Announcing the Transition to CourseWork v5 for Summer 2007
by Julie Mai
CourseWork v5 is Stanford's next-generation course management system built upon the open source software project called Sakai. While CourseWork v5 provides virtually all of the capabilities in the current system (CourseWork v3), it also adds a host of new features that members of our academic community have been requesting.
During Winter and Spring Quarters of the 2006-2007 academic year, CourseWork v5 runs alongside the current system as a "pilot". However, in Summer 2007, CourseWork v5 will be the only system in which new course sites can be created. Consequently, the current CourseWork system will only be available for accessing previous terms. Finally, sites in the current CourseWork from the academic year 2006-2007 will be migrated to CourseWork v5. Again, all new sites will be created in CourseWork v5 starting in Summer 2007.
What's New in CourseWork v5
CourseWork v5 offers expanded functionality for those who are familiar with the current CourseWork. Below are a few examples of this new functionality:
- Instructors can now append file attachments to their announcements.
- Instructors can now upload/download multiple documents at a time through a desktop interface (WebDAV).
- Instructors can calculate grades, rather than just recording, using the Gradebook tool.
- Students can now be notified by email when new content is added to course materials.
CourseWork v5 also offers an expanded set of new Web-based tools that will save faculty time and afford them flexibility in managing course content. For instance, instructors could use the Drop Box tool to download all student paper submissions and hand back commented papers via a few "drag and drop" actions; via the Web Content tool, public Web sites that are referenced frequently in a course could now be displayed within the content frame of a site for quick access. Additionally, instructors are given their own private workspace where course-related documents could be stored prior to being published to a specific course.
Why Should Instructors Try the New CourseWork v5 This Quarter
Spring 2007 will be the last chance to try out the new CourseWork v5 before it goes into production this summer. Since there will be a smaller set of people using the new system, the CourseWork team will be able to provide more individualized support for learning the system and help in setting up course sites. A number of Stanford instructors have been piloting CourseWork v5 since Winter 2006. If you are teaching Spring Quarter and would like to pilot CourseWork v5, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CourseWork v5 Demo Site
A demo site is available for users to experiment with the features and functionalities of CourseWork v5 before it replaces the current system in Summer 2007. Users will be able to evaluate CourseWork v5 from the viewpoint of an instructor, a teaching assistant, or a student. The site is available to anyone in the Stanford community. For more information and to give CourseWork v5 a spin, please visit:
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Have Laptop, Will Travel: Results of 2007 Undergraduate Computing Survey
by Rich Holeton
Over half of Stanford undergraduates say they bring their laptop to class at least once a week. In those classes, many students are using wikis (29%), blogs (14%), and other Web 2.0 technologies. Outside of class, nearly 90% of undergraduates regularly use social networking sites (primarily Facebook), 32% read blogs, and almost 20% upload content to photo-sharing or video-sharing sites such as Flickr or YouTube.
These are among the highlights of the annual computing survey just completed by Student Computing, part of the annual Residence Evaluation conducted by Residential Education. Student Computing asks undergraduates who live on campus about their personal computing, technology use, and use of computer clusters and other learning spaces. Student Computing conducts a similar, separate survey of on-campus graduate students in late winter quarter. Both surveys inform strategic planning and operational decisions about services and facilities; annual results dating back to 2000-2001 are available.
This year, nearly 2950 students-about 44% of all undergraduates-responded to the survey. Other highlights include:
- 99% have their own computer (10% have two or more computers)
- 93% have a laptop
- 66% have a Windows machine, 35% have a Mac (some have both)
- 66% have a portable music player (90% of those are iPods)
- 65% have their own printer
- 61% have a digital camera (many in cell phones)
- 54% have a USB key/thumb drive
Computer usage continues to climb on a year to year basis, with 75% of undergraduates saying they use their personal computer 4 hours a day or more. Students use their laptops primarily in the residences-92% regularly use their laptop in their own room, 61% in other student rooms, and 51% in other residential common spaces-with classrooms (52%), Green Library (38%), and campus outdoor areas (26%) rounding out the most popular laptop spots. Their most common computer activities within five broad categories are academics (any course related computer or Internet use) and social interaction (Facebook, instant messaging, social email), followed by information (news, travel, jobs, etc.), entertainment, and commerce.
Public Computing and Study Spaces
About 53% of students said they have used a Student Computing technology space this year in Meyer Library or Tresidder Union. The most popular study locations are Green Library (38% use it regularly or frequently), Meyer Library 1st Floor Lobby (25%), and Meyer 2nd Floor (19%), followed by the Meyer 24-Hour Study Room (16%) and Tresidder Computer Center (16%). The most significant reasons cited by students for using these spaces were: study space away from their residence; the availability of general software (Web, email, Word); printing; the availability of group/partner work space; and the availability of specialized software (e.g., Matlab, Mathematica, Photoshop).
Consulting and Multimedia Services
While nearly half the students surveyed had not heard of the Multimedia Studio in Meyer, many expressed interest in services offered by Academic Computing's Consulting and Multimedia Services (CAMS), including laptop and video camera loan services, wide-format printing, drop-off digitizing, and multimedia workshops. Among students who did use the Multimedia Studio, digital video editing (46%), image scanning (37%), and DVD burning (24%) were the most common activities. For more information on CAMS, see Consulting and Multimedia Services in Meyer Library: Spring Quarter News article in this issue or visit http://cams.stanford.edu/.
Residential Computing Services
Students continue to be well served by their Resident Computer Consultants (RCCs), student peers who provide computing help, network support, computer cluster support, workshops, and technology training classes in the undergraduate residences. Nearly three-quarters of students say they asked their RCC for help this year, with 91% of those satisfied or very satisfied with their RCC, and 94% rating their RCC's knowledge as good or excellent.
Every undergraduate residence has at least one technology-enhanced study space supported by RCCs and other staff in Residential Computing (part of Student Computing). Over 70% of undergraduates say they use their residence computer space, a majority of those on a regular basis. Students use these facilities primarily for the availability of specialized software (e.g., Matlab, Mathematica, Photoshop); printing; study space away from their room; the availability of general software (Web, email, Word); and the availability of group/partner work space.
Graduate Residence Computing Survey results will be available in mid-April. For more information, please contact Rich Holeton.
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Free Remote Connectivity Service Available Now: iPass
By Carlos Zertuche
Now through August of 2007, IT Services is offering free remote Internet access to Stanford faculty and staff. Stanford has contracted with iPass to provide a remote connectivity service which incorporates wireless hotspots, wired broadband, and dial-up.
Using a client interface on your Windows or Macintosh PC, iPass consolidates Internet service providers in over 160 countries into a single global virtual network. Frequently-used locations can be auto-launched from the desktop, system tray, or dock. iPass can auto-detect Wi-Fi networks and auto-configure your Wi-Fi network interface card, and also supports both home and Stanford wireless networking.
iPass access is available at:
- Over 395 domestic and international airports as well as the airline clubs of American, Delta, United, and US Airways;
- Over 8,000 locations on the T-Mobile HotSpot network including Starbucks,
- Thousands of business hotels including select Marriott, Hilton, Red Roof Inn, Radisson, and Holiday Inn chains; and
- Over 7,500 McDonalds restaurants.
Beginning in September, access to IPass will be by individual subscription (with departmental approval) through IT Services. We anticipate that the charge will be approximately $20.00 per month. For more information, see:
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Copyright Renewal Database Released
by Mimi Calter
Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (SULAIR) announces the launch of its Copyright Renewal Database tool, nicknamed the "Copyright Determinator":
This open-source database, developed under a grant from the Hewlett Foundation, makes searchable the copyright renewal records for books (Class A works) published in the United States between 1923 and 1963.
Determining the copyright status of books has become a pressing issue as libraries and business concerns develop plans to digitize materials and make public domain works widely available. In order to appropriately select books for digitization, these organizations need to determine, efficiently and with some certainty, the copyright status of each work in a large collection. The Determinator database supports this process, bringing all 1923-1963 Class A renewal records together in a single database, and, more significantly, making searchable renewal records that had previously been distributed only in print.
"This database is an important tool for anyone researching the copyright status of US works," said Stanford attorney Lauren Schoenthaler. "Having a single, electronic source for all renewals for these works will greatly speed the research process."
U.S. works published 1923-1963 are the only group of works for which renewal is currently a concern. Renewals have expired for works published before 1923, and they are generally in the public domain. The 1976 Copyright Act made renewal automatic for works published after January 1, 1964. Determining the renewal status of works published between 1923 and 1963 has been a challenge, as renewals were received by the Copyright Office as early as 1950, but only records received by the Copyright Office after 1977 are available in electronic form. Renewals received between 1950 and 1977 were announced and distributed only in a semi-annual print publication. For the Determinator databases, Stanford has converted the print records to machine-readable form, and combined them with the electronic renewal records from the Copyright Office.
SULAIR wishes to thank Project Gutenberg, whose work in transcribing the Catalog of Copyright Entries made this project possible. (The Catalog of Copyright Entries was published by the U.S. Copyright Office.) We also wish to thank Professors Michael Lesk, Department Chair of Library and Information Science at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and Lawrence Lessig, the C. Wendell and Edith M. Carlsmith Professor of Law at Stanford, for their practical advice and support.
SULAIR continues to refine the database, and welcomes and encourages comments. Please contact Mimi Calter at email@example.com with questions or comments.
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Stanford on iTunes U
by Scott Stocker
Stanford on iTunes U provides access to a wide range of Stanford-related audio and video content via the iTunes Store, Apple's popular online music, video, and podcast service.
To begin Spring Quarter, a new version of Stanford on iTunes has been launched and Academic Computing's Consulting and Multimedia Services (CAMS) is working with and actively seeking instructors interested in producing their own audio and video for teaching.
The project includes two sites:
- A public site with Stanford courses, faculty lectures, event highlights, music, sports, and more.
- An access-restricted site for the Stanford community, which includes:
- CourseWork-linked iTunes U pages for course-related use.
- Stanford Community
iTunes U for the entire campus community.
New Version Launched
A new version of the Stanford on iTunes U public site launched on April 16 with a fresh look and expanded functionality. Key changes include improved keyword searching and a comprehensive table of contents by subject area. In addition, the new site also contains six full courses taped during fall and winter quarters, with additional courses to be added in the spring. Course titles include Modern Theoretical Physics, IHUM: The Literature of Crisis, and The Historical Jesus.
The public Stanford on iTunes U site now contains close to 1000 tracks and has been tremendously successful, with almost 1.5 million downloads to date. We encourage you to visit the site and explore the rich collection of Stanford content that is now available to download free of charge.
Academic Use of iTunes U
Kim Hayworth, manager of Academic Computing's Consulting and Multimedia Services (CAMS) in the Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (SULAIR), has been working actively with instructors who want to learn how to produce their own audio and video content for teaching. She continues to be available for consulting (firstname.lastname@example.org). Jeremy Sabol, Academic Technology Specialist for the Center for Teaching and Learning is also available to help instructors think about how audio and video might enhance their teaching practices. See also Consulting and Multimedia Services in Meyer Library: Spring Quarter News in this issue.
Stanford Community iTunes U Space
In addition, members of the Stanford community can share audio/video content with the entire campus via the Stanford Community iTunes U space. This Stanford-only space is intended for content of more local interest, with access via a SUNet ID.
For More Information
If your department or program would like to include audio or video content on Stanford's public iTunes U site, please email email@example.com or call Brent Izutsu at 736-0784. The Office of University Communications manages the project.
If you'd like to get a CourseWork-linked iTunes page for a course or add materials to the community site, contact Jeremy Sabol (jsabol@stanford).
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Add Socrates to Your Browser's Search Box
by Chris Bourg and Tom Cramer
Now there's a quick way to add Socrates (Stanford's online catalog) to your IE or Firefox search box. Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (SULAIR) recently implemented this feature, which lets you add Socrates as an option to the search box embedded in the toolbars of Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2. Then, when you select that option and do a search, your browser will open a Socrates session and show you the search results.
For a quick and easy installation, just follow the instructions at:
If you have questions about this new feature, please use the Ask Us link at the top of most SULAIR library pages.
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Collaboration Is Inevitable: Reinventing the Information Center Web Site
by Shinjoung Yeo
Whether you are a student, faculty member or staff, you have probably come to the Information Center (IC) Desk in Green Library for research help. Librarians at the desk are devoted to helping library users navigate and explore the world of knowledge within and beyond the Stanford library system. To that end, we have launched a new IC Web site to expand on our assistance model, promote collaboration, and meet the needs of librarians and users.
There is a general misperception that with new search and digital technologies, users are able to serve their own information needs. To a certain extent, this might be true; however, as the digital environment continues to expand, users, in fact, need more assistance in navigating and combining traditional print resources with digital information and in using the Internet's associated tools.
Currently the Stanford libraries have more than 700 subscription article databases and more than 7 million volumes - and this increases daily! In addition, there are countless Web sites of research interest and Web tools that facilitate the use of these Web sites. To fully utilize and overcome the complexities of this digital environment, collaboration among librarians and users is increasingly important.
Web Tools Used
The IC chose an open source content management system (CMS) called Drupal, along with Delicious, and IM to help:
- Facilitate collaboration among librarians;
- Inform users about our services and get feedback/comments;
- Provide various ways to communicate between users and librarians;
- Highlight our collections; and
- Create content quickly and easily without much technical expertise.
Drupal, a popular and extensible open source content management system, uses a mysql database to dynamically generate a Web site and includes various modules including blog, book review, forum, and taxonomy. Drupal allows IC librarians to generate content quickly and easily and makes that content searchable for easy access. Utilizing Drupal and a few other free Web tools, the IC Web site is being used to share knowledge among librarians, document our processes, and inform users about library services and collections - we're creating a reference knowledge base.
Del.icio.us Tags for Collaborative Web Site Collection
Q&A for Reference Questions
Librarians answer interesting reference questions every day - from the simple to the complex - using various tools and resources. On the new IC Web site, we've begun to post our questions and answers including the resources and Web sites that were used to answer a question. In this way, we're creating a knowledge base pointing to appropriate databases, Web sites, and library policies and procedures. Users can post comments to expand on answers and suggest other resources that may not have been mentioned.
Information on New Collections and Resources
In the center column of the site, librarians will periodically post information highlighting new and notable collections, resources, and databases, which are often buried among many thousands of titles. Using the book review module with book cover images makes the library collections more visible and gives users more detailed information about titles and resources. More importantly, this section offers a way for Stanford librarians subject specialists to contribute information and highlight their own areas of interest.
Communication with Users
Each post/page has the ability for users to comment. User-created information - as sites like Amazon, Flickr, and YouTube have long known -- is crucial for the library in order to create better collections and services. Comments allow library users to communicate with the library as well as facilitate the academic community's ability to communicate among themselves. As a result, the IC Web site can be a place where we can build a knowledge community.
We're not stopping there. The IC Web site is evolving and we're considering other technologies to enhance our research services and reach out to the Stanford community. In Spring Quarter, we are launching Instant Message (IM) reference. IM (a form of synchronous Web communication) is free, low-tech, requires very little training, and is already widely used among Stanford students. IM can be used effectively to provide reference services and assist students and faculty members in the far reaches of the library and away from the physical building itself.
Collaboration in the library is crucial where librarians rely on each other's expertise, as well as the knowledge of our user community. We hope our new IC Web site will facilitate collaboration and enhance the mission of the library - to collect, organize, preserve and provide access to knowledge and information. More importantly, the Web site will give users additional opportunities to communicate their research needs and participate in the ongoing process of building a dynamic knowledge community.
Let Us Know What You Think
Check out the Information Center Web site and let us know what you think. We're always interested in feedback and suggestions for new ways to help us help you.
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Microsoft Office 2007 and Compatibility of File Formats
by Chris Lundin
Late in Fall Quarter, Microsoft released its updated Office Suite (Microsoft Office 2007) for the Windows platform. This product is now available from Stanford's Campus Wide Agreement Web site.
It's important to be aware of an issue that has already been discussed in IT support circles: the compatibility of file formats and the effect of those new file formats on files shared between users using dissimilar versions of Office.
Office 2007 stores files in OpenXML formats. Versions 2000 through 2003 of Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft Office Excel, and Microsoft Office cannot natively open documents that are stored in the Office Open XML Formats. For details, see:
Windows users of Office 2000-2003 can install the "Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats" (a free download) to open or to save 2007 Office files.
Note that a Compatibility Pack is not available for Mac users, nor is Office 2007 itself. Office 2007 for Macintosh systems is scheduled to be available sometime after July 2007.
While Office 2007 has the familiar SAVE AS feature, Office 2007 users in offices where not everyone upgrades at once may have to make some accommodations when files are shared:
- Office 2007 files being shared with Mac users will have to be SAVED AS Office 2003 formats for Mac users to access them.
- Office 2000-2003 users may want to install the Compatibility Pack to use when they receive files from Office 2007 users.
- Office 2007 users can set their SAVE preference to be the previous.doc, .xls, and pps file formats to ease interchangeability.
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Webmail Is New and Improved
by Steve Loving
The Stanford Webmail service provides Web-based access to your Stanford email. On April 12th, 2007, IT Services upgraded Webmail to a new version and moved it to new, faster mail servers.
Significant improvements include the ability to search for Stanford email addresses, an improved attachment function, new left-side program navigation, and more sophisticated spam filtering.
To access Webmail, go to:
We welcome any feedback. Please send your comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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ITServices Web Site Becomes OrderIT
by Ammy Hill
As of March 27, IT Services changed the name of its service ordering Web site from http://itservices.stanford.edu/ to:
The name change arose out of the confusion surrounding the name of the IT Services department versus the IT Services Web site. The OrderIT Web site will continue to be the place for Departmental Contacts (those staff in departments authorized to order such services) to order:
- Telephone Service - phones, voicemail, PBNs,
- Cable TV,
- and much more.
Additionally, Data Center orders (for requests like ordering new servers or expanding storage for an existing server) will now be processed through this Web site as well.
New IT Service Desk
The name change is part of an IT Services initiative to improve our ordering process. IT Services has assigned five staff members to assist clients with ordering services, monitoring order progress, and answering billing questions. These staff joined the existing Stanford IT Help Desk, becoming a new group renamed the IT Service Desk. The IT Service Desk staff are easily reachable via HelpSU or through 5-HELP (725-4657).
New Billing Report
Also, twelve new billing reports will be available starting with the March billing cycle. The new billing reports include several improvements requested by the Stanford business community:
- Easier to read summary reports.
- Summaries by expenditure type for easy reconciliation with Oracle.
- More descriptive detail reports (with or without usage data) downloadable to Excel.
- Your choice of reporting by account code or organization code.
- Only PTAOs with charges for that billing period display.
Update Your Favorites and Bookmarks
An automatic redirect will take you from http://itservices.stanford.edu/ to http://orderit.stanford.edu/ for the next few months, but remember to update your favorites and bookmarks.
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Improved Personal Response System for Stanford Courses
by Marcelo Clerici-Arias
Since 1998, Stanford faculty and students in Physics, Chemistry, Economics, and Human Biology have benefited from the use of the personal response system, a technology that gives students the opportunity to answer questions in class using small wireless transmitters.
Student responses are immediately received by the instructor's computer and are automatically processed, tabulated and displayed graphically in class. This allows faculty to have real-time feedback from students on how well they are understanding major concepts and instantly adjust their presentation, while students are actively engaged in the class.
Current Infrared System
The current infrared system is available at Stanford in three large classrooms (Kresge Auditorium, room 200 in the Hewlett Teaching Center, and room 320-105 in the Geology Corner of the Main Quad), and a few portable systems can be used in small classes. Thousands of Stanford students learn with the aid of the personal response system every year.
Improved Radio Frequency System
This spring, Professor Patricia Burchat is teaching Physics 25 (Modern Physics) with an improved version of the personal response system, based on radio frequency instead of infrared technology. Faculty are no longer limited to teaching in the three large classrooms, and can use the personal response system in any classroom with up to 2,000 students with just a small box attached to the USB port of their Windows or Mac computer. Student answers are now more flexible (for example, numerical entries of up to 11 digits), and the transmitters notify students when their response was received by the instructor's computer.
The new transmitters allow students to complete exams in the classroom at their own pace, and homework answers completed outside of the classroom are automatically uploaded to the computer of the professor or teaching assistant the next time the student comes to class. Thanks to new software, students can use their laptop or personal digital assistant to submit their responses, instead of purchasing a transmitter.
For More Information
If the pilot is successful as expected, other Stanford faculty will be able to use the new radio frequency (RF) system in their Fall Quarter courses. If you want to learn more about the personal response system or if you are interested in testing the new RF transmitters, contact Marcelo Clerici-Arias, CTL's Associate Director for Social Sciences and Technology (email@example.com; 725-0127).
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Art Museums Move to Make Images Freely Available to Scholars
by Peter Blank
Recent announcements by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, bring welcome news to scholars who require images from museum object collections for publication purposes. Art monographs have long been one of the costliest types of publications for both authors and publishers to pursue. A substantial part of that cost has been the permission costs that must be paid to museums in order for authors to include reproductions of museum holdings in their published scholarship.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
ARTstor, in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, has recently announced the beginning of a new service, Images for Academic Publishing (IAP). IAP allows scholars from institutions that subscribe to the ARTstor database, such as Stanford, to download and use, free of charge, high-resolution digital images for publication. Although only 1,700 images from the Met's collection are available initially, additional works will be added over time. Since the Met is considered the most comprehensive art museum in the Western Hemisphere, with a collection of more than two million works of art, this is, indeed, good news for scholars. Formerly the Met would charge, for a one-time use of one transparency or digital image from the Met collection, $135.00. Such costs vary considerably from museum to museum.
Example of art work from Metropolitan Museum available on ARTstor: title of painting by artist
It should be noted that in order to download images from the IAP group the requester must supply some personal information and agree to the IAP Terms & Conditions of Use:
"Under the terms of the agreements between ARTstor and IAP image providers, ARTstor is required to collect - and you are required to provide - some personally identifiable information when you download an image from the IAP site. This personally identifiable information includes information such as your name, address, and e-mail address. You may also be required to provide other information, such as the name of the publication in which a particular image will be incorporated...The information collected may vary depending on the requirements of different image providers."
Victoria and Albert Museum
As reported in The Art Newspaper and The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Victoria and Albert Museum is preparing a similar policy, but it has not yet been fully revealed. Researchers will be able to connect to the V&A's online collections imagebase, which currently hosts over 26,000 images, and download those images for free for scholarly use. How liberal an interpretation of scholarly use this new V&A policy will support, and what manner of control will be required, remains to be seen.
These recent announcements by two of the world's major museums suggest that a significant and shared rethinking of the museum's role as a cultural resource, and its responsibilities as collection guardian and research facilitator, is underway internationally. Readers with queries about either of these new policies should contact ARTstor, the Met, or the V&A directly. Questions of any sort regarding Stanford use of ARTstor, or any aspect of image support available for Stanford classes, should be addressed to Peter Blank, Deputy Librarian, Art & Architecture Library, Amber Ruiz, Curator, Visual Resources Center, or Dena Debry, Academic Technology Specialist, Visual Resources Center.
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