New Faculty FAQ

Q: Who can help me with...?
A: For nearly all support needs that involve a problem with equipment or services, such as your desktop computer, email, or course website, you should first contact the Help Desk at help@lafayette.edu or (610) 330-5501.

It's important to emphasize that this is a useful and necessary first step for anything that seems to be malfunctioning or otherwise not working as you might expect. Using the Help Desk accomplishes two things: first, they may be able to resolve your issue immediately and more quickly than contacting ITS staff directly, and second, doing so will generate a ticket that we can track to ensure your issue is resolved promptly and that provides us with useful data to recognize issues that occur frequently or may indicate a broader problem. If the Help Desk cannot solve your issue immediately, ITS staff will be contacted and will follow up with you directly.

Q: How do I set up a course or personal/professional website?
A: Lafayette uses Moodle as our learning management system (LMS). All faculty and students have accounts on Moodle, and course sites are created automatically and student enrollments are added prior to the start of any given semester.

In addition to your default course sites on Moodle, you can request a course WordPress site by using the WordPress site request form. This is also the form you would use to request a professional site (e.g., for your CV, bio, scholarship and teaching-related info, etc.).

The Instructional Technology group within ITS is a great resource for Moodle questions and web authoring. Please reach out to Jason Simms (simmsj@lafayette.edu) to discuss options for leveraging these and other technologies in your teaching.

Q: Do I need different accounts for email and other various services?
A: In general, no. An account and username (commonly called a NetID) is automatically created for you when you begin working at Lafayette. Your NetID and password together are often referred to as your Lafayette credentials. These credentials give you access to accounts for email, Samba (network storage), Moodle (course management system), Spaces, Banner Self-Service (for access to your payroll information and for class lists, grade submission, etc.), the full campus directory, and other services. In special circumstances, you may need a different local account for a particular service, but those are rare.

The most effective way to to see and access available services is to use your My Lafayette portal, which aggregates nearly all important links and services in one location.

Q: How can I access my email on-campus and off-campus?
While on-campus, your Lafayette computer can be configured with a supported mail client (such as Outlook) or you can use Webmail. Use your Lafayette credentials to access your account.

If you are off-campus, it depends on your Internet Service Provider (ISP). IMAP mail clients can be used to read your Lafayette email from off-campus through most ISPs, but not all ISPs allow you to send email from accounts issued by some entity other than the ISP. See E-mail Configuration for Off-Campus Access for instructions on how to set up your mail client. If this configuration doesn't work through your ISP, Webmail can be used.

Q: Can I set up my Lafayette email, calendar and contacts on my smartphone?
A: Lafayette's email and calendaring system, Zimbra, provides real-time, wireless synchronization of email, contacts, and calendar information between the server and most smartphones. While we can't support individual devices, we do provide documentation for Smartphones and Zimbra Synchronization.

Q: What about spam and phishing emails?
A: All incoming email is checked for spam and harmful attachments by the College's Proofpoint anti-spam appliance. A default policy is applied to all email accounts, but each user has the ability to change the way Proofpoint deals with their email. For details, see Customizing Your Proofpoint Anti-Spam Settings.

While Proofpoint is effective, it is not perfect, and some spam, or malicious phishing messages, may slip through even a stringent filter. As such, the best advice is simply to be vigilant and careful before opening any email that seems remotely suspicious, even if it was sent by someone you know. This is especially true if the message includes an attachment or a link.

Q: Do I have access to network storage space? How much? How do I access it?
A: All faculty have file storage accounts. Each account comes with an initial 1GB of storage space in a personal directory on a campus server–if this space is insufficient for your needs, please contact the Help Desk to have it increased; 1GB is just the starting point. Additionally, many departments and some organizations have shared space.

On Windows machines the personal directory is assigned a drive mapping of "U" and is referred to as one's "home directory." Data shared with others is assigned a drive mapping of "P" and is referred to as the "shared directory." On Macs, personal and shared space will show up as folders on the desktop. Connect to Samba from a Mac.

On-campus and off-campus access is available to both private and shared data from either a College-owned computer or personal computer or mobile device. Web-based access to these drives is available through "SMBWeb (network storage) link found on the My Lafayette portal.

More information about Lafayette's file storage, which runs on Samba, is available at https://help.lafayette.edu/samba.


Q: Can I get to files/library resources/etc. from off-campus?
A: Yes. Personal and shared files stored on campus servers can be accessed via SMBWeb. Authentication requires your Lafayette NetID and password.

Library resources can be accessed from off-campus by going through the library's website. No set up is required—as long as you use links to resources from the library website. Use your NetID and password for authentication.

Q: Can I use Remote Access VPN?
A: VPN access is available for College employees. For additional information and installation directions, take a look at the VPN at Lafayette help document.

Q: What software is licensed by Lafayette?
A: The College has site licenses for Microsoft and Apple operating systems, the Microsoft Office Suite, anti-virus software, and assorted course-related applications (e.g., Mathematica, SPSS, Stata). To view additional information about available software, visit the Software section of the Help site. If your teaching or research requires an application not installed on your office or classroom computer, please contact Jason Simms (simmsj@lafayette.edu).

Q: Who can help me with course projects or content that integrate or involve technology?
A: The Instructional Technology group, led by Jason Alley (alleyj@lafayette.edu) in Skillman Library offers assistance and workshops on using technology for teaching, course projects, etc. This team can also help you (e.g., review a syllabus or existing course materials) to determine how technology might help you to achieve your pedagogical goals or a particular outcome more efficiently or effectively.

Q: Where are public and teaching computer labs on campus?
A: Skillman Library houses the primary public Mac and PC labs, both of which offer a similar set of tools for creating and editing digital content in a variety of formats.

Pardee 28 serves as the primary teaching computer lab; as such, it is scheduled through the Registrar, though requests can be made through Scheduling and Events Planning for ad hoc class meetings or events when the room is not being used for teaching. ITS also manages a teaching video lab in 248 N. Third St. on the Arts Campus, which serves as a public lab during the day when classes are not in session. In addition, certain departments or programs (e.g., Engineering, Biology, etc.) have computer labs that are meant primarily as a teaching space for that department or for use by its students.

Q: Do I need to make arrangements with Instructional Technology when I assign a multimedia or digital project to a class?
A: We encourage you to collaborate with an instructional technologist with any projects using technology, including digital or multimedia projects. Either we can support you directly, or we can help to coordinate campus resources (e.g., Library, College Writing Program, etc.). It also allows us to better coordinate demand for equipment and space.

Q: Is multimedia equipment available for use?
A: Certain equipment is available for checkout at the Library Circulation desk, including digital cameras, tripods, audio recording kits, microphones, and external hard drives. For more information about available equipment, please contact Greta Brubaker (brubakeg@lafayette.edu), or for assistance or problems with equipment, please first contact the Help Desk at help@lafayette.edu or (610) 330-5501 so we can track your issue and ensure it is resolved.

Q: Is training available for software and hardware?
A: We recommend using the College's subscription to Lynda.com for training on a wide array of software (e.g., Excel, Photoshop, Audacity, etc.) and related techniques (e.g., creating infographics and podcasts). You can log in with your Lafayette credentials.

In some instances, it may be possible for the Instructional Technology team to work with you to develop or offer limited training or targeted help documentation or resources, depending on your needs.  For more information, talk with Jason Simms (simmsj@lafayette.edu) or Greta Brubaker (brubakeg@lafayette.edu).

Q: How can I get training and support for using the "smart" classroom equipment?
A: Contact the Help Desk to schedule an appointment with someone from Instructional Technology. Someone will provide you a guided tour of the touch panels or computers in the classrooms where you will be teaching.

During business hours, someone in Instructional Technology is always on-call to help deal with the occasional emergency situation. Simply click the Help button on the touch panel in the classroom.

Q: What sort of computer virus protection does the College provide?
A: Current versions of Symantec anti-virus software are installed on all College-owned computers.

The College's license agreement with Symantec provides for installation of the software on College employee home computers at no cost to you. For installation instructions, view the Symantec anti-virus software help document.

Q: How do I get additional hardware for my teaching or research?
A: Equipment in support of faculty teaching and research is purchased from an assortment of College budget lines managed by different offices. The ITS User Services group can help point you in the right direction.

Q: Can I install software on lab and/or classroom computers?
A: All computers in public labs and classrooms are configured in such a way that restores the computer to its original state when it's restarted. If you install an application or save files to one of these computers they will be erased at reboot. If your teaching requires an application that is not already installed on a classroom computer please contact the Help Desk at help@lafayette.edu or (610) 330-5501.

Q: What is Banner Self-Service?
A: Through Banner Self-Service, faculty can access class lists and student academic information, submit final grades, and view personal employment information. Banner Self-Service is accessible through your My Lafayette portal or by visiting https://bannerselfservice.lafayette.edu and logging in with your Lafayette credentials. ITS is responsible for Banner system administration, while problems related to accessing course and student information should be addressed to the Registrar’s Office.

Tech Lounge Hours

Monday - Thursday
12 - 7 p.m.
Friday
12 - 5 p.m.
Sunday
4 - 7 p.m.