OpenLab Pioneers!

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    Sandra Cheng

    hmm, I wonder if that’s holding up students from getting on. More than 1/2 my class are incoming freshmen. what is


    Daniel Alter

    Hello Matt,

    I have a student that was told that his city tech email acct. Won’t be activated for another two weeks. I am unsure as to the reason why? In the meanwhile, I’ve had a small pool of student membership requests and will have to further impress upon them next week.




    Hm, makes me a little concerned about helping Paul’s class early tomorrow morning. What do I do if they can’t get their email accounts working?


    Elizabeth Alsop

    Hi Matt and everyone,

    I’ve been noticing this, too. It seemed particularly confusing for students to have to enter a (very long) username and password to access their City Tech email; to have to immediately change their default password; and then to create a distinct username and password for the OpenLab. This would be an argument for having them log in to their accounts ahead of time.

    I did go to talk to the Help Desk today, but they didn’t have too many suggestions — apart from advising students to log in through (or alternatively, rather than via the Student Email link. Sandra, these are just alternative log-in pages they seem to be encouraging students to use because the main log-in page hasn’t been loading.

    Daniel, as for the delayed activation, I was told that student email accounts are created 1 week after a student registers. But 2 weeks? That seems long.



    Prof. Paul King

    Hi Everyone,

    Yes I experienced the same issues with my class…. most either had not used or were not familiar with their citytech email accounts. I agree with Matt (without knowing what is already being done) that we need to find a way for them to have already used these accounts before class. – perhaps they should get an email of their bill or some other document that they need to complete their registration – so we would have 100% compliance.

    Two other things – the handout to register for the site and joining a course needs to be a single page….. it was also not clear to the students that after they created their account that they needed to go back to their email to confirm joining. This message needs to be more prominent – large clearer text. Most skipped this step and immediately tried to login – and of course could not. I would suggest that on the confirmation screen they see after they complete their signup we should add a link to their email login – to make this easier.

    Also when they joined my course – the notifications should allow me to “select all” and accept instead of needed to hit them one at a time……



    Maura A. Smale

    Hi everyone,

    I agree, this is really frustrating! I’m sorry about these student email issues. I know that the portal login is different from the email login — have those of you who’ve used Blackboard had similar issues in past semesters getting students into Blackboard at the beginning of the semester?

    Regardless, moving forward we will plan to explore ways to notify students to login into their City Tech email accounts before the semester begins.



    Sandra Cheng

    The access to blackboard is smooth because it’s through the portal, and access to that seems quite easy for them. I can work around full access until it’s all cleared up. They can just comment rather than post for their assignments. In fact, it seems they can pretty much access everything without logging in.


    Prof. Gold

    > In fact, it seems they can pretty much access everything without logging in.

    The benefits of openness!!

    > They can just comment rather than post for their assignments.

    This seems like a good work-around for the immediate future, and perhaps something to pass along to next-year’s cohort.



    I agree, that’s a great short term solution.

    I think (and let me know if I’m misreading this) we’re asking them to use that citytech address only to verify that only citytech folk are using openalb. A fine goal, but it means we’re relying on another system and the students use of another system for what seems to me a very limited purpose–it’s not like openlab is used for giving out final grades, or citytech adminstrative purposes, etc. If that’s the case, then maybe we could verify that users are actually citytech students some other way–like giving them a password on the first day of class, but letting them sign up with any email the like.

    This is definitely not a short term solution, and has the additional problem of passwords being sharable. But if the problem of citytech email addresses goes on (say, for more than one term), it might be good to think about how to make the openlab more independent.


    Bree Zuckerman

    I’m a bit beyond my IT knowledge here, so I’m not sure if this would be possible at City Tech (or worth the trouble) but could we set up the OpenLab to authenticate using LDAP?


    Maura A. Smale

    I completely agree, and these are great ideas. We have discussed LDAP authentication but it is, as you guessed, Bree, somewhat complicated. Let’s see how things go moving forward. Thanks, everyone, for thinking through alternatives and for your work with students on getting into their City Tech email accounts.

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