Harvesting CROPS to Make Way for New Growth!

Goodbye CROPS, Hello CatCourses!

After a two-year cooperative effort with faculty and staff, UC Merced IT is ready to implement CatCourses Learning Management System (LMS) into full production for Spring 2015. CatCourses will run parallel with UCMCROPS during the Spring semester, gearing up to completely replace the older LMS for Fall 2015.

What does this mean to you?

This final preview is your chance to get ahead of the game, and familiarize yourself with the new LMS. Those who have previously used CROPS will find similar functionality, but will also notice many new features exclusive to CatCourses.

We are strongly urging faculty who have not previously used CatCourses to take advantage of this opportunity to try it out for at least one class or course. Those who Opt-In before January 12th will receive dedicated, on-site training on the use of the service. After this time, online tutorials will be available.

Who else is using CatCourses?

CatCourses is based off the Canvas LMS by Instructure, and is used at several higher education institutions, including University of California at Berkeley, University of Washington, Loma Linda University, and Pacific Union University.

The pilot program was tested here on campus by our own faculty and instructors for two years, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

CatCourses is on the Cloud

Since the CatCourses service is not hosted on the UC Merced campus, it is unaffected by local outages or network issues. Instructure, the service provider, boasts an impressive a 99.9% uptime, and provides a remote status page that users can check any time, from anywhere.

CatCourses cloud data is encrypted, and compliant with UC Privacy Guidelines.

24/7 Live Support and Walkthroughs

Since CatCourses is provided off-campus, it offers something CROPS never had: 24 hour live support from Instructure. Support requests can be submitted from within the application, via email, or by phone.

We also have a very robust selection of self-service walkthrough videos available on the UC Merced IT website, detailing all aspects of the use of CatCourses for faculty and students.

Access to CatCourses is available right now!
Visit the website at: http://catcourses.ucmerced.edu
Contact catcourses@ucmerced.edu for more information.

Box Edit Issues for Chrome Users

Box and Chrome

As the result of an auto update that was recently pushed out to Google Chrome users, the 64-bit version of the browser does not support the type of plug in that Box Edit requires to function correctly. Box engineering teams are aware of this issue and the inconvenience it causes, and are actively working on an updated build that will be compatible with the changes.

In the meantime, UC Merced IT recommends the following workarounds:

For Windows…
  1. Open Chrome
  2. Click on the address bar and type: chrome://plugins/
  3. Find Box Edit, and Check “Always allowed”
  4. Restart browser

Or use an alternate browser when accessing Box Edit, such as Safari or Firefox.

For MAC…

Use an alternate browser when accessing Box Edit, such as Safari or Firefox.

UPDATE: Network Connectivity Issues

UPDATE: The techs believe they found the issue that was causing some people to have trouble connecting to the network yesterday, and resolved it. If you are still experiencing connectivity issues, please let us know by contacting the IT Help Desk.

Planned Update of Job Builder Site – December 5th

We are releasing the new version of Job Builder on December 5th, from 5:30PM to 7:30PM. During this release process, the Job Builder website will be down, and users will see maintenance message if they attempt to access it.