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SCAILAB - Student Computer Aided Instruction Lab

Pose for SCAILABThe Student Computer-Aided Instruction Lab of the Department of the Tutorium in Intensive English (TIE) at the University of Illinois at Chicago is located on the first floor of Addams Hall on the east side of the UIC campus. We provide students with a public computer lab and TIE with two electronic classrooms where they can explore, experiment with, and implement all manner of relevant applications.

The primary role of SCAILAB and its staff is to aid instructors in the discovery of a mode of electronic instruction best suited to their personal pedagogical profile. To that end we provide individualized consulting with regards to your particular course purpose, and technical support during classroom interaction. While we recognize computer technology to be an integral part of contemporary higher education, we also acknowledge the practical and critical complexity of the challenge it poses to instructors as well as the past and present notions of instruction. Thus, our staff welcome all questions, queries, and doubts pertaining to the use of the many applications provided by SCAILAB and their accommodations to the scope of the instructor's objectives.

What the heyWe have two electronic classrooms (both with 24 PCs) in Addams Hall primarily for TIE instructors and their classes. Classrooms are also available to instructors in other departments when not in use by TIE. Room 110 is arranged in a perimeter fashion and is the one we prefer for classes we assist, because its layout makes it easier to ensure that all students are following along. The computers in room 104 are arranged in pods of four, making it easy for students to participate in pairs or groups. Both rooms have an overhead projector that can display what is on the desktop of the instructor's PC, which can be helpful for group presentations or for showing a class how to do a particular task. Printers are available in both classrooms as well as the walk-in lab.

SCAILAB has a large variety of programs available in the open lab and the classroom labs.
Some of the more popular titles include:
  • DIWE (Daedalus Integrated Writing Environment)
    -- Bibliocite
    -- Invent
    -- Respond
    -- InterChange
  • ELLIS E-mail (telnet and WebMail)
  • Microsoft Word 97
  • Microsoft Powerpoint 97
  • Microsoft Excel 97
  • Dreamweaver
  • Fireworks
  • TOEFL Sampler
  • Grammar Mastery
  • Netscape Communicator 4.5
  • Internet Explorer 5.01

SCAILAB Classroom Policies

I. Physical Access

A. Access to the lab
    1. Access to SCAILAB is available to all users, their guests, or those of the University or any of its Colleges or Departments during open hours.

      Monday-Thursday 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
      Friday 8:00-2:00 PM

    2. After hours access is available to the following people that have been trained and are sufficiently knowledgeable of all lab equipment to ensure proper usage of such under normal conditions without supervision:

      a) Consultants
      b) SCAILAB Staff
      c) Persons approved by the lab director for special projects or procedures
      d) Volunteer workers

    3. SCAILAB Staff reserves the right to disallow access to all users for maintenance purposes.

      a) SCAILAB will make every effort to schedule these periods after hours.
      b) SCAILAB may close the lab during otherwise open hours but will reserve such action for emergency measures.
B. Physical access to computer hardware
    1. Computers located at consulting, staff, or administrator stations are meant to be used by consultants, staff, and administrators and are so marked.

      a) Please do not attempt to use them.
      b) If permitted to use these machines under special circumstances, you must surrender them when they required by a member of the SCAILAB staff.
      c) Priority access does not apply to these machines.

    2. All computers are available on a first-come, first-serve basis unless you are a Priority User.

    3. Priority Access

      a) Certain users from Tutorium classes may be given priority use of computers in the open lab. These users will be given SCAILAB Priority Access Stickers on their I-Card.
      b) Persons granted priority access should make their presence known to the staff so that they may politely inform users of such priority.
      c) Staff will attempt to judiciously make space for such users by first asking for volunteers to vacate a computer.
      d) If more space is needed than is voluntarily offered then users will be asked to vacate in this order:

        (1) What staff deems is frivolous usage (such as games)
        (2) Chat, IM, Y-talk, and IRC users
        (3) Personal email
        (4) Non-academic web browsing
        (5) Non-academic word processing

    4. Some machines may be defective and labeled as such. Such machines will probably not function; however, if they do, use them at your own risk.
C. Physical use of computer hardware
    1. Damage
      a) The responsibility of every user is to act in such a manner as to not cause damage to the physical equipment.
      b) Any damage or problems should be reported to the consultant on duty as soon as possible so that they can take corrective action.
      c) Food and drink are considered the mildest of threats, and are allowed in the lab and classrooms. Students, instructors, and guests are advised to be cautious and to clean up after themselves.

    2. People using the lab computers for academic purposes have first priority even with Priority Access Stickers. Students of our home department, the Tutorium in Intensive English, have priority before other users in both the computer classrooms and the walk-in lab.

    3. Computers may not be used for commercial activities without permission from the Lab Director.

    4. Do not tamper with monitors, computers, printers, or any other associated equipment.

    5. Do not use more than one computer at a time if the lab is full or near capacity.

    6. Never leave a computer unattended while you are using it.

    7. You should not be denied access to facilities by someone who is not an authorized user.

    8. You may not remove, attach, or swap peripherals or any other equipment without specific permission from the lab director or a technical consultant.
II. Computer Center Accounts (Icarus, Tigger, UICVM)

A. Passwords
    1. The primary defense of your account is your password. Your password does not only protect your own information and files, but the integrity of the entire system.

    2. You MUST have a password for your account.

    3. Keep your password secret and change it regularly. NOBODY besides you should know nor do they need to know your password.

    4. If anybody requests that you change your password to a particular one, report it to a consultant.

    5. If anybody asks to know what your password is, report it to a consultant.

    6. Change your password to something secure as soon as your account is activated. The following may help you choose a secure password:

      a) Use nonsense words which aren't found in a dictionary.
      b) Make sure your password is at least six characters long, two of which must be non-alphabetic (numbers or symbols). The maximum number of characters allowable in a password is eight.
      c) Passwords are case sensitive. Use uppercase characters (capitals) mixed in with lowercase. Putting capitals in random locations throughout the word is more effective than just capitalizing the first or last character.
      d) Use a combination of alphabetic and numeric characters.
      e) Include punctuation characters such as !@#$%^&*()_+~:"?;'/{}|[]\/,.<>.
      f) Try concatenating two words joined by a punctuation character.

    7. Change your password regularly. The computer center will prompt you to change your password at regular intervals.

    8. Change your password immediately if somebody does learn what it is.

    9. Etiquette dictates that you turn your head away from anyone you are working with while they type their password.
B. Account use
    1. You are responsible for all usage on your accounts.

    2. You must take all reasonable precautions, including password maintenance and file protection measures, to prevent use of your accounts by unauthorized persons.

    3. You may not allow anybody to use your account. The Computer Center may revoke your account if you do.

    4. You may not use anybody else's account with or without their permission.

    5. You may only use your account for university related activities or personal not-for-profit use.
III. Software

A. Unauthorized software
    1. You are not allowed to store or execute any software not expressly provided by SCAILAB for such purpose. You may temporarily store freely distributable software for transfer purposes only. That is, you may FTP download from the web freely distributable software from other sites to a SCAILAB computer, provided you immediately remove it from the system upon completion of the transfer.

    2. You may not use or store any software which is not freely distributable software on any SCAILAB computer at any time. This is a serious offense and will be dealt with harshly.

    3. You may not knowingly own, administer, or execute a virus, burglar tools, or any other sort of destructive or invasive program.
B. System software
    1. You may only use system software for its intended purpose.

    2. You may not make copies of any copyrighted system software. This is a violation of United States of America Copyright Laws and could result in criminal prosecution. Making additional copies of licensed software, or trying to "beat" licensing systems is theft.

    3. Deliberate alteration of system software is vandalism or malicious destruction of University property.

    4. Relinquish licensed software when you are no longer using it. This is especially critical with software packages having limited licenses.

    5. You may not use any SCAILAB computer equipment or software to violate the terms of any Software License Agreement.

    6. Terminate all "background" jobs before logging out.

    7. In rare cases, you may ask to have your own software installed on the system provided you bring in original disks and a receipt. Specific requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and primarily for demonstration purposes or workshops.
IV. File access
    A. Do not to attempt to alter or avoid accounting for computer services.

    B. Most system-level files are part of copyrighted or licensed software, and therefore you should not make your own copies of these files, in whole or in part, except as needed as part of an educational exercise. Removing copies of copyrighted software from the system on which it is licensed may be a violation of the copyright or license.

    C. You should not alter or delete a file that does not belong to you without permission of the owner (unless that file is stored in a directory/folder owned by you). The ability to alter a file does not give you the right to alter a file.

    D. System administrators may delete, write to, read, or otherwise process any files on the system when necessary for performing maintenance.

    E. You may read any files which you have privileges to read, but be aware that not all users know how to prevent other users from reading their files. Please be considerate of the privacy of other users.
V. Communications
    A. Avoid frivolous electronic mail or messages such as chain letters, spam, and junk mail.

    B. Do not transmit annoying, harassing, or unsolicited material to other users.

    C. Do not use email for commercial advertisement or personal gain.

    D. Using email for any form of advertisement could easily be construed as 'unsolicited mail' and should be avoided. This includes advertising for University groups, no matter how innocent your intentions may be.

    E. Use mailing lists, news groups, and aliases for their intended purposes.

    F. Forging computer mail is a very serious offense and strictly prohibited. Email makes no pretense at being very secure.

    G. DO NOT use the network or computer equipment for illegal activity. (e.g. Piracy, computer fraud, etc.) People doing so may face disciplinary action or criminal prosecution.

    H. There are no restrictions on allowable language which users of SCAILAB may use when communicating via computer, but good taste and consideration of others should be used at all times. If you consider your audience carefully before using computer communications, you should encounter no troubles.

    I. Check your email at least once a week. Important notices are sent to users via email.

    J. SCAILAB highly recommends that appropriate subject lines be used as a courtesy to others.

    K. Avoid using the full texts of messages when replying. The larger the message the more bandwidth it uses and the more it clogs and slows down the whole Internet.

    L. Avoid using ALL CAPS when writing. Although quite effective for emphasizing a word or phrase, in electronic correspondence writing in "all caps" is considered extremely rude. (Studies also show that people ignore messages in caps because they are difficult to read.) So if you want to be read and not rude write with standard capitalization or write in all lowercase.
VI. Disk usage
    A. Primary user storage is floppy diskettes. You are responsible for having a primary and secondary backup on disk for all your files.

    B. You may not store files on any other drive that is not designated for such use without permission.

    C. All files which you store on a local hard must be located within the "Temporary Storage" folder or the "Downloads" folder.

    D. The Temporary Storage folder is for temporary storage. Temporary storage areas are accessible by everyone. The lab is not responsible for anything left in that space.

    E. Students' folders are erased once a week on maintenance night (Fridays), no exceptions are made.

    F. When using public directories as storage space, you do so at your own risk. All files saved to these directories may be deleted at any time.

    G. Class file storage for DIWE users is provided on the server from within DIWE.

    H. Use as little file space as practical, making use of available means for compressing and archiving files.

    I. If extra disk space is required, or if you need the use of high capacity removable media devices, contact the director or assistant coordinator for arrangements.
VII. Laser printing:
    A. Each campus user will be able to print 200 pages for free per month. This includes all blank pages printed with your documents. Each print thereafter will be charged to the user.

    B. Do not collect or discard the output of other users without their permission.

    C. Do not read the output of other users. This information should be considered private and/or personal.

    D. Discard unwanted output (including blank pages) in the recycling bins. If you leave it lying around on the tables, it just means that somebody else will have to clean up for you.

    E. Unfortunately, paper that has been through the printer—even if it is blank—cannot be used again by the laser printer and must be recycled. Try not to print blank pages. Check your files for blank pages, especially at the ends of documents, and delete those pages before printing.

    F. Do not print excessively large files during peak-use hours. If you have a large file, please make arrangements to print it after hours. In general, you should not print more than thirty pages of TEXT at one time.
VIII. Computing Restrictions
    A. Due Process for Losing Access to SCAILAB:

      1. Consultants have the right to expel persons if they see an 'imminent' danger to our system. At that time the Consultants will be responsible for writing up a short description of that danger.

      2. If consultants observe behavior that they feel compromises the operation of SCAILAB but does not pose any imminent danger to the lab, they should collect appropriate information, expelling the violator if deemed appropriate, and pass the information on to the Director with suggestions for action.

      3. Such information will be presented to the Director of the lab as soon as possible. The user can then make his/her case. If the Director finds that the user has violated policy (first offense) the user will be asked to sign a copy of the lab policies which will be kept on file in the Director's office. If there is a second similar offense the user will be banned from SCAILAB's public lab.

    B. Abuse of computing facilities (may result in temporary expulsion from SCAILAB)

      1. Security Abuses

        a) No one should deliberately attempt to degrade the performance of a computer system.
        b) No one should attempt to deprive authorized personnel of resources or access to any SCAILAB computer system.
        c) No one should attempt to interfere with the operation of computing facilities.
        d) No one should attempt to subvert the security of any of the University's computing facilities.
        e) Loopholes in computer security systems or knowledge of a special password should not be used to damage computer systems, obtain extra resources, take resources from another user, gain access to systems or use systems for which proper authorization has not been given.

      2. Non-Security Abuses

        a) Do not tamper with settings of hardware or software with the intent of disrupting the work of others.
        b) Do not place backpacks on chairs—gum on backpack bottoms ruins the fabric and spoils the chair for other users.
        c) Do not stick your gum under desks, trash receptacles are provided.
        d) Do not throw trash in the potted plants, or recycling bins
        e) Do not throw recyclable paper in the trash receptacles.
        f) Do not pick, break, snip, or otherwise harm or destroy the plants.
        g) Do not put feet on tables or chairs.
IX. Employees
    A. The staff in general has the right to do whatever is necessary to carry out their responsibility to keep SCAILAB computing resources operating and available.

    B. Staff should at all times respect the privacy of user files, mail, and printouts.

    C. In the normal course of system administration, the staff may have to examine files, mail, and printouts to gather sufficient information to diagnose and correct problems with system software, or to determine if a user is acting in violation of the policies set forth in this document. The staff has the right to do this.

    D. Consulting support

      1. Consultants on duty wear name tags.
      2. Do not disturb off duty consultants or people not wearing these name tags unless it is a "real" emergency that will affect others in the lab. Even then, off-duty consultants have the option to direct you elsewhere for help.
      3. Treat consultants with respect. They are required to treat our customers with respect.
      4. SCAILAB does NOT provide consultants when it is unofficially open. Please do not disturb consultants working in the lab during these hours. (In other words, if you are allowed to stay past open hours, please have the courtesy to work quietly and not disturb the consultants.)
X. Other
    A. Game Playing

      1. Game playing is restricted to games which are already in SCAILAB.
      2. Game playing is restricted to those times when computers and resources are not needed for other purposes. No one may use a machine to play games unless there is another machine of the same type and quality available for other use.
      3. Game players must surrender their computers when requested.
      4. Game playing is a privilege that may be revoked at any time.
      5. Do not spend excessive time playing games. Doing so may result in the revocation of your gaming privileges.
      6. You may not play games remotely. For instance, playing in MUDs (Multi-User Domains) or other such games with remote hosts (not in SCAILAB) is forbidden. In addition, you may not play games wihin SCAILAB from a remote location.
      7. You may only play games during designated gaming hours, usually after 5:00 p.m. during non-peak periods..
      8. You may not play any game if it noticeably impedes the performance of a system in use by another user doing legitimate academic work.
      9. You may not play any game if it disturbs other users in the lab (such as complaints of noise, etc.)
      10. The following are considered games when not used for academic purposes:

        a) IRC
        b) M**s (MUDs, MOOs, MUSHes)

      11. Games are NOT SUPPORTED by anybody. Please do not ask consultants any questions about games, or complain if they do not work.

        a) The single exception to this rule is students and teachers using the SCAILAB MOO.

    B. Viewing Offensive Material.

      1. Out of respect for the sensibilities of all of our patrons, please do not visit pornographic Web sites or view offensive or sexually explicit material while in SCAILAB.
      2. Anyone who is found in violation of this courtesy may be asked to leave.

    Jim Fletcher SCAILAB Computer Center
    Director, Computer-Aided Instruction
    Coordinator, SCAILAB Computer Center
    Assistant Director of Composition for Computer Instruction
    830 S. Halsted(M/C 163) Chicago, Illinois 60607-7030

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