Students – download Office 365 free!


Recently Microsoft announced the Student Advantage Program which provides a free copy of Office 365 Pro for students.

This includes the full version of Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, and more) which can be installed on up to five PCs and Macs, and includes Office for iPad and other mobile devices.Student Adv. logo

If you already use the free portion of Office for iPad for reading, viewing and presenting, once you have a valid Office 365 ProPlus license, you can also create and edit Office documents on your iPad with Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

You can download the software here using your U of L username and password. For step-by-step instructions, visit our site.

For more information, contact the IT Solutions Centre at (403) 329-2490 or help@uleth.ca.

IT Services update for week of April 1, 2013

CRITICAL SERVICES: (Banner, Moodle, Wireless, Internet, Telephony)

  • Some students in the Testing Centre experienced intermittent error messages in Moodle this afternoon.  We have changed out a network device that may have been causing the problem, and will be monitoring Moodle closely when the Testing Centre opens tomorrow morning.


Anticipating the need to re-develop the University homepage, we have been collecting some data to better understand the needs of those using our site.  The “heatmap” below was generated over 3 days of activity in March (17,352 clicks). Much of this data aligns with areas we are already planning to address.  A few highlights:

  • The search box is well used, which could be a symptom of poor information architecture, or habitual user behaviour
  • The direct links by demographic in the “Apply Now” section is well visited, however the award offer beside it is almost never interacted with
  • Current Students and Faculty & Staff tabs in the lower quadrant are well-used and could be used as justification for a current student / employee portal (intranet) – to better focus our public website content.
  • “Services for Students” is well visited, even with lower positioning and size relationships to other elements on the page.
  • Our social media links in the footer are poorly visited.
  • The flexible messaging area graphic is heavily interacted with; people engage often with the slideshow format.

Heatmap spotlight


We have engaged an instructor from Lethbridge College to provide training for interested faculty and staff on Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.)  We have completed three courses so far and the feedback has been extremely positive.  We have included a few of the comments from participants below, as well as the scorecard showing top marks for the course evaluation.

“Good instructor; made course more fun. Thanks!”

“Excellent course – I learned lots of little tricks even though I’d taken other basic courses.”

Training comments


IT Services Weekly Update

Critical Services (Banner, Moodle, Wireless, Internet)

  • All services functioning normally.

KPI Spotlight

Within the past 3 weeks, we’ve seen about 257,000 logins to the student webmail system from 8,842 unique users.   If we break down these quarter million logins, we see:

  • 60,000 from on-campus
  • 197,000 from off-campus

On average, this breaks down to:

  • 11,600 logins/day
  • 490 logins/hour
  • 8 logins/minute

Distribution of these logins through the hours in the day:


Service Improvements

  • Excel Training – We have brought in an external trainer to provide an introductory course on Microsoft Excel for faculty and staff, which started on Feb 21 and has 24 participants.  The course consists of four 2-hour sessions, and participants have indicated that it is excellent material and is being delivered very effectively.  We have booked several other courses in the future, including Outlook Tips & Tricks, Word level 1, and Excel level 2.
  • SWATCA – The annual Teachers’ Convention is the largest conference hosted on the University campus, and includes heavy use of audio/video technologies in our classrooms and computer labs.  All accounts suggest that this year’s event went very well.

On-site training

IT Services recently initiated on-site Microsoft Excel training to 25 staff members in Arts and Science. ITS was able to find a partner to deliver onsite, instructor-lead training.  Feedback has been very positive. ITS is working toward online training for all Microsoft applications as well for students who want to work at their own pace.  This training can lead to Microsoft certifications.