Spring 2018 - UNIT Progress Report Back to top

Dear Villanova Community: 

Welcome to the Spring 2018 issue of UNIT's Progress Report featuring UNIT’s Wireless Expansion Plan Update, myNova Upgrade, Self Service HelpDesk Upgrade and more. This newsletter is meant to inform you about UNIT Projects, Support and Service Offerings to the University. Please let us know if you have any comments or ideas for future issues by contacting:

Wireless Expansion Plans Update Back to top


The University’s Wireless Network Upgrade Program fall-winter 2017 phase is completed. 

This phase concludes UNIT’s initiative to expand wireless coverage and capacity to all University residential areas, academic buildings, and administrative buildings, while decommissioning end-of-life wireless infrastructure equipment.

As of February 2018, all University buildings have been upgraded to next-generation Aruba wireless access points, and all legacy Meru wireless access points have been removed from service.

For fall-winter 2017, UNIT upgraded and expanded the wireless infrastructure in all academic and administrative buildings, notably Tolentine Hall, St. Augustine Center, Mendel Hall, Garey Hall, Dougherty Hall, Vasey Hall, and Connelly Center.  

Over a two-year multi-phased wireless upgrade plan, UNIT deployed over 2600 Aruba next-generation wireless access points, in addition to completing major copper/fiber backbone upgrades. Additionally, outdoor wireless service has been provided at Connelly Center, Soccer Field, and Villanova Law School Parking Garage, with future outdoor wireless areas planned for future project phases.

The University’s improved, scalable, and reliable wireless infrastructure, now allows for better mobility and collaboration, more seamless future network expansion, and enhanced guest access (VUGuest). Future wireless plans include expanding outdoor wireless coverage and capacity, enhancements to VUPlay, Eduroam, GPS technologies, and greater classroom audio/video capabilities.

Stay tuned to UNIT’s Wireless Upgrade Program web site, available HERE

Here you can find Campus Map updates depicting hotspot icons for VUPlay, Eduroam, and VUGuest, schedules for future planned wireless upgrades, and FAQs as wireless-technologies evolve on campus.

UNIT Services and Collaborations Back to top

myNova Upgrade Back to top


UNIT announced the upgrade of myNova during the Fall semester, moving to a new search based model. In the new myNOVA, students, staff and faculty can use the search bar located at the top to find anything they need. Just search and click – it’s that easy.  Students can check their grades, access classes and find out when the next shuttle is coming – and much more. Faculty and staff can review their vacation balance, access internal forms, pay stubs, holiday schedule and campus directory – it’s all right there and easy to search.


Additionally, through MyNova Favorites, Villanova faculty, staff, and students can customize their MyNova portal with applications and links that are relevant to their day-to-day campus IT experience.  All users have the option to create a 'Favorites' section that appears at the top of the portal when they are signed in. To 'favorite' link cards and pin them to the 'My Favorites' section, simply click the heart at the bottom right corner of the card. To learn more, click HERE.

Blackboard Features, Tools and Web conferencing – Fall Improvements Back to top

New Inline Grading Tool Back to top

Blackboard will be using the comparable replacement services to Crocodoc called “New Box View” for Inline Grading Tool.  As part of Villanova’s Blackboard upgrade, the Inline Grading service will transition from Crocodoc to "New Box View" offering several improvements, including improved rendering fidelity and expanded support for new file types.  As part of the upgrade, all the annotations and documents used in the former Inline Grading service were converted into the “New Box View” Inline Grading service in Blackboard.  The table on this page will show the main differences between Crocodoc and New Box View.

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and Zoom web conferencing Back to top


Visit the Blackboard Collaborate and Zoom sites HERE to review instructional guides and video tutorials which cover the basics of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and Zoom.  We also have in-person training available, to sign up for these sessions please go to the Training Calendar

Blackboard Assignments - A New Look! Back to top

Faculty and students returning for the Spr18 semester will find several enhancements have been made to the Assignments tool in Blackboard.  Support for over a hundred new file types has been added to the presentation of assignments in addition to the ability to manage multimedia assignments.  Faculty can add annotations to the assignments via a web browser or the Bb Grader app for instructors.  Previously created rubrics for scoring assignments remain available.  Updated drag and drop capability makes submitting an assignment much easier, click-and-hold to drag your file the desktop or documents folder and drop into Blackboard!  Faculty, please note… when viewing assignment submissions for the first time, and if presented with a message marked “converting,” simply refresh your view to access the latest version of the submission. 

UNIT Support Solutions Back to top

SSHD - New and Improved IT Self Service Back to top


UNIT is happy to announce that an upgraded Self-Service HelpDesk (SSHD) is now available for the Villanova Community.  The upgrade features an improved interface to request assistance, access to UNIT’s Service Catalog, UNIT Webforms, a “Known Issues” feed and more. 

To use the Self-Service HelpDesk right away, please go to and log in. For more information on this service please click HERE.

New Conference Bridge—Skype Dial In Conferencing Back to top


UNIT has introduced the use of Skype for Business Conference Bridge to replace the use of Avaya conference lines. The Skype application used for messaging is now available for meeting needs including conference calls and can be used with account ready laptops, mobile devices (with the Mobile Skype for Business app) and direct dial to a meeting designated phone line. 

To request a Skype conference line, please contact the TechZone using the information below. Once the request for a Skype conference line is completed, you will receive an email from Skype for Business with your conference phone number and pin. This will be used to start a meeting and allow participants to join via phone. For more information, click HERE. Contact UNIT's TechZone at ex.97777 or to make the request.

NovaNow Enhancements Back to top


Nova Now, Villanova’s mobile application, now features the ability to use your finger print to sign-in to important areas like grades, class schedule, and more.  This feature is available for both iOS and Android versions.  Other features included: 

• Fingerprint authentication;
• Campus map;
• Course schedule;
• Midterm and final grades;
• Hold codes;
• Campus dining hours, menus, and nutrition facts;
• A campus-wide directory;
• Wildcard management;
• The ability to submit an IT Support Request;
• Access to Villanova Facebook, Twitter and YouTube content
• Access to an event calendar;
• Access to news and The Virtual Visit map!

For more information visit HERE.

Classroom Technologies Team Upgrades Back to top


UNIT’s Classroom Technologies Team Completed the following upgrades during the Fall Semester: 


• Upgraded 6 classrooms in Driscoll Hall which includes new infrastructure, podiums, switchers, projectors, and lecture capture including in room Media Sites. 

• In collaboration with Media Technologies, Classroom Technologies have installed 6 new Media Sites to continue headend replacements to one to one configuration. 

• The Inn at Villanova now has full wireless AV capabilities. Mersive wireless AV devices have been installed in the meeting rooms, giving users a tether free experience. 

• Classroom Technologies and Media Technologies have installed Athletics first Digital Signage outside of the Academic Support office in The Andy Talley Center.

SkillSoft Online Training Back to top


UNIT continues to offer SkillSoft Online Training for the Villanova community. SkillSoft is your 24x7 online training solution to learning resources for IT skills improvement, professional development, performance support, and more. Search or browse the course catalogs or videos to find your software training topics. If you don't have a Skillsoft e-Learning account, please contact the HelpDesk at 9-7777 or e-mail More info HERE.

Security Back to top

Creating a Cyber Secure Home Back to top


Here are four simple steps for creating a cyber-secure home.

Secure Your Wireless Network
Almost every home network starts with a wireless (or Wi-Fi) network. This is what enables all your devices to connect to the Internet. Your Internet router or a separate, dedicated wireless access point, controls most home wireless networks.
•  Change the default administrator password to your Internet router or wireless access point.
•  Ensure that only people you trust can connect to your wireless network.
•  Ensure the password used to connect to your wireless network is strong and that it is different from the admin password.
•  Many wireless networks support a Guest Network. This allows visitors to connect to the Internet, but protects your home network, as they cannot connect to any of the other devices on your home network.

Secure Your Devices
Know what devices are connected to your wireless home network and make sure all those devices are secure. By enabling automatic updates, your computer and devices are always running the most current software, which makes them much harder for anyone to hack into.

Strong Passwords
Use a strong, unique password for each of your devices and online accounts. The key words here are strong and unique. Tired of complex passwords that are hard to remember and difficult to type? Use a passphrase instead. This is a type of password that uses a series of words that is easy to remember, such as “Where is my coffee?” or “sunshine-doughnuts-happy-lost”. The longer your passphrase is, the stronger.

Backup, Backup, Backup
No matter how careful you are, you may be hacked. Often the only way you can recover your personal information is to restore from backup. Make sure you are doing regular backups of any important information and verify that you can restore from them.

For more information on UNIT’s IT Security Awareness program, please visit HERE.


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