Electronic Eduational Environment (EEE) – Fall 1996

EEE enjoyed a successful Fall, 1996 quarter, and we would like to share with you some interesting statistics. You may find detailed information in the Web at: http://eee.uci.edu/doc/stats/

Included at this location is information about EEE Course Web Pages, Course Mailing Lists, and Course Newsgroups which show access and campus participation last quarter.

The EEE Web site logged over 640,000 visits during Fall quarter. The site maintains links to educational resources on campus, including Registrar services for both faculty and students, UCI Libraries resources, Clone Factory Web printing, archives of course e-mail announcements, and course Web pages (electronic syllabi, assignments, references, exam grades, etc.). The Fall 1996 EEE Web linked to 85 UCI course Web areas (http://eee.uci.edu/96f/) with a total enrollment of 8,270.

EEE is the central reference point for UCI course Web resources — to request a link be added for a class Web resource not on the EEE server, see the request form located at: http://eee.uci.edu/forms/course.html

Instructors interested in requesting a course home page on the EEE server may fill out the application form located at:http://eee.uci.edu/forms/application.html

Automatically generated EEE Course Mailing Lists and Newsgroups are an easy and fast way to communicate with all students enrolled in a class. During the fall, 274 Mailing Lists and 12 Newsgroups were created; 290,000 e-mail messages and 10,300 Newsgroup messages were distributed to 14,600 enrolled students. To access the archive of these mailing lists, see http://eee.uci.edu/96f/w3m3/.

NACS continues to provide support for faculty, instructors, and teaching assistants as well as building educational tools and maintaining the EEE infrastructure. Please send any questions or comments to EEE@UCI.EDU.

NACS Computing Lab Changes and Expansions – Fall 1996

University of California, Irvine
Network & Academic Computing Services
NACS@UCI.EDU
http://www.nacs.uci.edu 

Since before the first PCs and Macintoshes came out of garages in the Silicon Valley, NACS has been providing computing access points for general campus use. With the advent of ever more powerful PCs, we have continually increased the number and usability of computing systems in our computing labs. Concurrently, powerful UNIX servers (EA, E4E, Orion, etc.) have been available for electronic communications through both simple terminals and application software (Netscape, Eudora, etc.) on all our PC systems.

This fall we made significant changes to our computing labs. There are now 130 computer access points in Engineering Gateway (EG, building 321) available 24 hours a day. There are an additional 80 computers in the Engineering and Computing Trailer (ECT – building 317) available 7AM until Midnight, Monday through Friday, and 8AM until 8PM on weekends. Together, these labs constitute the largest ensemble of computer access points on campus.

CHANGES AND ADDITIONS MADE THIS FALL

 

  • 25 new PowerPC model 7500 Macintoshes have been installed in the large schedulable Mac lab, ECT 120. Each system has 32Mb of RAM and 1 GB of local disk.
  • 25 new Dell Pentium 133MHz PCs have been installed in the large schedulable PC lab, ECT 123. Each system has 32Mb of RAM and 2 GB of local disk.
  • A new schedulable/drop-in lab has been opened in ECT 121 with 15 PowerPC model 7100 Macintoshes
  • A new schedulable/drop-in lab has been opened in ECT 122 with 15 Dell Pentium 90 Mhz PCs.
  • All ECT machines have software mounted locally, facilitating use of the large, complex software packages currently in demand (Netscape 3, Word 6, etc.). This results in rapid software start-up even when all classroom users are doing so simultaneously.
  • All NACS PCs are now running the Microsoft Windows NT operating system both on student stations and on the lab server. This will result in reduced downtime due to viruses and local system setup changes, greater flexibility in system management, and will allow the installation of the Windows95 Graphical User Interface (GUI) for Winter quarter.
  • The computing systems in our Engineering Gateway labs have been improved with the addition of more capable PCs and Macs formerly located in ECT.
  • Newer, higher performance laser printers are being installed in several locations. This is a prelude to a newer, easier to use, printing system to be deployed in the next few months in all labs.
  • A new, more rugged electronic tie-down system is being deployed to replace the existing system. Coupled with security cameras and other devices, this system allows us to provide access during extended hours.
  • Local lab networking has been improved with the deployment of switching hubs in the ECT labs (also planned to be added to the EG labs during quarter break). These hubs improve reliability, provide much greater network security for user passwords and the like, and improve network throughput.
  • Lastly, we are installing a greatly improved computer-to-screen projection system in both large, schedulable labs. These state-of-the-art systems are both significantly brighter and of higher resolution than our previous, aging, LCD-panel systems.

During the rest of the school year we will be making further, albeit smaller, improvements in all labs – software upgrades for applications and operating systems, more security tie-down installations, additional ‘seats’ when possible.

IMPROVED COMMUNICATIONS WITH INSTRUCTORS

To develop better communications with UCI faculty and others teaching in NACS’ instructional computing labs, we have created an e-mail listserv list, NACS-Labs-Info@UCI.EDU. We will use this list to communicate lab announcements, updates, requests for comment, surveys of current use, surveys for requested changes (e.g., what new software is needed?), and the like.

If you have scheduled any NACS labs in the last three years your name has been added to the list and you should have already received a message welcoming you. If you know of others interested in joining the list, please suggest they send mail to nacs@uci.edu with their name, e-mail address, and departmental affiliation.

Update on NACS Activities Supporting UCI’s Electronic Educational Environment

NACS-NEWS 96.6
October 25, 1996

  • Update on NACS Activities Supporting UCI’s Electronic Educational Environment

University of California, Irvine
Network & Academic Computing Services
NACS@UCI.EDU
http://www.nacs.uci.edu


 

The Electronic Educational Environment (EEE) is a cooperative campus-wide venture to make computer-mediated communications and electronic information resources an integral part of UCI’s educational environment. It combines the efforts of a number of organizations including the UCI Libraries, the Office of the Registrar, NACS, Division of Undergraduate Education, and academic departments.

The EEE web page at http://eee.uci.edu/ provides a general entry point to campus EEE activities. The program for the EEE Exhibit for Faculty (http://eee.uci.edu/doc/exhibit96.html), provides a good overview of the range of EEE activities being undertaken across campus.

NACS’ role in EEE includes providing campus-wide services and coordination and communications with faculty and other participants. This issue of NACS-News describes some of the services which NACS offers as part of the campus EEE.

 

UCInetIDs and Electronic Mail for All Students.

Beginning this academic year, all UCI students have a personal UCInetID pre-assigned to them. As with faculty and staff, all students have e-mail addresses of the form “ucinetid@uci.edu” For students, the default is to have e-mail delivered to an account on NACS’ EA (Educational Access) computer systems, but, like faculty and staff, students, can use the web to control where mail sent to their “ucinetid@uci.edu” addresses is delivered.

Each student activates his/her UCInetID by selecting a personal password to be used in conjunction with the UCInetID when accessing services which require authenticated personal identification. As part of the activation process, each student is advised of and accepts the campus Computer-Use Policy which is available, among other places, in the UCI General Catalog (page 401).

By the end of the second week of the quarter over 90% of the freshmen had activated their UCInetID. This is well ahead of last year’s pace, in which 95% of freshmen activated their UCInetIDs by the end of the academic year.

 

Educational Access (EA) Accounts

As a component of EEE, NACS provides electronic access services to all UCI students; these services include electronic mail, Internet access, computing resources and access to class information resources. These services are provided via the EA systems (ea.uci.edu), a cluster of UNIX-based Sun SPARCservers.

On a typical class day, over 6,000 different students use the EA systems. On weekends, over 3,000 different students use these systems each day. Each week, almost 11,000 different students access the EA systems. This figure indicates that more than 70% of UCI undergraduates access their e-mail each week. As a practical matter, it means that an e-mail announcement sent to all students enrolled in a class will reach as many of those students in a week as an announcement made during a class meeting.

 

 

EEE Web Site – http://eee.uci.edu/

NACS manages the campus EEE web site, which provides a campus repository of course materials and services as well as a set of tools and facilities to facilitate the creation of course web pages and web-accessible resources.

The EEE Web site functions as a central reference point for course-related web materials at UCI. The EEE web site organizes instructional resources into a consistent and easily navigable structure and incorporates links to information provided by the UCI Registrar and other campus units. From a single page, students and instructors can learn about class enrollment statistics, the availability of course books, room assignments and seating arrangements, credit options, prerequisites, and so on. Instructors for over 60 courses, with a total enrollment of over 6,200 students have course web areas on the http://eee.uci.edu/ web site. Another 1,800 students are enrolled in other courses which have web areas on other computer systems. The EEE Web site lists course web areas on systems supported by NACS and by other campus units.

The EEE Web site hosts Web accessible, searchable archives of e-mail messages which serve two critical functions. First, they include archives of e-mail messages sent out via the course mailing list system described below. Second, individual faculty members can request personal e-mail archives with the same functionality (i.e., web-accessibility and full search capabilities) to facilitate interaction with their colleagues. See http://eee.uci.edu/w3m3/ for examples of such archives.

 

EEE Web Tools

The EEE Web site also features a suite of tools designed to help instructors move new and existing course materials onto the web. Documents written with most word processors can be converted into web publishable format, and the syntax of hypertext documents can be checked against current publishing standards for validity. Using these tools, individuals with no prior knowledge of Web publishing conventions can convert the personalized bookmark files generated by their Web browsers into publishable documents that can be made available to students and colleagues.

Instructors who want to give students access to grades for individual quizzes, tests or for an entire course can request an EEE Gradebook for their Class Web accounts. Gradebooks provide a simple, yet secure mechanism for distributing grades to individual students, and, at the instructor’s option, can incorporate a graphic representation of the grade distribution for the entire class.

Additional tools serve more specialized needs. For example, the FLIQ package allows instructors to use the Web to interactively create multimedia, interactive practice quizzes. These exercises emphasize discrete skill acquisition, but can be adapted for use in a variety of educational settings.

 

EEE Course Mailing Lists

NACS and the Registrar offer a service that allows faculty to use their usual e-mail software to send electronic mail directly to all students enrolled in classes they are teaching. Searchable archives of all such mailings to a given class are automatically maintained by the e-mail archive facilities described above. This system facilitates the electronic distribution and accessibility of assignments, reference information, and a variety of other materials in a timely, low-cost, low-effort fashion. See http://eee.uci.edu/doc/maillists for complete information on using course mailing lists.

As of the start of the fourth week of the quarter, 204 classes with a combined enrollment of almost 11,000 students have sent over 1,800 postings to these mailing lists resulting in over 110,000 e-mail messages delivered.