Home » IT Services News » IT Services News No. 170 (Aug 2014) » Introducing the University's IT Services

Introducing the University's IT Services

1. Welcome

All students and colleagues are welcome to use the University’s central IT services provided by Information Technology Services (ITS) to support their studies and work.  We summarize the commonly used IT services and our recent development below.

2. Comprehensive IT Services

We are committed to provide a comprehensive range of IT services to support the teaching, learning, research and administration activities of the University.  Most of the IT services are available around-the-clock which include:

  • HKU Portal (https://hkuportal.hku.hk) is a convenient website for University members to access the central web-based services with single sign-on.  After login with the user’s HKU Portal UID (User IDentifier) and an associated PIN (password), the HKU Portal will be shown with several tabs at the top.
    Snapshot of HKU Portal for Staff
    Snapshot of HKU Portal for Staff

    The tabs of HKU Portal offer a spectrum of services:

    • My Page - the Student Information System (SIS) for student-related information or the Human Capital Management System (HCMS) for staff information.

    • MyEmail - the HKU central email account (students: UID@connect.hku.hk ; staff: UID@hku.hk).

    • My eLearning – a hub of eLearning related information, especially e-courses supported by the University’s Learning Management System “Moodle”.

    • MyLibrary – the services provided by the Libraries through the MyLibrary system.

    • Events - University members can view events organized by University departments through the HKU Event Management System and register to attend.

    • MyFaculty or MyDepartment – Students will view the information provided by their Faculties whereas staff will view the information provided by their Departments.
       

    The follow services are worth highlighting:

  • Learning Management System (LMS) Moodle – Moodle is widely used by education institutions around the world as a platform for creating online interactive e-courses for students. All courses registered in the Student Information System (SIS) will have the corresponding e-courses pre-created in Moodle for teachers to build up their e-courses conveniently.  The HKU Moodle Resources and Support website is at http://moodle-support.hku.hk/cms/.  Training courses for teachers and students to understand and use the Moodle features are listed at http://moodle-support.hku.hk/cms/?q=training/ITS-courses.  All are welcome to attend.
     
  • Central Email Account – A central email account, accessible using the same HKU Portal UID/PIN, is provided for every student/staff members.  The students email service (called HKU Connect) is running on the Google Mail platform.  The staff email service is based on a Microsoft Exchange 2007 server (called HKUCC1 or HKUCC-COM).
     
  • Network Services – The University’s high-speed campus network consists of over 47,000 wired network points and over 4,000 WiFi access points (increased from 45,000 and 3,900 respectively over the past year).  It covers offices and laboratories, central classrooms, public areas on the University campus and student residential halls. 

    Users can follow the procedures to configure their mobile devices to connect to the Universities WiFi network in HKU as well as in the other seven JUCC institutions (CUHK, PolyU, CityU, HKUST, HKBU, LU and HKIEd).   Users can also use the "HKU Open WiFi" service (with limited bandwidth) before they configure their devices to use Universities WiFi network. (See details)

    Moreover, students and staff can access free WiFi outside the campus at WiFi hotspots in many public places operated by PCCW and Y5ZONE in Hong Kong, and at "eduroam" institutions over the world.  (See details)

  • Research Services – ITS offers research computing support using high-performance computing (HPC) Linux clusters & international grid computing technologies.  This year, a new HPC cluster is being tendered for. The latest news and information is available at http://www.its.hku.hk/services/research.
     
  • Learning Commons – Chi Wah Learning Commons, The Oval (Knowles Building 1/F) and The Curve (KK Leung Building 1/F and 2/F) are common areas with study rooms equipped with modern IT and AV facilities to encourage and facilitate individual and group study.   
    Chi Wah Learning Commons at the Centennial Campus
    Chi Wah Learning Commons at the Centennial Campus
     
    The Oval on 1/F of Knowles Building
    The Oval on 1/F of Knowles Building
     
    Open space in The Curve nearby lecture theatres on 1/F and 2/F of K.K. Leung building
    Open space in The Curve nearby lecture theatres on 1/F and 2/F of K.K. Leung building
  • Communal PCs (220 PCs and 5 Mac computers in Chi Wah Learning Commons and 36 PCs in room KB-110 in The Oval) are available.  They are installed with commonly used software (Microsoft Office, Adobe suite, etc.) for document processing, web page design, multimedia presentation, statistical analysis, etc.  (See list of installed software.)   Users can also use the PCs in the faculty-based PC laboratories.  (See locations)

    A website and an HKU App show where free communal PCs are available in the learning commons and faculty-based PC laboratories. (See details)

    Apart from the communal PC facilities managed by ITS, the University Libraries also manage communal PCs in various libraries. 

  • Printing Service – A print-anywhere printing service called uPrint is supported by ITS for black & white and color printing.  Copying is available at some designated printers. Users can use uPrint at the Chi Wah Learning Commons, The Oval and some faculty-based PC laboratories. Users can submit print job from any networked desktop/laptop PC with uPrint printer driver installed or mobile devices with app installed.  Then they can pick up the printout at any uPrint printer. (See details)
     
  • Seminars and training courses – Regular seminars and training courses on the use of the central IT services and the commonly used software tools are arranged throughout the year.

3. Recent Development

We have been actively enhancing the IT services and facilities every year. Some recent development at the University is highlighted below:

  • Learning Environment – The Chi Wah Learning Commons and the Oval were opened in September 2012. In September 2014, the following newly refurbished Lecture Theatres will be opened for use.

    Room Number

    Design

    Building

    KK101, KK102, KK201, KK202

    traditional

    K.K. Leung

    KKLG109

    interactive

    K.K. Leung

    CBA

    interactive

    Chow Yei Ching

    CBC

    traditional

    Chow Yei Ching

    CYCP1, CYPP2,

    CYPP3, CYPP4

    traditional

    Chong Yuet Ming Chemistry/Physics Buildings

    LE1

    traditional

    Library Extension

    Compared to traditional classrooms, interactive classrooms have a very different design, providing another type of teaching spaces for class instruction, tutorials and various kinds of interactive and group activities.  Furniture is set up in clusters to facilitate group discussions and class interactions.  A teacher can book an interactive classroom for his course through the Examinations Unit of the Registry. (http://www.adqa.hku.hk/exam/ => “Centrally Timetabled Classrooms”

    Moreover, existing classrooms in the Main Campus will be revamped in coming years to enhance the environment for teaching and learning.

  • e-Learning Support – In the cyber learning space, ITS is working with various parties, most notably the eLearning Pedagogical Support Unit (EPSU) of the Centre for Enhancement in Teaching and Learning (CETL), the Faculty of Education and the Libraries, to support and enhance the central Learning Management System Moodle, which was upgraded from version 2.4.4 to 2.6.3 in August 2014.

    The University has been providing lecture capture service using the Panopto system from September 2013.  Teachers can record lectures or presentations with synchronized AV and powerpoint/PC desktop.  The recordings can be easily linked with the Moodle courses or with dedicated hyperlinks for viewing by students over the network. The service can support use of new teaching pedagogy, e.g. flipped classroom.

    Panopto recorder software
    Panopto recorder software

    With the increase popularity in adopting web 2.0 services for teaching, research, administration or departmental purposes, we released the “Guidelines for Using External Web 2.0 Services” in July 2014 as guidelines for University staff to consider the issues and document their suitability before using external web services. (See details)

  • Unified Communication – The University has been replacing the Private Automated Branch Exchange (PABX) system for voice communication by the digital IP Phone system progressively. The digital system provides a platform for integrating real-time communication services (telephony, video conferencing, instant messaging and presence information) with non-real-time communication services (voicemail, email, Short Messages Service and fax).
     
  • ITS Cloud – Our cloud server is a secure, resilient, cost effective and green computing platform for central services and departmental projects.  The ITS Cloud service is gaining popularity with a growing user base. To make it more readily available for departments to manage the Cloud resources that they subscribe in ITS Cloud, a self-service portal management system is available.  For more details, please visit http://www.its.hku.hk/services/data-centre/hosting.

    We will continue to explore more potential of the cloud services to bring in other varieties of IT services for use by the University community.

  • Information Security Awareness – Information security (IS) is important as malicious software (malware including viruses and Trojan horses) and malicious websites are rampant in the Internet. We are continually promoting the IS measures and awareness among the University community, and undertaking assessment and reviews to identify possible areas for improvement.  Many new IS measures have been put in place to cope with the fast changing malicious activities in the Internet over the past few years.  Please see http://www.its.hku.hk/services/infosec for further information, in particular on how to keep a Healthy PC.  Staff PCs are now required to install the data leaking prevention software. (See details)
     
  • Server compliance project – The project is introduced in March 2014 to enforce security compliance of all computer servers connected to the campus network to a set of security technical standards. Agent software will be installed on each networked server to carry out compliance assessment and detect security vulnerability on the server. (See details)

4. Information and Assistance 

University members are encouraged to visit ITS website (http://www.its.hku.hk) and ITS FAQ website (http://www.its.hku.hk/faq) to get more information about our latest services from time to time.

Besides, we will provide timely updates on our latest development in this bi-monthly newsletter (http://www.its.hku.hk/its-news) which covers topics that are of interest to the University members.

Students and staff can contact our Service Desk attended by our professional staff during office hours in CPD-1.64, 1/F, Chi Wah Learning Commons, Centennial Campus (phone: 3917 0123) who will provide advice and assistance in using our services. They can also make use of the live chat channel to have dialogue with our Service Desk officers through text messaging or email to ithelp@hku.hk to get assistance. Hope you will enjoy using our services and facilities.

 

M C Pong
Learning and User Services
Tel: 3917 6232
Email: mcpong@hku.hk