Our response to COVID-19

ICT wants to support the College community throughout this challenging time and are working closely with the College to ensure that our IT systems are resilient and scalable for remote working.

Latest ICT news and updatesTraining and support

This guide explains how to access all the services you need to work remotely whether you are using your own device or a College-owned PC or laptop.  

ICT are continuing to improve your working remotely experience, find out more by visiting our latest news and updates web page.

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact the ICT Service Desk and we will do our best to help you.  

Cloud services 

Cloud services can be accessed from both your College or personal PC, Mac or Linux machine as long as you have an internet connection and your College username and password – no need to be on the College network or remote into a machine! 

Remote access 

Our accessing services when off campus webpages offer guidance on how to work when away from campus. Please only use the Remote Desktop Gateway (RDG) or VPN when necessary and make use of our cloud services mentioned above. 

Students can now access up to 2000 College PCs via Remote Desktop Gateway. For more information visit remote desktop access for students.

Personal Mac users can now download free College software to help them whilst they work remotely. Visit the free software for personal Macs whilst you work remotely web page. 

If you use the H: drive or a shared group space, ICT recommends that you make these documents accessible from OneDrive for Business to help you access them more easily when working remotely. 

If you do need to remote into a College windows PC, follow the instructions on our remotely access a College PC web pageYou may have noticed that the ‘Shut Down’ button has been removed from your PC Start Menu – this is due to the service desk receiving a high number of calls to turn on PCs that have been shut down. Additionally, we've set all HP desktops on campus to power themselves on at 07:00 every morning. 

Please contact the ICT Service Desk if you need your PC powered on or if you require a reboot.

If you are unable to remote into your machine, you will need to use the College VPN

Those needing files from a Mac or Linux will need to follow the guidance on our remotely access a College PC web page. 

Communicating and collaborating when working remotely

The College offers several tools to help you collaborate whilst you work remotely. Find out more by visiting our Sharing and collaboration tools web pages. 

ICT strongly advise that Microsoft Teams be used for video and audio meetings, collaboration, chat and live webinars/events. Zoom is not supported by the College and ICT cannot guarantee if any data shared and discussions held on this platform are secure and/or in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). For more information, visit our Zoom Guidance web page.  

One of the benefits of using Microsoft Teams is that it can support meetings of up to 250 people. If you want to organise a meeting with more than 250 participants, ICT recommends that you hold a Microsoft Teams Live Event. This is an extension of Teams and will allow you to broadcast video and meeting content to large online audiences. If you want to host a public-facing Teams Live Event, please contact the ICT Service Desk for guidance. You can now book a Microsoft Teams training session online.

Call forwarding

Staff are now able to forward their calls to any UK landline or mobile number.

Call forwards can either be activated on the handset itself or remotely by using the telephony self-service tool (don’t forget to prefix the number with a 9).

Please also remember that you can make internal calls to colleagues whilst working remotely by using Microsoft Teams. You will require a laptop with a speaker and microphone or a headset to make calls.

Information about mobile usage and charges can be found on our Staff mobiles web page. 

Changing your password

ICT recommends that you change your password online using our change or reset your password web page.

If you are using a College Windows laptop associated with your College account you might find that, once you change your password online, there is a discrepancy between your College password and the one you are using on your laptop as your laptop may still be using the old password. To prevent this, instead of using the link above, Windows users should connect to the College VPN and then change your password by pressing Ctrl & Alt & Del > Change Password. 

MacOS users should still use the link above. You may then be prompted to either update the Keychain password (type in your old password and then update it to the new one), or go to System Preferences > User & Groups > Select your account and click Change Password.

College Desktop computers

If you have taken your College desktop computer home in order to work remotely you may find your College password may not work. To access your College desktop computer outside the College, you will have to contact ICT who will be able to provide you with the local Administrator password to make it work.

Ordering and setting up new ICT equipment

Purchases made on the College’s ordering system, iProcurement, can now be delivered directly to UK home addresses. Our preferred suppliers should still be used, which are:

  • HP – for Windows-based desktops & laptops
  • Academia – for Apple Mac desktops, laptops & iPads
  • BT Business Direct – for IT consumables such as keyboards, mice, cables, USB sticks etc.

Equipment will need to be set up as they come out of the box.

For more information, visit our buy computers and devices web page. 

Guidance for Academics

Guidance for remote lectures

Panopto allows for simultaneous capture of audio, video and software applications and is used by Imperial staff and students to record and view lectures and presentations.

The majority of academics should be familiar with Panopto and can find a complete user guide on our Panopto web pages.

To record a lecture remotely you will first need to set up the Panopto personal recorder, follow instructions on our install Panopto personal recorder web pages. 

If you wish to deliver a lecture live, we recommend you consult the guidance of your faculty Ed Tech team.

How to share Panopto recordings

Most departments have established methods for sharing Panopto recordings. If you are unsure of the arrangements for your module, please check the appropriate guidance links above or contact your department or faculty Ed Tech team.

For departments without an Ed Tech team or Learning Technologist:

Panopto recordings can be shared by sending students a direct link in an email, adding a link to the recording in Blackboard or embedding a link to the Panopto folder in Blackboard. Instructions can be found on our share and manage Panopto folders web page.

If you would like training on how to use Panopto then please book a session through the Organisational and Staff Development web pages. Additional dates have been added for March and April.

Student engagement when delivering remote lectures

While most faculties are not recommending webcasting of lectures (see above guidance for remote teaching) we are providing the guidance below to any departments who are using webcasting functionality.

Mentimeter is a real-time polling tool that can be used to gauge the opinions or knowledge of your audience. If using this tool during a live Panopto lecture please note that there is a 2-minute latency.
 
If a more interactive experience is desired then another college solution like Microsoft Teams that allows for real-time video sharing and questions from the audience might be preferred.  If this is the case recordings from Teams can also be uploaded to Panopto to keep all the lecture recordings in one place and save students having to search in two places (Teams saves recordings to Microsoft Stream).

Tips for effective remote working

It is important to stay in touch with your colleagues and close ones whilst we work remotely and also keep our minds occupied. Below are some useful tips to help you stay connected whilst you work away from the College. 

  • Stick to your normal routine as much as possible - work your normal working hours and get dressed
  • Give yourself breaks when you need them - you could try the Pomodoro technique of working for 25mins solidly then having a 5min break
  • Make sure your remote working set-up works for you - keep the space tidy, make sure it has good airflow and try and keep it separate from where you relax
  • Write a to-do list of what tasks you need to achieve in the week and break it down by day
  • Listen to the radio, music or a podcast so you're not sat in silence
  • Utilise Microsoft Teams - have video call meetings with your colleagues, but also take a coffee break or lunch via video call
  • Try and get some exercise - follow a yoga tutorial or workout routine on YouTube, start Couch to 5K or just go for a walk or cycle

Staying safe when remote working

The College has recently seen a 34% rise in phishing/vishing scams since the move to remote working. 

Below are practical steps staff and students can take to prevent falling for such scams:

  • Create a strong password using a mixture of words, numbers and symbols.
  • Make sure you have anti-virus on your laptop and run scans periodically or when you feel something is not right.
  • Install all updates to ensure your computer is up to date.
  • Beware popups, these can be used to appear as a legitimate part of a website when in fact they are not.
  • Be careful on what weblinks you click on especially if it’s an email from outside Imperial.
  • Look for the https:/ in the web address, the ‘s’ means the website is secure. Also, secure websites will have a little padlock icon besides the web address.
  • To check a website link, hover over the link with your mouse, but don’t click it, the real website link will appear in the lower left-hand side of your browser.
  • Be wary of any emails asking you to take any urgent action, if an email is trying to force you to act quickly, be more cautious.
  • Never give out personal information, if someone is asking for confidential details, do not pass on your information.
  • Change your passwords frequently. I know it can be tempting to use the same one for convenience, but if your email account is compromised, it can be used by fraudsters to access other online accounts you may have such as PayPal, Amazon etc.
  • Set up two-factor authentication, adding an extra step will increase the security.
  • When working from home, lock your screen when taking a break from your computer, especially if you live in shared accommodation or have flatmates.
  • Reporting any suspected phishing emails to the service desk.
  • Finally, trust your gut instinct, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

For more guidance, visit our Be Secure web pages.