Welcome to APPC

Welcome to the Annenberg Public Policy Center! The aim of APPC.fyi is to provide documentation that will aid you in your day-to-day tasks.

  • The Knowledge Base contains frequently asked questions pertaining to services and procedures.
  • – Our Tools & Resources page provides an index of useful websites and software.
  • – UPenn’s standard workplaces terms can be found in the Policies manual.

Selected Reading

Penn Guardian
Zachary Reese, Uncategorized

Penn Guardian is a free app that is available to all Penn community members. It was developed by the University’s safety partner Rave Guardian, a service utilized on college campuses across the country.

Registering is easy- search “Rave Guardian” in the App Store for iOS devices or Google Play for Android devices. You will be prompted to enter your name, phone number, and Penn email address, which provides access to the University’s customized interface.

Calls from a registered phone will allow Penn Police to determine your cell phone’s GPS location, which can decrease response time. This information will only be available to Penn Police if you call the PennComm Communications Center (PennComm) directly, either through the app or at 215-573-3333.

The app also allows users to create a Smart911 profile, in which medical conditions, medications, allergies, and disabilities can be included. This information can also be viewed at other Smart911-enabled emergency response centers across the country should you need to call them.

If a call is made to PennComm, and you are unable to speak—perhaps because of an allergic reaction—a call taker will send a text message to your phone. You can then communicate directly via text.

The app includes other features, such as a safety timer, and provides a confidential way to submit a tip to Penn Police—with a photo, if necessary—through a text message.

Getting Started with APPC’s GitLab Server
Zachary Reese, Training

GitLab provides excellent documentation for all of the use-cases you’ll see at APPC.

We have two guidelines.
1. If you have data, put it in GitLab.
2. If you put data in GitLab, make sure the project visibility level is set to Internal.

That’s it. You can access GitLab either through the command line or using a desktop client like GitHub Desktop. The server is operational between the hours of 8AM and 6PM, from Monday through Friday. Any changes made outside of normal business hours can be committed and then pushed when the server is next online.

Zachary Reese, Training

All datasets and related research should be stored in APPC’s GitLab instance.
For access, email support@appc.upenn.edu.

Help Learning Qualtrics
Gary Gehman, Training

Generally, if you are a researcher needing to learn a new piece of software (e.g.: SPSS), you would look for a tutorial suite on lynda.upenn.edu. Lynda, however, does not have anything helpful on the survey software Qualtrics.

Qualtrics references, tutorials and guides can be found on the Qualtrics website here:

Here are some other resources to consult:

General / Getting Started (videos)

Qualtrics YouTube Tutorial #1
Qualtrics YouTube Tutorial #2
Qualtrics Tutorial Playlist

Qualtrics API interface

Implementing a Qualtrics Web Service
Common API Use Cases

Qualtrics and R


Complete Qualtrics documentation

See the Qualtrics Docs folder in the SciComm share.

Learn Essential Skills for Free with Lynda.com
Gary Gehman, Training

Lynda is an online resource for training and professional development. It provides video tutorials in short chapters, which you can resume at any time. Lynda also tracks your progress through multiple lessons and allows you to pin subjects to revisit later.

Lynda is available for free to all regular Penn faculty, students and staff with a valid PennKey.

What type of training is available on Lynda?

Lynda provides a wide range of subject areas for staff members to study, including:

  • technical training, such as software and programming tutorials (e.g.: SPSS, R, Adobe Suite)
  • management and communication skills and strategies
  • photography lessons and other personal enrichment programs

How can I access Lynda?

Log in with your PennKey here:


Accessing Lynda on a mobile device

Follow these instructions to use the mobile app:

  1. After opening the app, select the Already a member? button.
  2. In the next screen, select the Organization tab.
  3. Enter upenn.edu in the Web Portal section and tap the Log in button.
  4. This will direct you to the familiar Penn WebLogin page, where you can enter your PennKey username and password.

This brief was adapted from the School of Engineering’s web portal. For more information about Lynda at Penn, see ISC’s Lynda page.

How to Remote Desktop
Gary Gehman, Uncategorized

How to connect to your work computer from a remote location using Remote Desktop

What you need to know:

  • Your APPC credentials (username and password)
  • Your APPC computer’s full network name (e.g.: APP311-1-u1.appc.upenn.edu) or its IP address (e.g.:

Note: You must gather this information before you leave the APPC premises, as there is no way to discover it remotely (unless you call someone from Support who can look up and provide the information to you).

To discover your computer’s full network name, type ‘control panel’ in the Cortana search bar and select the Control Panel desktop app in the resulting list. In Control panel, select the System applet. Your computer’s full network name is displayed on the default screen of the System applet as “full computer name.”

To discover your computer’s IP address, type ‘cmd’ in the Cortana search bar. A console window appears. Type ‘ipconfig’ at the command prompt. A short list of Ethernet adapter settings is displayed. Copy down the IPv4 address (it will be 10.30.16.###). Note that your IP address may change each time your computer restarts unless APPC Support reserves a static IP address for it.

What you must do in preparation: (one time only)

  • Leave your APPC computer powered on. You can’t remote desktop to your computer if it is not on.
  • Configure your computer’s power settings to not go to sleep. You can’t remote desktop to your computer if it is asleep.
  • Be sure that Remote Desktop connections are enabled on your computer.

    To check, click the start menu, click the gear icon for Settings,

    Click the System applet in the window that appears,

    Select Remote Desktop from the menu list to the left of the System window,

    and then make sure that Remote Desktop connections are enabled


First, be sure you are connected to the Internet (e.g. laptop wifi connection is active).

Launch Forticlient VPN.

(See here if you don’t have Forticlient VPN installed and configured.)

Connect to APPC network via Forticlient VPN.

Use the same username and password that you would to log in to your APPC computer. (e.g.: myUsername / MyP@55w0rd)

This gets you onto APPC’s internal network.

Once Forticlient successfully connects, launch the Remote Desktop app.

If you don’t have a desktop icon for Remote Desktop, use the Cortana search bar and type ‘remote desktop’, then pick the app from the list that appears.

When launched, a remote login dialog box appears:
Enter either the full APPC network name

or IP address.

and click the Connect button.

Now, a domain login dialog box appears:

Here, you must tell Remote Desktop that the credentials belong to the APPC domain and not the local computer (e.g.: Laptop). Do this by prepending APPC\ to your APPC username (e.g.: APPC\ggehman) and provide your password.

Now, a security warning may appear, warning that the remote computer’s security certificate cannot be verified.

You can safely click the Yes button to proceed.

When successful, you will see your APPC computer’s desktop on your laptop screen.

You are now “driving” your APPC computer remotely.

To quit your remote desktop session, click the X in the Remote Desktop control bar at the top of your screen:

or access the APPC computer’s Start menu and log off in the ususal way. As the Remote Desktop session closes, your original laptop screen will reappear.

After closing your Remote Desktop session, remember to also close the Forticlient VPN session.

How to Install the VPN
Alex White, Uncategorized
1. Go to http://www.forticlient.com/downloads and click the “Download” button for your OS.

2. Once the file is downloaded, open it. The install process will begin. Be sure to accept the license agreement so you can continue.

3. Make sure the setup type ONLY has “Security Fabric Agent” and “Secure Remote Access” checked off.

4. Click “Next” until the program finishes installing.

5. Open FortiClient by double-clicking the icon that appeared on your desktop.

6. When the FortiClient window opens, click on the “Remote Access” tab on the left-hand side of the window.

7. Click “Configure VPN”

8. Fill out the text fields with the following information, then click “Apply”.

Connection Name: appcvpn
Description: APPC VPN (optional)
Remote Gateway: vpn.appc.upenn.edu

9. To connect to the VPN, use your Windows login credentials, then click “Connect”.