The most important way you can prepare for online learning is to make sure your technology is functional. Test your connection to EWS via Citrix or FastX while you’re still on campus.
The Grainger College of Engineering is preparing for a variety of scenarios for Fall instruction. These hardware and technology recommendations will help students be prepared for multiple learning scenarios.
Online Courses Tips and Tricks
Many resources are available to help you be successful in the online course arena. Here is are suggested resources for you.
Interactive Discussion and Meetings
Zoom is available to all faculty, staff and students. Zoom is a web-conferencing tool that you can use in your online course to conduct virtual office hours, project meetups, study groups, or live final presentations. Engineering IT recommends Zoom for synchronous interaction needs such as meetings or small interactive discussion groups and webinars. It provides audio, video, and chat interactions along with screen and document sharing. Meetings can be recorded and automatically transcribed.
- Video Guides for logging into Zoom
- Zoom Security Guide (Prevent uninvited participants from joining meetings and lectures)
- Zoom Recording Guides (Local, Cloud, and Default Settings)
- Additional Zoom Help Guides (including information on Zoom Access in China and Zoom Restricted Countries )
Skype for Business
We strongly discourage the use of Skype for Business beyond point-to-point phone calls or video chat. Skype for Business has limits in functionality, versatility across operating systems, and reliability in large meetings.
While many physical labs are closed we highly recommend connecting to remote services to complete your work. You’ll find details on both Windows-based and Linux-based software options below this section.
To remotely access Windows applications, students can use Engineering IT's Citrix Service. This includes college-wide and department-specific Engineering applications.
- Connecting to Citrix
- VPN (Required for Citrix)
- EWS Windows Lab Software
- Matlab Via Citrix: Matlab is the most commonly used application throughout the College labs and Citrix. EngrIT’s Citrix service is limited to 175 concurrent sessions. (Also available via FastX.)
- Special Access to MATLAB and Simulink at the University of Illinois until June 30, 2020
- SPSS Free to All University of Illinois Students until August 1, 2020
Students can use Engineering IT's FastX service for remote access to Linux applications. This service can be rapidly scaled to handle a much larger number of concurrent connections as needed.
NOTE: FastX has scheduled maintenance every Monday morning from 4AM - 7AM. During this time anyone trying to use FasX will receive a license error.
The campus VPN is required to use many on-campus services. The Tech Services' VPN Essentials link below provides guidance on what applications need VPN connections. Once connected, you could also directly connect to file storage and other systems on campus, allowing you to do many school tasks remotely. Unlike the remote desktop option however, you are limited to software that is installed on the laptop or offsite desktop computer.
If a direct connection back to campus through VPN is problematic, there are also a number of cloud-based storage options available. This requires you to proactively move necessary files up into the cloud prior to any quarantine or restricted access initiation. Cloud storage options like Box and Google Drive are also excellent options for collaborating on work among team members who are all working off-site.
Temporary Access to Adobe Creative Cloud
Temporary Access to Creative Cloud will last until May 31, 2020. This date is subject to change. Adobe is closely monitoring the situation and may, at its sole discretion, modify the validity of the licenses.