MAP, Blackboard and IT

MAP, BLACKBOARD AND ITThis area of the handbook gives some introductory information on the IT Services, student record interface and Virtual Learning Environment used at Aston. It also directs you to the many areas of further support for IT help online and on campus.

My Aston Portal (MAP) is an internet portal that acts as a secure single point of contact for many of the services you use as a student. MAP gives students access to student information, including personalised teaching timetables, access to the University's Virtual Learning Environment, Blackboard, and allows them to keep the University up-to-date with addresses and personal details. New students will have been sent details of how to log into this portal to complete your enrolment before arriving at the University and should continue to use this throughout your studies

More information on MAP can be found here

Blackboard VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) is a web-based resource that can be accessed any time from any place via MAP. You can access Blackboard via this link: https://vle.aston.ac.uk/

Blackboard is integrated with the student record system which ensures that students are automatically enrolled onto Blackboard and can access their programme/modules online. This means that if you can't see one of your modules on Blackboard there may be a problem with your student record and you should contact the programme administration team via eas_pg@aston.ac.uk to resolve this.

Blackboard has an easy-to-use system and is an ideal way to provide you with support materials such as module outlines, lecture notes, PowerPoint presentations and reading lists, as well as more interactive use of the system through chats and discussions, individual or group assessment exercises and audio and visual materials. You may also be required to submit coursework via Blackboard. You can access online resources on the use of Blackboard once you have logged in. You can also find support via the University's Teaching and Learning Community (TLC) site here.

For the logging-in session material used during induction week please visit the 'EPS Postgraduate Information' module on Blackboard.

Aston University has extensive IT facilities with over 1,500 desktop computers specifically for student use, offering a range of networked software packages, database systems, modelling tools and computer-aided learning materials. 

Many of the computer labs can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and offer a range of networked software packages, database systems, modelling tools, computer-aided learning materials and access to online sources of information.  You can search for available computers via the myAston mobile app or via our student guide on the IT website enabling you to identify them without visiting each location. More details on available computers here

Computer labs are categorised as either Open Access or School Specific:

  • Open Access Labs  - these are available to all students regardless of your subjectof Study.
  • Subject Specific Labs - these computer labs offer a range of software packages and tools to suit the particular needs of the school. Access to these labs is restricted to students of that subjectonly 

We have also created WiFi Study Spaces around the campus that are open to all students and have dedicated wireless access points so that you can study using your own equipment in a comfortable and relaxing environment. Some of these spaces also contain a number of computers with standard software which can be used.

WiFi is available across the campus and is called _Aston Connect. It is really simple to use - Just connect your phone, tablet or laptop and enter your computer login details when requested – details can be found via our student guide on the IT website here.

IT facilities are free to all students and are linked by our high-speed network, which spans the campus providing access to the internet and other networks worldwide.    

The University provides a central printing facility to the Library and computer labs across the campus.

It is worth noting that you should always keep back-up copies of your work. Repeating several hours or days work is not fun, and staff will not be sympathetic that a computer failure caused you to lose your work, when a back up copy can be easily made.

FollowMe Internet Printing

IT Services have launched an Internet printing service for the FollowMe system. This will allow you to print from your own laptop or home computer and will operate if you are on campus, in residences or even while working from a café in town!  For more information including installation instructions click here. Please note that this is not currently compatible with Apple Mac devices.

FollowMe Embedded Printing Devices

This is the next generation of FollowMe Printing and the University has invested in new devices with this capability to provide additional features such as being able to select which jobs you want to print and even deleting print jobs directly from the device.  To allow for these additional features there is change in the way you operate them. For further details on the FollowMe Embedded system click here.

Printing Credit

Last year we removed the printing charge for all students.  This year we will be continuing not to charge students for printing but we do ask that you please think about the environment before
printing and act responsibly. Should the University have reason to think that a student is printing excessively above the average amount of printing, we will call the student in for a conversation about how we might help them manage their printing needs.

 

For students studying remotely we have a range of support available which can be accessed through the Solve Portal https://solve.aston.ac.uk.

To help you make the most of the IT facilities, we have created several guides and solutions which contains information on all of the services provided including email, Printing and much more. You can view the guides on the Solve Portal https://solve.aston.ac.uk

WiFi is available across the campus and is called _Aston Connect. It is really simple to use - Just connect your phone, tablet or notebook and enter your computer login details when requested.

The Digital Services Helpdesk on the ground floor of Main Building is available from 8am to 6pm during term time and can provide assistance with any issue relating to your IT services or the operation of your uniCARD for building access.

Due to the ongoing situation with covid-19, we’re unsure when these will be physically open again but you can still access all the support you need via our virtual channels.

Contact digital_helpdesk@aston.ac.uk or 0121 204 3445