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Accessing Campus, Library & IT Services

Can I access campus buildings and collect equipment?

For documents and forms relating to the Specific Purpose Access Requests on campus, please use Google Chrome browser to visit the following Sharepoint sites:

How do I access my office to retrieve books to prepare for lectures?

Each College Office will be aware of buildings that are currently open and can schedule visits for staff. For buildings that are not yet open, please refer to the Specific Purpose Access Request process and form on the Returning to Campus Safely Sharepoint site.

When will non-teaching spaces reopen, e.g. Moore Institute?

The current focus has been to prepare all teaching spaces in support of Semester 1. UMT will agree the priority of opening for remaining buildings will be agreed once this work is complete.

How do I access IT services during the University closure?

For advice on how to access University web services remotely, please visit our Remote Access to IT Services webpage

Remote Access Dos and Don’ts

  • For information on remotely accessing the University’s main IT services, including the key URLs you will need, here:
  • Work only on official University platforms including Blackboard, the University email system and the University’s Office365 environment which includes OneDrive, SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.
  • Ensure your computer, laptop, or device, is used in a safe location, where you can keep sight of it, and minimise who else can view the screen, particularly if working with sensitive personal data.
  • Lock your device if you do have to leave it unattended for any reason.  Make sure your devices are turned off, locked, or stored carefully when not in use.
  • Take extra care that devices, such as USBs, phones, laptops, or tablets, are not lost or misplaced.
  • Before sending an email, double-check its address to ensure you’re sending it to the correct recipient(s), particularly for emails involving large amounts of personal data or sensitive personal data.
  • Don’t use personal email accounts for emails involving University data.
  • If you are working without cloud or network access, ensure any locally stored data is adequately backed up in a secure manner.
  • Avoid retaining duplicate copies of data on your device. Please check that downloaded files are deleted from your computer’s Download Folder / Hard Disk once saved to Blackboard, OneDrive, Teams, SharePoint or network folders and not retained on devices where they may be visible to unauthorised individuals.
  • Keep any paper documents which contain University data secure when working at home – lock paper files away when not in use.  Use a shredder / confidential bin when disposing of University documents.

What are NUI Galway’s recommended technologies to support compliance with HEI Guidelines for return to Campus?

In line with the Government Guidelines and Public Health Advice, the University advices all staff and students to install the following apps:

  • HSE COVID-19 TRACKER APP - HEI guidelines require the University to "encourage all members of its community to download the COVID-19 Tracker App and to use the symptom checker on the App on a daily basis".
  • NUI GALWAY APPwill be used to receive notifications and provide links to advice for those who are unwell.
  • BLACKBOARD APPto log attendance at lectures. HEI guidelines require that the University attendance at all events and retain records for 4 weeks in case required for contact tracing purposes.

How will technology support academic staff in recording attendance at lectures/laboratories?

The University recommended Blackboard/Qwickly app allow academic staff to record attendance at lectures/lab sessions. HEI guidelines require that the University attendance at all events and retain records for 4 weeks in case required for contact tracing purposes. Where staff are unable to use Blackboard there will be a requirement to retain their own records of attendance at lectures.

How do I access Library services during the University closure?

The James Hardiman Library has reopened to users from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

Using the Library

Using the Library is quite different from before, due to the need to comply with the various requirements, protocols and guidelines. Among the changes are:

  • the need to reserve a seat in advance to gain admission
  • capacity will be significantly reduced due to 2-metre social distancing
  • and there will be no access to the bookshelves (but borrowing will be facilitated via Click and Collect).

For further details of services and of the booking process, please see here for full information on Library reopening.

What does the University closure mean for researchers?

We advise that researchers should work from home unless there is a critical need to access facilities (e.g. Labs).  In such cases you should contact your line manager for advice on access. No new research experiments should be commenced during this time.

When will the Mailroom reopen and Mail deliveries from An Post resume?

Our Mail Services Centre has reopened. The usual campus delivery/collection schedule is not running for safety reasons. University staff are asked to deliver and collect their mail directly from the Mail Services Centre between 9am-1pm Monday-Friday, where physical distancing arrangements are in place.

Are normal parking restrictions in place during the University closure?

Parking management has recommenced. This includes all aspects of permit parking, pay and display, pay by phone, and enforcement (clamping). Consistent with the usual summer arrangements staff and student permit spaces will be shared until the start of term. Apcoa are fully operational and have been posting warning stickers on vehicles in advance of the resumption of parking restrictions to prepare motorists. The local authority have also resumed parking management measures on neighbouring streets. 

Have plans been made for potential increased demand on parking with the removal of the shuttle bus service?

Parking permit sales indicate a lower demand than this time last year, perhaps reflecting the growth of blended learning and remote working among the campus community. However, Buildings and Estates will continue to monitor parking capacity.

Why are we paying for parking permits this year when there is no shuttle bus service to subsidise?

The primary aim of the parking service is to reserve parking for the use of the University community.   The income associated with parking permits is used to offset the costs of this service which include upkeep and maintenance of parking facilities, monitoring of users of parking and the clamping service.

What does the University closure mean for campus suppliers?

All non-critical deliveries to the University should be postponed until after the University reopens.

For critical deliveries during the University closure (e.g. for laboratories), staff should contact their suppliers directly to make arrangements.

When will recording for lecture theatres in Arts/Science Building be set up and will we be trained their use?

Cameras and microphones have been installed in the theatres. These will enable people to use Blackboard Collaborate for live sessions and recordings. MS Teams can also be used for these purposes. Kaltura is provided to assist the production of recorded materials (but best used not in live class situation since requires about 10 minutes processing after recording to upload). We are looking to pilot echo360 as part of a special, temporary trial period arranged by that company and that software will be available but we need to develop training materials for this once it is configured. 

The University does not have a full enterprise-level 'lecture capture' system in place. This would require very signficant levels of investment, upgrading of infrastructure and, ideally, a central timetabling system.

Our recommendation for online/blended learning has been for people to consider providing pre-recorded or other forms of asynchronous learning materials rather than simply recording a series of lectures and to use the 'live' time with students for as much effective engagement and discussion as possible. Of course, we recognise that there are practical considerations that make this difficult to fully achieve in practice.

When will the Zoom license will be available to staff for presenting webinars?

ISS expect to roll out a Zoom site licence, week commencing 12 October 2020. The site licence will provide all staff and students with a Zoom licence. It does not include specific webinar licences for general use. These can be purchased under the agreement. ISS will communicate further details nearer the date.

Will students have social and study spaces available on campus – between classes and in the evening?

Yes, there are plans in place with the JH Library open with a booking system, and we will have 100 places available for study in the Bailey Allen hall also. Other buildings like the Medical Academies and Shannon will have limited spaces available also.

Will there be additional seating and sheltered spaces for students outdoors to meet and interact?

No, we have no plans to do so at the moment; pursuant to Govmt and NPHET guidelines we must encourage social distancing as far as possible.

Where will students go to participate in synchronous online learning when they are on campus?

The Hardiman Library and Bailey Allen Hall will have spaces available for study /online learning.

Will out-of-hours access be available for offices and labs?

Yes, out of hours access is already being organised for priority research and for essential teaching purposes such as academics accessing facilities to record lectures and practicals.

How do I report points of access/egress bottlenecks to Buildings and Estates?

Through our normal helpdesk channels;

Can we ensure that accessibility considerations for people with mobility requirements are considered and met in the new processes for accessing and navigating buildings?

Absolutely we have and in some cases, we recognise that persons with impaired mobility may not be able to follow the directional signage in place for the majority of the University population

Eg We recognise that persons with impaired mobility must enter and exit theatres on the same level, normally on podium level, whereas we instruct all others to use different exits on the ground floor. In addition, all of our online plans carry the message that persons with mobility issues may use the shortest or most accessible route, where necessary.