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Requesting Software for Rice Classrooms and Labs
This page describes the process for requesting software to be installed on Rice computers. It also provides a link to the request form for VDIs.
Software requests for Registrar-managed classrooms and teaching labs are due to OIT in April of each year, and the software installed is set before the start of the academic year in August. A current list of the Windows and Mac software loads on classroom and lab computers can be found on the Learning Environments website. This list will change every fall so please do not assume if a piece of software was installed the previous year that it will be there again.
In order to retain a stable environment throughout the academic year, there will be NO changes to the classroom or teaching lab software images during the academic year. These software images take months to build and verify that all of the pieces of software interact and work well together. For this reason, we cannot change the podium or teaching lab images once they are set as it might break another piece of software that a professor had planned on using to teach in the classroom.
Mid-Year Software Requests for Classrooms or Teaching Labs
For Windows software needs that were not requested by April, our recommendation is for you to use the software on your laptop and connect the laptop to the room’s AV system. You will need to bring the appropriate VGA or HDMI dongle for your laptop. Information on laptop connection types for particular classrooms or labs can be found on the Classroom Technologies website.
If you are unable to use a laptop we may be able to create and provide a VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) with your requested software. If granted, you will be able to access this virtual Windows desktop from a classroom or lab computer, however, that still takes advance planning (minimum 2 weeks, see requirements below) as we would need to vet the software licensing, create the VDI instances, and have you test the setup; availability is based on whether we have VDI resources when you need it. We cannot guarantee the availability of VDI resources, so it’s best to contact us as soon as you are aware of your need.
(Note: For Macintosh software needs, you will need to bring a laptop unless your software runs in a Windows environment.)
For any questions on this, please email OIT’s Learning Environments (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Process & Software Request Requirements
The requested software MUST be Windows 7-compatible. It will NOT be installed locally on the classroom or lab computer. If the VDI with the requested software is granted, this virual desktop will be accessible from your classroom or lab computer.
The Windows 7 base VDI ONLY includes Office 2016, Adobe Reader, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Flash Player, and Java. If granted, your requested software would be installed on top of this base VDI. No additional software will be included.
Software beyond end-of-life and any software without active support may not be considered.
We will not install beta, trial, demo, or similar limited-use software.
Fill out a request form AT LEAST 2 weeks before the software is needed. The form must be filled out by a Rice faculty or staff member. Processing of the request will not begin until all required information, documentation, and software files are provided. Required information includes, but is not limited to (see form for more details):
- Software files
- Licensing and installation documentation
- No ad hoc requests will be processed during the first two weeks of the semester.
- Software requests must be made each time it is needed.
- Submission of the request form does not guarantee the availability of VDI resources.
- VDIs will be deleted and unavailable after the end date indicated on the request form.
Once the software is installed on the VDI, OIT will do VERY BASIC TESTING to ensure the requested software starts without any obvious errors.
Requestors/instructors will be notified when their software is installed and ready to test.
Software on a VDI should be tested by the requestor/instructor (or a designate) at least 48 business hours before the begin time needed to make sure it is working according to their needs. OIT staff do not have the expertise to test the proper functionality of proprietary or specialized software.
Submitting a Software Request Form
After reviewing all of the software request policies above, you may submit a request: