appointment only. If your equipment requires in-person support, please visit our Help Desk Appointment page to schedule a time. 

If faculty becomes aware of a student in financial need who needs technology, please guide them to our Help Desk Appointment page so they can begin the loan process. The university has purchased 650 laptops for fall and continues to order hotspots so that we can ensure all students have the technology they need to suceed. Faculty and staff in need ot technology can also visit that page.

IITS front desk

IITS-Parking & Commuter Services Partner to Facilitate Equipment Pick-Up

IITS and Parking & Commuter Services have partnered to help make equipment pick-up easier for the campus community. Thanks to this partnership, anyone with an appointment to pick up technology equipment from the Kellogg building can now park in Craven Circle. Given the amount of items IITS has been loaning to students, faculty, and staff, this parking arrangement will certainly make the process much easier for everyone involved. 

parking sign at craven circle

Tenure Track Faculty Refresh

At the present time, tenure-track faculty will receive their scheduled technology refresh. Other faculty and staff may follow at a later day once we have a better understanding of the current budget realities. This year we offer strong configurations that cannot be upgraded as standardized configurations are a better financial deal for the campus during these budget realities. More information will be circulated soon. 

Recording IT Equipment Removed from Campus

 As the campus community shifted virtually during the summer, many have requested permission to take their office equipment home. To better support work from home but also keep track of all IT equipment—which is IITS' responsibility—we ask that anyone taking equipment home self-report via this quick and simple online form

Zoombombing Protection

Zoombombing attempts are a common reality in the current virtual environment, and CSUSM is unfortunately not an exception. IITS offers several resources to assist faculty and also offers daily Zoom trainings for those who require further assistance. 

The following steps can help protect our virtual classrooms:

  1. Learn about Zoom's capabilities
  2. Enable Security Measures
  3. Utilize authenticated users and waiting rooms/passcodes
  4. Be aware of the upcoming (Sept. 27) Zoom security changes

Telephone System Replacement Project

Our shift to virtual has highlighted the need for a flexible phone system that can be utilized both on and off campus. Over the summer IITS has continued to deploy voice-over-internet services— including for a new Call Center in Cougar Central—that allow any internet connected device to operate as a regular phone. Another example of the campus utilizing new tools for audio communications is the significant increase we saw on Microsoft Teams audio calls, with a more than two-fold increase between March and August, the latter seeing over 7500 audio calls. 

Starting this fall, IITS will shift the campus' phone extensions from relying on physical phones to running on any internet connected device (computers, cell phones, tablets, etc.). As part of this move, IITS will enable telephony on Microsoft Teams that will allow users to call phone numbers using the same app they currently use to communicate across campus, thus creating a unified communications client.

Physical phones will still be available for classrooms and certain campus offices where required.