As we transition to a completely online learning environment, Information Technology Services (ITS) is ready and able to support faculty. This page will be updated regularly with the latest information and guidance, particularly in response to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from the faculty community.
ITS strongly encourages all faculty to utilize the following university-supported, reviewed, and approved platforms for collaborating online. These platforms have been reviewed and meet the required standards for accessibility, IT Security, and FERPA. They are also each known and supported by our ITS support teams.
While we understand the temptation to use other commercially available platforms (for example, Adobe Connect, Dropbox, Slack, Google Hangouts, etc.), we cannot guarantee they meet compliance and security requirements, nor are we able to provide technical support. We are continuing to investigate other enterprise-wide solutions that we may add to the list as they are approved.
University-Supported Teaching Platforms
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- Log in via mymason.gmu.edu using your NetID and Patriot Pass Password
OneDrive for Business
- OneDrive access is tied to your @gmu.edu email address. You automatically have a OneDrive account. Access your account via mso365.gmu.edu.
University-Supported Web Conferencing Platforms
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Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
Zoom Desktop Application
- Mason-managed computers: The Zoom App is available for download from Software Center (PC) or Self-Service (Mac)
- Non-managed or personal computers: visit https://zoom.us/download to download the app
- Smartphone users may download Zoom from their app store
- MS Teams is available via web browser, desktop application, and mobile app.
- Access MS Teams through the application launcher on your Mason Office 365 account at http://mso365.gmu.edu via supported browsers.
- The MS Teams application is available for direct download from within the MS Teams Web Application or at https://products.office.com/en-us/microsoft-teams/download-app.
Webex Teams Desktop Application
Install the Webex Teams App for full functionality.
- Mason-managed computers: The Webex Teams App is available for download from Software Center (PC) or Self-Service (Mac)
- Non-managed or personal computers: Visit webex.com/downloads.html to download the app
- Smartphone users may download Webex Teams from their app store
The circumstances surrounding COVID-19 have resulted in the rapid adoption of software and technology services to enable telework and virtual instruction. Under normal operations, these solutions would be reviewed for legal compliance, IT security, and accessibility through the Architectural Standards Review process. In this urgent situation, we have become aware that Mason faculty and staff are purchasing software and agreeing to terms and conditions in a manner inconsistent with university policy. While we cannot control this rapid adoption of technology without proper review, it is important that all staff and faculty understand there are risks within every click-through agreement and any agreement that avoids the formal review process will be the responsibility of the individual making the agreement and not George Mason University.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Faculty
The following FAQs provide further clarity around common questions from faculty.
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When is ITS available to help me if I have a question?
- Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.
- Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Saturday: CLOSED
- Sunday: 1 p.m. - 9 p.m.
ITS is partnering with Blackboard champions in schools to handle the increased demand for IT support and Blackboard support. We will also investigate extended hours if we discover there is a significant need.
Given all of the changes right now involved with moving to online instruction, do we really have to implement Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) across Mason at the same time?
How sure are we that Mason is ready to move all courses online? Have we tested our bandwidth/capacity, particularly within Blackboard?
Similarly, Cisco Webex is provided globally. Cisco has anticipated this demand and will add resources as required.
We will monitor the situation closely and continue to communicate regularly with our online service providers throughout this time.
I’ve used other commercially-available collaboration tools before. What’s the big deal if I don’t use Blackboard to teach my course online?
Any service that has not been reviewed for compliance exposes you and the university to unknown risk, and you will not have the benefit of support from Mason.