MyFife (Staff Gateway and REMS Student Portal Replacement)
The new MyFife portal launched for students in June, supporting online enrolment and induction activities, replacing the aging REMS Student Portal. The student pages on the College website have been updated to reflect changes.
The portal (MyFife) is mobile compatible and can be used on a range of devices, providing personalised course information, including course-related information, with links to frequently asked questions, and course handbooks and help guides that enable our learners to quickly familiarise themselves with life at College.
One of the most requested features in the REMS Student Portal was the ability for staff to view the portal from a learner’s perspective. I am pleased to report that this functionality is present in MyFife, with staff now able to ‘impersonate’ learners to view MyFife exactly as a learner does. You can do this by using the Impersonation tool.
The MyFife portal will continue to evolve and develop to support the activities of the College. Over the course of this academic session, you will notice functionality being moved out of the legacy Staff Gateway and into the MyFife portal.
Upgrades to Classrooms, Libraries and Open Access PCs
During the summer we have continued our programme of upgrades across the College, replacing aging AV equipment with large-format interactive touch panels in an effort to increase consistency across our teaching spaces.
Our libraries at Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy campuses saw significant upgrades over the summer, with both being completely refurbished to create an open and dynamic learning space, increasing the flexibility of how and where our learners can engage with technology.
In addition to improvements in the layout and furniture, new technology was also installed, allowing the Libraries team to introduce improved customer service facilities such as self-service and borrowing and returns. Not only does this facilitate easier access to resources, but it allows the team to spend more time to support our students.
As PCs have been removed from Dunfermline library, it is no longer a bookable classroom area. Class groups are still encouraged to use the library space - If you would like to use this space for teaching, please get in touch with the team so that they can be available to support as required.
Laptop Self Service
Following the success of the Laptop Self Service pilot at Glenrothes campus, the scheme is being rolled out across all of or campuses, with Laptop Self Service cabinets, with a capacity of 48 devices planned for the Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy libraries as well as the University Hub. The capacity of the existing Laptop Self Service cabinet in the Glenrothes library will also be increased to accommodate 48 devices as part of this work.
Web Browser Guidance and Password Issues
The following web browsers are now available on Windows 10 PCs:
- Internet Explorer
Chrome and Firefox are the most modern web browsers available. We recommend that you use these to access the majority of websites. You can use the Password Synchronisation Tool to ensure that your passwords match, saving you time when using multiple browsers. We recommend that you save your password to prevent repeated prompts.
Internet Explorer continues to be recommended for accessing the Staff Gateway and the REMS staff portal. Both of these resources are built on older web technologies which are best supported by this browser.
PC Login Speeds
Significant work has taken place over the summer to improve login speeds on all PCs. Aging equipment has also been included in updates however will obviously not reach the same speed as newer equipment. These PCs will be phased out over time, but in the meantime, you should notice an improvement.
New Windows 10 Image
Over the summer a new Windows 10 image was installed on all PCs in order to apply security updates and install versions of software to support learning and teaching activities.
In addition to applying security and introducing configuration changes, the new Windows 10 image also includes all software packages that were submitted as part of the software request process at the end of the last academic session.
If you have any questions relating to any of the above information or would like to talk to the team about software packages, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Investing in our infrastructure
Continual digital upgrades are taking place across all of our campuses, improving our network capacity and speed of connections. These will be ongoing for the next 12 months.
Split into three phases, the upgrades lay the foundations required to improve the wireless network.
- Phase 1 – Upgrade and improve connectivity between all campuses – expected completion September 2019
- Phase 2 – Upgrade and improve connectivity within each campus
- Glenrothes campus enabling works were completed during the summer and the upgrades are scheduled to be installed by the Infrastructure team between now and Christmas
- Kirkcaldy campus enabling works are currently being planned and should be undertaken between now and Christmas, with the upgrades installed early in 2020
- Dunfermline campus enabling works are currently being scoped and will be planned for completion during the academic year with the upgrades installed next summer
- Phase 3 – Expand coverage and improve the reliability of the Colleges Wireless Network – this project is currently in the planning stages and more information will follow.
I am pleased to say that phase 1 works are currently on target for completion this month and phase 2 works are progressing well.
Streamlining the Enrolment and Induction Process
Streamlining the enrolment and induction process has been very successful.
Key improvements include
- 46% of our full-time learners now complete their enrolment online, before they start College.
Colleagues who attended the Welcome to College events, may have noticed the different types of technology introduced this year? With a much stronger focus on welcoming students into the College, the new technology helped to streamline the enrolment process, making it quicker and easier, and ultimately improving the overall learner experience.
- The enrolment process is quicker than last year.
The new system, designed to work on Chromebooks and iPads, uses QR codes sent to learners via email and text message, eliminating the need for usernames and passwords during the induction and welcome events. This has reduced the amount of time our learners spend enrolling and having their photographs taken. At the start of the 18/19 academic session the process took approximately an hour per group to complete. This year the process took just over 5 minutes per learner, with multiple learners completing the process in parallel. That equates to around 5,500 hours of saved effort – a pretty staggering time saving and a huge improvement to the learner experience!
- Our learners can now set their own passwords and access all College systems as soon as they have enrolled.
Our learners no longer need to come into College and log on to a College PC to gain access - this will be especially beneficial for our distance learners.
Password top tips for staff and students
Now that learners can create their own passwords, this should reduce the number of ‘forgotten passwords’. Staff can reset passwords for learners by visiting https://app.fife.ac.uk/AccountAssistant/PasswordRecovery.
If you need support to do this, you can get an overview of the password reset process.
Digital and online resources
The Libraries team is currently reviewing the CLA license and looking into introducing new digital and online resources to support learning and teaching activities.
The team will continue to work closely with colleagues, Colleges Scotland, College Development Network and colleagues from other colleges to gain insight and access to new training materials and resources. If you are aware of any digital or online resources which could be added to our online bank, please get in touch with the Libraries team.