General

Uploading Your Profile Picture

Students and instructors now have access to upload a profile picture in HuskyCT.

Profile pictures are displayed as thumbnail images throughout HuskyCT, including:

  • My Courses
  • Notifications Dashboard
  • Discussions, Blogs and Journals
  • Grade Center
  • BbStudent Mobile App

Uploading a profile photo is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. To get started, click the down-arrow next to your name, located in the upper right corner of the browser window.  This will open the global navigation menu.
  2. Next, navigate to Settings -> Personal Information -> Personalize My Settings
  3. Under the section Avatar Image, click “Use custom avatar image” and select a file on your local device using the “Browse My Computer” button.  Don’t forget to click Submit and save your changes 🙂

NOTE: The recommended size for a profile photo is 150 pixels by 150 pixels (larger images will be clipped).  HuskyCT will support images in .jpg or .png format.

Dismissing Notifications

A known issue in HuskyCT may prevent some users from dismissing course notifications in the “What’s New” module on the “My Courses” tab.

notification error message

If you receive an error similar to above when attempting to dismiss notifications, it will be necessary for you to manage notifications using the Global Navigation menu.

The Global Navigation Menu is located at the top right corner of your browser window, where your name is displayed.

global navigation menu

Clicking on the down arrow (to the right of your name) will open the full menu.

global navigation menu full

Next, click on the alarm clock icon to access your updated notifications.

On the “Updates” screen, your list of available notifications will be listed.  From here, you can choose to individually open and/or dismiss pending notifications.

We’ll update this post when HuskyCT has been upgraded to a release that supports dismissing notifications from the “What’s New” module on the “My Courses” tab.

Respondus Introduces “Help Center” for LockDown Browser

Respondus, Inc. recently introduced a new “Help Center” feature for LockDown Browser.  The tool is integrated with the LockDown Browser.  Its features are comprehensive, easy to use and well documented.

Students can find the “Help Center” tool in the browser toolbar, after logging in to HuskyCT (see screenshot).

LDB-help-center-toolbar

Let’s take a look at two important features included in Help Center.

  • Run System Check
  • Access Student Knowledgebase

The “Run System Check” feature allows students to quickly test their local environment for compatibility with LockDown Browser.  The tool runs a series of tests, including, but not limited to bandwidth, latency and open ports.

After the test completes, summary results will be displayed at the top of page (see screenshot).

helpcenter-tests

If the device passed a particular test, it will be noted with a green check mark (as shown above).  Failures are reported with a red x symbol.

Diagnostic information related to the test is displayed in the bottom section of the page.

Students have several options after the test completes – Return to Course, Email Results, Knowledge Base.  If all tests are passed, simply click on the “Return to Course” button.

LDB-help-center-options

If any tests failed, students can search the new LockDown Browser knowledge base for potential solutions.  This view of the knowledge base is only accessible from within the Help Center tool.  An alternate knowledge base can be found on the Respondus website and is accessible from a standard web browser.

Some issues may require assistance from the ITS Help Center or HuskyCT team.  To expedite a technical review, students can email system check results to their mailbox, then forward to helpcenter@uconn.edu.  Doing so, will automatically generate a service request and associate it to the student’s NetID.

While there is an option to copy a secondary email address when sending results, this is discouraged, as the ticket would not be associated with the student’s NetID.  

If you’re enrolled in a HuskyCT course this semester and the instructor plans to use LockDown Browser, we highly recommend running the system check tool in advance of your first exam.  Be sure to also check out our HuskyCT Test Taking Tips!

Phishing Email Alert

No-Phishing-Image

Over the last several days, a phishing email has been sent to members of the university community and  contains a link that appears, on cursory review, to reference Blackboard or specific university locations.  Closer inspection reveals that these links are to alternate external locations.  This email is not being sent from system administrators and is an attempt to gather information about you.  Please do not click on any links in the email.  Phishing emails can also be forwarded to reportphishing@uconn.edu

Learn how to protect yourself from a phishing attack by visiting the UConn Security website:  Always Be On Alert for Phishing Attacks

 

Image attribution: https://flic.kr/p/aQAEqD

Mixed Content in HuskyCT

HuskyCT and SSL

The HuskyCT application is deigned to run securely, utilizing SSL to encrypt data transmitted between your browser and the server(s).  A properly secured page uses the HTTPS protocol exclusively to reference external content (e.g. images, audio and video).

secure-lms-url

What is mixed content?

Since HuskyCT allows users to publish content, there will always be a potential for insecure items to be added.  Most often, this occurs when embedded images, audio or video are linked to the course from non-SSL pages.  When this occurs, the page is considered as having “mixed content“.  That is, content which is both secure and insecure.

Most modern browsers have built-in features which evaluate a pages level of security.  When it meets their standard, the browser displays a padlock in the address bar (as shown above).  Otherwise, the browser may issue a mixed content warning.  This warning is sometimes passive and not easily noticeable to the learner (see screenshots below).  Additionally, some browsers may prevent the insecure content items from displaying on the page.

Firefox, Chrome, Microsoft Edge and IE all block insecure content by default.  Safari is the only major browser which does not automatically block insecure content.

How does mixed content impact learner experience?

Depending on the context, it may be obvious to the learner that content has been blocked.

Example 1

Title: Week 1

Description: “This weeks lesson includes a video (below).  All students are required to watch the video in its entirety.  A short quiz will follow.”

mixed-content-no-video

In this example, the learner clearly expects a video clip on the page.  Unfortunately, our course builder embedded the video and mistakenly used “http://” rather than “https://” (setting is only visible to the course builder).  As a result, our browser has automatically blocked the video.

Of course, blocked content won’t always be this obvious…

Example 2

Title: Week 2

Description: (blank)

missing-video-example-2

Once again, our course builder embedded a video using a link to insecure resources.  The content has been blocked by the browser, yet the learner has no indication a video should be expected.  For this reason, we highly recommend course builder’s always include a textual description for any embedded content in their course.

How do I stop my browser from blocking mixed content?

Once our learner is aware content has been blocked, there are steps they can take to force their browser to display the hidden content.

Chrome

  • To temporarily display mixed content, click the shield icon located in the address bar (pictured below).  When prompted, choose to allow loading of non-secure items.

blocked-content-chrome

Firefox

  • To temporarily display mixed content, click the caution icon located in the address bar (pictured below).  When prompted, choose to allow loading of non-secure items.

blocked-content-ff

IE (10+)

  • To temporarily display mixed content, click the “Show all content” button, which is located at the bottom of the browser window (pictured below).

mixed-content-ie10-11

Microsoft Edge

  • To temporarily display mixed content, click the shield icon located in the address bar (pictured below). When prompted, choose to allow loading of non-secure items.

blocked-content-edge

To fully resolve the issue for all learners, course builder’s are strongly encouraged to update insecure URLs to use the HTTPS protocol.