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Policy - Academic Computer Lab Software Maintenance

Preparing and maintaining the computer labs' software

Executive Summary

Preparing and maintaining computer labs is a partnership between the academic departments/schools and Information Technology Services (ITS). The process involves a cycle of preparation, validation, and deployment with ongoing engagement by both parties to create a useful and sustainable learning environment. 

Responsibilities and Deadlines (Timelines are critical in assuring that resources will be available for the coming fall term): 

Early March each spring 

ITS will distribute an academic lab software request survey to instructors. 

End of March each spring 

Instructors will return their completed software request surveys 

Before the end of the spring term 

Instructor will validate the configuration to ensure that it meets their expectations. 


Instructor and ITS will sign off on configuration. 

After validation 

ITS will coordinate deployment prior to fall term 


Instructor and ITS will communicate as needed. 


Policy and Procedure Details 

The purpose of the outline on the following pages is to assist instructors when considering hardware or software changes in computer labs. The base software image will include, but is not limited to, Windows, MS Office, web browsers, and the other basic software used across campus.  Specific software needs for individual departments will then build upon these base images.  

While ITS recognizes that needs arise throughout the semester, it is our goal to review the lab configurations once a year and deploy images prior to the start of the fall semester.  The model that ITS will be using is similar to what the Textbook Center on campus is doing.  Months before the start of a new semester the Textbook Center circulates the current textbook lists to all the departments across campus.  It is the responsibility of the department faculty/chairs to (a) make sure all the instructors review this list, (b) make the appropriate changes, (c) fill the voids due to instructor changes and rollover, and (d) get the updated lists back to the Textbook Center. 

Most importantly, as soon as an instructor begins to consider implementing any major software change, they should submit the change via the Help Desk.  While some changes are simple and straight forward, many have other dependencies and require significant coordination and work behind the scenes.  Involving ITS and the area liaison from the onset will significantly help ensure changes are addressed in a timely manner.  


Definition of Terms 

changes: This term in general is an all-inclusive term including hardware, software, and firmware changes.  This term also implies all levels of complexity from the very simple (e.g., add a shortcut icon to the desktop for S:\Academic) to the very complex.  Some changes which appear simple on the surface can involve very complex network and server setups required in the background.  The term changes in general refer to changes in the checklist for setting up labs before the start of classes and changes or maintenance fixes that need to be addressed throughout the semester. 

computer: Although most computers on campus are Windows-based, this term includes Macs and all other computers. 

computer lab: This refers to not only a room full of computers, but even individual computers placed in other labs.  Even one computer that is set up for student use is considered a computer lab, e.g., a computer connected to a mass spectrometer, or a computer loaded with fingerprint analysis software. 

department: This includes the schools and any other academic units. 

instructor: Any faculty or staff person who teaches classes or labs that requires students to use computers regardless of whether the class meets or not in a computer lab.  For example, freshman composition classes do not meet in computer labs, but students may be required to use a word processor for writing their papers. 

ITS: Information Technology Services  

liaison: (aka support liaison) - primary responsibilities are consultation, collaboration, coordination, and communication between ITS and their designated departments 

major software change: include (a) new software applications, (b) loading additions or new modules to an existing software application, (c) implementing features in existing software that were not used in the past, and (d) major version upgrades. 

If you have questions, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 608.342.1400 or  You may also visit the Help Desk on the first floor of the Karrmann Library.

Keywords:software responsbilities deadline order purchase   Doc ID:80135
Owner:Tonya S.Group:UW Platteville
Created:2018-02-15 11:06 CDTUpdated:2023-02-24 13:50 CDT
Sites:UW Platteville
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