Hackathon 2018 a success!

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Last weekend, 4 – 5 August, we held our annual Hackathon.

Students arrived at 9 am and settled in to design, develop and showcase a mobile app.

Working in groups, our students hacked away for 30 hours. Some went home for a quick nap and shower, some rested on beanbags, others grew massive wings from copious amounts of Red Bull.

We had IT Architects on hand, to provide guidance and help with any curly questions. And food, of course, to keep their brains fuelled.

By Sunday afternoon, our student groups had come up with some stellar ideas with options that could be implemented into the Griffith University app or future app design, and showcased these to the crowd.

Our winners were the GPAMATE team: Codie Little, Rusty Blewitt, Ryan Taylor and Shayne Poole.

The GPAMATE team began as two separate groups, but when some members didn’t show they combined their forces together to create a power group.

Their app idea was based on eliminating the anxiety that comes with uncertainty over subject grades, while giving students a direction with goals to be achieved.

The app they developed allows students to monitor their GPA throughout the trimester in two key ways:

  1. 1. Entering results from assessments will update a student’s GPA score in real time.
  2. 2. Based on the weight of an assessment item within a course, the app will predict the marks a student needs in order to maintain a certain GPA score.

The consensus around the room proved this idea is much needed and desired by the students. Who else loves this app idea and can’t wait to use it?

Second place went to Group #5: Samuel Bruhn, Joshua Nicholl, Carl Humphries and Harrison Croakes. Best User Interface (UI) went to Group #1 – Uni Connect: Hannah Bryce, Michelle Beattie and Zihao Huang.

Head to our Library Facebook album for more photos from the event.

We’d like to thank our sponsors Red Bull, Microsoft, Grove Juice and Home Fresh Organics, for helping keep our students fed, hydrated, awake and engaged during the event!


How to submit your assignment online

Image of woman at laptop

At university, you’ll have an array of different types of assessments: written assignments, quizzes, oral presentations, exams, those dreaded group assignments, etc.

If you’ve got a written assignment, we’re sure you’ll agree that the easiest part of the process is submitting it. At Griffith, submission for these types of assessment is online, so you don’t even have to leave your computer!

We’ll guide you through the process below, though it’s super important that once you have submitted your assignment you obtain a digital receipt of your submission. This proves that yes, you totally did submit that assignment, in case (heaven forbid) anything may go wrong.

How to submit

At Griffith, all assignment submission is online. Simply head to Learning@Griffith, load up your course site and locate the submission point (you’ll find it under the relevant Assessment folder in the left hand menu).

While the method of submission depends on what your course convener has chosen, the main two essay submission assessment tools used at Griffith are Turnitin and the Blackboard Assignment tool (this includes SafeAssign). They are pretty straightforward to use, but if you need further assistance check out these guides:

Once you’ve clicked the Submit button, it’s important to check your assessment has been uploaded correctly and that you submitted the correct file. It’s best to do this straight away, because sometimes the Submission Point may get closed later, after the due date for example. To do so:

  • In Turnitin, after you see the digital receipt popup window (and have printed/saved a copy), open the file to check it. From your Submission Inbox you can either click on the title of your file or on the pencil icon. Check that your file uploaded properly.
  • In the Blackboard Assignment tool, after you see the successful submission message at the top of the page, you will now be able to see the file you have submitted on screen. At this point, ensure that the file is uploaded and can be read (if it is a text file).

The Assessment Submission and Return Procedures Policy states that for assessment tasks submitted electronically ‘the student is responsible for the files being able to be opened and viewed’, so don’t get caught out.

Get your digital receipt!

Once you’ve submitted your assignment, we really recommend you get a digital receipt. It provides solid proof that you did submit your assignment.

In Turnitin, a digital receipt will appear in a popup window when you have submitted an assignment successfully. It is a great idea to print and/or save a copy of this receipt.

In the Blackboard Assignment tool, you will get a ‘Submission received’ email after successful submission of your assignment. You can also check under the Submitted tab in your My Marks area to see submission receipts for any assignments submitted via this tool.

Need further help?

If you do encounter any issues during the submission process (or post submission), you can easily access the Support Centre in Learning@Griffith by clicking the little red tag with ? at the top right of your screen, or contact the IT Service Centre (contact details at the bottom of the page) for further assistance.


Where to save your files

Have you ever worked tirelessly on an essay, then realised the file wasn’t saved where you thought it was and you couldn’t locate it? If you have, you’ll know the awful feeling and consequent panic.

To avoid disaster, ensure you’re saving your files in a secure place. If you’re using one of our common-use computers, we recommend saving your work to H:/Drive and/or your USB stick.

H:/Drive is available from common-use computers via My Computer on the desktop. If you save your files here, you will be able to access them from any common-use computer at any campus.

If you’re using one of our library laptops, you’ll need to use FileWay to access H:/Drive.

You can also access these files from home, though you will need to login to Griffith’s VPN first.

You get a quota of 50 MB storage space for H:/Drive.

It’s also important to remember

  • Saving your work to any other location on common-use computers (e.g. the desktop or My Documents) will result in deletion when you log out or turn off the computer.
  • Backup, backup, backup your files! Along with Google Drive and H Drive, you could save to a USB or email the file to yourself.

Available computers on campus

Photo of student in Griffith computer lab

What do our libraries have a lot of? Besides books, silly…

Computers! We have desktop computers for student use, and laptops for student borrowing. Then outside the library, you’ll find a plethora of common-use computer labs at every campus. In fact, we even have 24/7 computer labs.

Find out all computer lab locations (including which ones are 24 hours) here. You can even check in advance how many computers are free in the lab you’re intending to go to.

All computers in common use computer labs will have standard software including Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe and various internet browsers.

In addition, they will often have many of the course related software you require. Software may vary between locations, and you can check out the full list of available software on computers here.

Sometimes you require specialised software or hardware for your course that isn’t provided on common use computers. In these instances, your School may provide access to this through School-based computer labs (for further info about these facilities, contact your school).

Check out our student computing page for more information on using our computers.


Top 10 library and IT questions asked in Week One

When you don’t know the answer to a question at uni, where do you go? If you said Google, you are right. But if you said Ask Us, you are even more right (that’s a thing, right?)

Ask Us provides you with answers to frequently asked questions at Griffith University. It covers hard hitting topics such as referencing, Learning@Griffith, assignment help, WiFi, network and cybersecurity.

Ask Us is indexed by Google, so if you ask good ol’ Google a question about library or IT topics, you will most likely get an answer from Us. Ask Us.

But what exactly do other students ask, you ask? That’s a good question. In an effort to provide you with insight into your fellow students (and not because we are nosy), we did a little digging and came up with surprising results.

We looked at the questions that students asked in the first week of Trimester 2, and funnily enough, it’s all about referencing, assignment submission and online lectures. That’s right, assignment submissions. In Week One!

Here’s the top 10 library and IT questions that you (the students) asked in Week One:

  1. 1. What is the difference between a reference list and bibliography?
  2. 2. Why am I being asked to login to Echo360?
  3. 3. My assessment has been marked in Turnitin. How do I see my marks and feedback?
  4. 4. How do I cite the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights in APA 6th style?
  5. 5. Can I view online recordings of lectures?
  6. 6. What is common time?
  7. 7. How do I access my Turnitin digital receipt?
  8. 8. How do I reference a document I found on Google?
  9. 9. What is a Turnitin submission ID?
  10. 10. I submitted the wrong assignment to Turnitin. What should I do?

Do you have a question? Ask Us!


Connect to Griffith’s WiFi

Save your mobile data for a time when you’ll actually need it – like whenever you’re not at Griffith. Use our free WiFi instead! If you’re a griffith student or staff member, you can connect your laptop, tablet or smartphone to the Griffith University wireless network.

You will notice a few wireless networks available at Griffith University. We recommend you use the Griffith University network which is available across all campuses for use on your smartphone, tablet or laptop.

It simply prompts you to log in with your sNumber (e.g. s1234567) and myGriffith password. You can find operating system-specific instructions and guidance on getting connected to Griffith’s wireless network here.

Now, if you are a keen student and want to get some study done on your laptop off-campus, you can also use the Eduroam network.

Eduroam provides Griffith students and staff with access to wireless networks at participating institutions, including various universities, hospitals and professional institutions.

The only tricky part is that the login details for Eduroam are a tad different to Griffith’s WiFi. Simply log on with your sNumber@griffith.edu.au (e.g. s1234567@griffith.edu.au) as your username and your regular Griffith Portal password, and you’ll be set!

As a student, you are provided with unlimited free internet downloads during off-peak hours and 50GB study allowance per month during peak hours—you can check out the specifics here.

Don’t forget though, your use of the Internet must be for appropriate and legitimate purposes associated with your study in accordance with the Griffith University Information Technology Code of Practice.


How to make a sweet password that you will remember and that will protect you

They’re strange, they’re complex, they’re everywhere and we forget them far more than is good for us.  

No, we’re not talking about smartphones, we’re talking about passwords—using strong passwords to lock down your login.

Did you know that reusing a password for multiple accounts is one of the most common ways accounts are hijacked? If you reuse your passwords, it means if one account is compromised hackers can use the same password on multiple accounts.

Ever had your password hacked and then missed your morning coffee? We hope not! But let us tell you, it’s certainly not a great start to the day. So, what can you do to avoid this possibility? 

Follow our tips to lock down your login

  • Avoid things like names, dates, anniversaries, pet names and all of those things that we all too often post to Facebook or other social media.
  • Use different passwords for different accounts.  As a minimum, keep your study, work, social and commercial passwords separate.
  • Always include a mix of alpha, numeric and special characters.
  • Experts agree that a strong password is at least 12 characters containing a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. It’s really hard to remember a lot of strong and unique passwords, but we’ve got some helpful tips to make life easier.

How to remember your super secure password

Long passphrases are strong and are actually often easier to remember than a traditional password.

Let’s look at an example. You want to set a super strong 21 character password (yes 21) for your LinkedIn account and you want it to be unique and easy to remember?  How about ‘M@Linked1nPWis$tr0ng!’.  

This passphrase essentially says ‘my LinkedIn password is strong!’ and it is 21 characters including alpha upper and lower case, numeric and special characters—how easy is that!  

HINT: Don’t use that password for LinkedIn though, now that it is public. This is just an example of how you can construct a passphrase as a strong password.

Is your password secure?

Think you have set a strong password? Once you have setup a strong password, you can take the password test to know how secure your password is!

For even better password security also consider the following:

  • Wherever possible, use multifactor authentication so that your login and password is also authenticated by another ‘factor’ such as an SMS code, one time software generated passcode, etc.
  • Look at using a password manager, there are many personal free ones to choose from such as LastPass.
  • Still reading? Take a look at the Ultimate Password Guide.

For more information and tips, visit the Griffith University Cyber Security website.