May 2023

5 Things to Do Before Summer

The sun is shining, the leaves are dancing in the breeze, and Clark’s printers are humming: the semester is almost over! Before your well-deserved break over the summer months, take a few minutes to tidy up your digital life and set yourself up for success when you return to campus.

Turn on Microsoft Authenticator

If you’re traveling this summer, and you’re used to receiving a text message to authenticate into your Clark account, we recommend switching to using the Authenticator app on your phone instead.

Authenticator allows you to verify your identity and access your account from anywhere in the world (as long as you have internet access), regardless on the cell-phone number that you have access to at that time. Click here to view instructions on setting up the Authenticator app.

Back up your files

While there are many ways to back up your files, ITS recommends using OneDrive, a cloud storage solution included within your Clark account. OneDrive includes up to 5 TB of space and syncs changes seamlessly, meaning that your backed-up files are always up to date. Best of all, if any of your devices are damaged from sand, water, or sun over the summer, files will be secure and easily retrievable from any internet-connected device.

Click here for more information on OneDrive. You can also read more about cloud storage here.

For graduating students: please note you will have access to your Clark account and any OneDrive files for 9 months. During that time, please transfer any files or emails to another location, such as your personal Google Drive or iCloud.

Update your Clark password

For security purposes, all Clark community members must update their password at least once a year. If your password is set to expire over the summer, when we are often having fun rather than checking emails, you may miss the notification. To prevent any potential headaches, you can update your password now or check on ClarkYou to see when your password will expire.

Click here for instructions on resetting your Clark password.

Check Canvas

Students: About thirty days after each semester ends, access to your Canvas courses will be removed to align with our Fair Use policy. If there are any syllabi, discussion posts, readings, or assignments you’d like to keep for your own records, please download them from Canvas before June 9.

Bonus points for adding them to OneDrive to make sure they are securely backed up!

Turn on Out of Office emails

If you will be traveling or otherwise unavailable for an extended period of time over the summer, turn on Out of Office automatic replies for your Clark email address. It’s good practice to include when recipients can expect to hear back from you, and who they should contact while you are away in the message.

How do I do it?

Outlook for Windows

  • Click the File tab in Outlook
  • Click the Automatic Replies button.

Outlook for the Web

  • Click the gear icon in the upper right corner of the screen
  • Select Automatic Replies

Outlook on Mac

  • With Outlook open, select Tools from the task bar at the top of the screen.
  • Select Automatic Replies

If you’d like any help making sure you’re all set for summer, please contact the Help Desk.

An ITS Summer

While those of us working on campus over Summer enjoy a slightly different pace and the opportunity to use some annual leave, the project work, regular maintenance and new initiatives keep us busy – so much that the summer can fly by. Learn a little about what the summer holds for ITS below. 

Network Maintenance 

Maintaining and upgrading Clark’s Network is one of ITS’s most important jobs. However, with 1000’s of students living on campus, finding time to do so (which often requires short outages) is difficult. Unlike our business systems, which can be pulled offline briefly in the late evening and early morning when staff and faculty sleep, our network sees constant traffic throughout the day and night.  

Andy Voelker, Network Manager

To help support the maintenance needs of our network, ITS is reserving a network maintenance window on Tuesday mornings between 5am and 7am. During this time, Clarkies may experience short network outages either on campus, or while connecting to on-campus resources while off-campus, including VPN, connecting to remote desktops, Banner, etc. Many weeks there will be no impact, but particularly staff and faculty should be aware when planning work. This window will begin on May 23rd and run every Tuesday through August 1st. 

A small amount of our network maintenance cannot be done during this window, so look out for notification from the Help Desk of any additional work planned. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know via the Help Desk.  

Public Computer Upgrades 

Over the summer, our Endpoint team works hard to prepare our classrooms, labs and public computing spaces for the coming academic year. One of the most important tasks is to update the software available on computers across campus. This includes updating existing software to the newest versions and adding newly requested software. 

One of the most exciting changes coming for Fall 2023 is the campus launch of Office 2021. From mid-August this will be the version installed on all public computers – including classrooms and labs. Staff and faculty: if you’re new to Office 2021, the summer is a great time to upgrade your Clark computer to get experience with the new application before the Fall. Click here to learn more about Office 2021 and how to install it on your Clark computer.  

Faculty: Look for an email from ITS in the coming month with information on software versions for campus computers, how to request new software installs, and information about VLabs, our virtualized environment for remote students, or those who can’t run software on their personal devices. 

CMACD, Classroom Updates and Much More! 

CMACD: Like much of the campus, ITS is excited for the opening of the Center for Media Arts, Computing and Design. Over the summer we’ll be preparing the network, building classrooms and setting up 100s of computers for new labs. This will be one of the most innovative buildings at Clark and we’re geeking out on the amazing things faculty and students will be creating in this new space. 

Classroom Updates: Every summer ITS refreshes classrooms across campus, updating computers and installing new audio-visual equipment. To check out what technology is available in your classrooms in Fall, check out our Classroom Viewer application, which will be updated in early August 

And More: As the business of the university continues over the Summer, ITS support staff will continue to be available to support the important work staff do year-round, the research and teaching preparation that our faculty do, and all of the learning that continues as part of summer classes, institutes, conferences and summer camps. The Help Desk remains fully staffed to help with any questions by phone, by email, or by stopping by. Over the Summer we’re open Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.  

Tool Spotlight: Microsoft Forms and Qualtrics

You may be familiar with Qualtrics, an online survey and research tool. Qualtrics is incredibly powerful, especially for research intensive projects. Companies such as Volkswagen and MasterCard use it to determine detailed customer information and filter response data. 

However, Qualtrics is not the only tool available to the Clark community: all Clarkies also have access to Microsoft Forms, a simplified, online data collection software perfect for less intensive projects.  

What’s the difference between the two? 

Qualtrics is ideal for research projects, surveys with multiple parts, or surveys that take a long time to complete. It is also ideal for surveys in which you’d like greater control over grouping, reminding and tracking participants, and filtering or manipulating the results. Some, however, may find it complicated.  

Forms, on the other hand, is ideal for shorter projects, such as registration, RSVPs, informal quizzes, or quick feedback. They are especially great if you want to quickly restrict participants to Clark users. Surveys on Microsoft Forms is easy to complete and view on mobile devices, and many find it more user-friendly and quicker to set up. While the results in Forms are easy to understand, they are not easily filtered or manipulated. 

Which one should I use?

The best survey tool for your project depends on the nature of the survey or research you’re creating. Ask yourself the following questions to decide which would work best for your needs: 

  • Do I want this survey to be short or extensive?
  • How much metadata do I need or want?
    • Metadata is data about data – for example, the type of computer and browser used by someone completing the survey. Qualtrics gathers more metadata than Forms.
  • Do I need to create groups of participants and track their participation?
  • Am I comfortable with manipulating response data and creating my own results report?
  • Am I interested in qualitative or quantitative data?

How can I learn more about Forms? 

Staff and faculty can schedule an appointment with the technology training specialist if you’d like to learn more about Forms, or if you’d like assistance deciding which tool to use. ITS also has a curated playlist on LinkedIn Learning. Please be sure to activate your free LinkedIn Learning account first.  

Click here to view the LinkedIn Learning playlist on Microsoft Forms  

How can I learn more about Qualtrics? 

As a complex tool, Clark contracts with Qualtrics to provide support for all users. Qualtrics Support offers extensive videos, how-to guides, and survey best practices on their website (Qualtrics Support) and their YouTube Channel.  Additionally, you can receive personalized support from a Qualtrics expert by chat, email or over the phone. Click here to learn more about getting Qualtrics Support. 


Make the Most of your Summer!

Whether you’re headed to the beach or keeping it cool indoors, you can use tech to make the most of your summer. Learn something new, immerse yourself in a virtual world, and stay hydrated!

If you love the outdoors…

Borrow a Mass Audobon pass from Goddard Library and explore some of the eleven nature sanctuaries in Central Massachusetts. Learn more about your surroundings by downloading apps such as PlantSnap and Merlin BirdID and go on a scavenger hunt in the park or around your neighborhood.

If you love beach reading…

Download the Libby app to borrow e-books and audiobooks completely free!

Add Clark’s library to the app to check out classic novels, philosophical texts, and contemporary romances. Clark students and Massachusetts residents are also eligible to register for an ecard at Worcester Public Library or Boston Public Library to borrow even more books and read them on phones, tablets, or e-readers. You can register for ecards online.

Click here for instructions on adding libraries to the app. Please contact with any questions.

Please note that these apps are not affiliated with Clark University. You should always check privacy policies and terms of service before creating an account.

If you love enjoying the Air Conditioning…

Get into some new video games! ITS folks are enjoying or looking forward to:

Get to Know Us: Don Lutz

This month, say hello to Don Lutz, Clark’s Manager for Online and Instructional Technology. 

Don joined the Clark community in November 2019. Originally from Kansas, he served in the Air Force for 20 years before transitioning to a technical training role. After working in seven different industries and obtaining a master’s degree in instructional technology, Don is an expert at interpreting IT speak into a language that everyone can understand.  

As manager of Academic Technology Services (ATS), Don helps faculty understand how to include technology in their course in a way that helps students succeed and doesn’t get in the way of teaching. In the future, he’d love to be invited to department and faculty meetings to answer any questions you and your colleagues may have – these conversations often spark inspiration and eliminate tons of email.

Outside of work, Don enjoys watching PBS crime shows and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel with his wife (who is both a pastor and a murder mystery writer!). If you’d like to chat with Don about academic technology or fictional mysteries, click here for contact information