Author Archives: Paula Damigella

File naming standards: eliminate future headaches

There are a lot of reasons that file naming standards should be your best friends. They are rad, responsible, and reliable. Just like the three R’s of old.

But most importantly – you will not run into problems opening your files on another computer, uploading them to Canvas, or attaching them to an email. The reason? By following the tenets listed below, you have significantly decreased the chances of the file becoming corrupted or unusable. Go you!

Adapted from the University of Stanford’s list, here are some best practices to follow when naming your files:

  • Never use special characters - such as  ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) ` ; < > ? , [ ] { } ‘ ” and |. Avoid at all costs! If you’re not capitalizing a letter or generating an underscore, you shouldn’t be hitting the shift key. 
  • Keep it chronological. Using the format YYYYMMDD or YYMMDD ensures all of your files stay in chronological order, for years to come.
  • Keep names as short as possible. Depending on the software, longer file names may not work or be recognized.
  • Use zeros to ensure numerical order. When using a sequential numbering system, using leading zeros for clarity and to make sure files sort in sequential order. For example, use “001, 002, …010, 011 … 100, 101, etc.” instead of “1, 2, …10, 11 … 100, 101, etc.”
  • Do not use spaces. Some software on sites will not recognize file names with spaces. Try using these methods to denote spaces:
    • Underscores, e.g. file_name.xxx
    • Dashes, e.g. file-name.xxx
    • No separation, e.g. filename.xxx
    • Camel case, where the first letter of each section of text is capitalized, e.g. FileName.xxx

Further reading: http://library.stanford.edu/research/data-management-services/case-studies/case-study-file-naming

Across the pond: http://www2.le.ac.uk/services/research-data/organise-data/naming-files

WordPress 3.8 update

Happy New Year! In the spirit of starting fresh, on Thursday, January 9th, from 6 – 8 a.m., WordPress will be unavailable while it updates to the latest version, 3.8.

Version 3.8 includes the usual security updates and patches, but also a gorgeous new dashboard design, that offers eight color scheme options for your enjoyment. However, all functionality within the Dashboard, while updated, remains the same.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact ITG at ext 8090 or at itg@emerson.edu.

Known Issue – Canvas Annotations Displaying Incorrectly in Chrome 31+

Canvas recently reached out to ITG and other Canvas admins, informing us of a Canvas-Crocodoc bug. While it is a known issue, there is no ETA at this time.

Annotations that have been applied to student papers via the Speedgrader Crocodoc tool are being displayed incorrectly in Chrome 31+. 31 refers to the current version of Chrome – so it may be possible your browser is older and you do not experience these issues. However, once you update, they will probably start appearing.

On Macs, the annotations may look like this:

Mac Incorrect Crocodoc Annotations

While on a PC:

00000764

Students and faculty alike will experience this problem. Though Canvas and Crocodoc are working diligently on this, they again, did not provide a time frame for a fix. For now, to view annotated documents, please use another browser, such as Firefox or Safari.

(Just as a note – sometimes students have difficulty locating annotated documents.)

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact ITG directly. We can be reached at ITG @ emerson.edu or ext 8090

New features in Emerson Google Apps: Google+ and Hangouts

Red Google Plus Icon

Google Apps at Emerson now has Google+, a social networking platform where you can connect with your peers in a virtual campus. Join communities to network with people who share your interests. Hangout via video calls to discuss a project. Keep the creativity going after class – on your time, from anywhere.

Interested in utilizing aspects of asynchronous classrooms? Google+ can help you start to explore the world of social learning. Communication Studies professor, Cathryn Edelstein, has created a Google+ community with the aim of connecting professors and students from around the world. Cross-Cultural Higher Education Collaboration is open to the public and steadily growing. During the Fall 2013 semester, Cathy’s students worked with peers in Romania and Fiji. They used Google+, to share links and engage in discussions on the community’s wall; and collaborated on documents using Google Drive.

Instructions on how to set up Google+

You may already have a Google+ account with your personal Gmail. If so, an Emerson Google+ account would be a separate, second account under your name. Emerson College is already a “Circle” on Google – so you will be able to connect to anyone with an Emerson account that has activated Google+.

Icons of various Google Plus features

Create a profile, form circles with classes, video chat, store photos in the Google Cloud – or collaborate on the go!

Integral to Google+ is Google Hangouts, a set of video conferencing and group chat tools. In a video call, you can hangout with up to ten users in a video call via any device with a webcam. In group chats, the current quota is one hundred users. Either way – converse to your heart’s content.

Google Plus Hangouts Banner

You can set up the Google+ mobile app with your Emerson account information. Enter your first name_last name@emerson.edu and your password, and it will recognize it. Note – if you already have an account in the app, you are able to add a second one. Sleek and highly rated, the mobile app is good for on the go collaboration, and is available for Androids and iPhones.

If you have any questions about setting up Google+ or using Hangouts, please feel free to email ITG or call us at ext 8090!

Please note that Google+ and Hangouts are optional features of the Google Apps for Education at Emerson College. Users are NOT protected by the Google Educational Terms of Services that apply to Drive, Maps, Calendar, and Sites. For Google+ and Hangouts, Users will have to agree to accept Google’s Consumer Terms of Services and Privacy Policy, which means NO sensitive academic information should be shared, posted, or saved on Google+. Click here for more information or contact ITG with questions and concerns.