Software addition policy
In addition to the core software in the labs, instructors often find it useful to make course-related tools available for student use. Some of these tools include courseware for statistical analysis, philosophy, geography, nutrition, computer programming, engineering, and more.
Most requests for additional software in the labs can be granted without any negative effects. However, due to the labs' limited resources and heavy demand, modifications and additions must be done cautiously to avoid disruptions.
Guidelines for requesting software additions
- Requests for software additions are to be Windows-based applications with a preference given to network-aware 32-bit Windows applications (Windows 7).
- Requests should be submitted in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org at least one semester in advance. This allows adequate time for testing and installation and for instructors to integrate the software into their curriculm. If a request is submitted less than one semester in advance, it will be addressed as time permits. Changes during the semester should be avoided.
- Software additions should be planned for a minimum of one academic year. Generally, additions are done in the fall and spring semesters. Since systems are often upgraded during the summer, software must be retested for compatibility.
- Know the system requirements of programs being requested. The program must be able to run properly using the existing hardware and operating systems, and a network installation should be supported by the software publisher. Lab support staff can assist in determining system requirements and compatibility.
- Lab support staff will test the program for compatibility with the existing hardware, software and network services. This includes special functions such as file service, print service, virus protection and system security. In the event the software proves to be incompatible with the current configuration of the lab offering, it may be declined.
- Testing must be done using an actual copy of the software. The software must be provided by the department that requests the product. Licenses should not be purchased until installation in the lab is approved.
- There must be adequate licensed copies of the software for the number of machines on which it will be used. License compliance will be verified before the software is installed. The department requesting the software should be prepared to acquire the number of licenses needed.
- Providing access to software installed on other servers is a special case and generally not supported. Those requesting access to software on other servers should be prepared to justify the request and provide their users with documentation and support.
- All requests for special software should be channelled through the sponsoring department's computer coordinator.
- Departments requesting software for courseware need to consider the method by which the data will be supplied to the professor for grading. Due to the high utilization of printing in the computing labs, we ask that the professors not have assignments printed. E-mail or diskette submission are other options that are available for students to get assignments to professors. There are currently several classes using these methods and we ask that all new offerings implement a similar solution.
- Departments sponsoring software to be offered in the labs should periodically review the need and utilization of the application. If an application is discontinued from use for the course curriculum, it is the responsibility of the department to contact lab support staff about the change in status so it can be removed.