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Virtual Synchronous Classroom Workshop January 2008 SPU 2007 Technology Grant Sponsored by ITS, CSFD, and CIS Awarded to: Engineering (Plett, Gjerding, Peter, Scott) Business & Economics (LaBrie, Van Duzer) Virtual Synchronous Classroom Virtual Synchronous Classroom Today’s Agenda 1. Demonstrate the system 2. Provide a brief history and motivation for this technology 3. Discuss details of equipment and costs 4. State where we are 5. Suggest where we are headed 6. Answer questions and hold discussion Virtual Synchronous Classroom - Vision • Students off campus interact live with our classroom • Students who are absent can view recorded lecture (work, athletics, illness) • Students who were present can re-visit portions of the class time • Faculty can hold virtual office hours • Remote students can participate in group work ‘virtually’ Background • SBE noticed students missing class for business travel • Two ISM graduate students studied various options and recommended Adobe Connect • 2005/2006 informal piloting in SBE (LaBrie) with an old laptop with a cheap webcam • 2007 to present – SBE and Engineering joined forces for this tech grant… Required Equipment IN THE CLASSROOM • Bare minimum – high tech classroom – instructor mic (web cam, PC mic, lapel mic, …) • Enhanced – Tablet PC (for electronic whiteboard capabilities) – Webcam(s) – Room microphones – Instructor lapel microphone – Audio mixer FOR THE REMOTE ATTENDEE • Minimum: computer with speaker and internet connection • Enhanced: mic & headphones and/or a webcam Costs • Money – Classroom $10-$3500 • Tablet PC $2500 • A/V for campus classroom (approx. $1000) mic’s, web cameras, mixer, cables, etc. – Campus Adobe Connect license ($3330 per 10 seats) • Currently has a 10 simultaneous seat license • Setup (initial, daily) – Initial setup in a particular classroom, A/V, technical issues – daily setup time (5-30 minutes) • Learning curve – Adobe Connect and Tablet PC (3-4 sessions) • Mental energy and time – Teaching to two groups simultaneously – Logistics of homework, labs, exams, ‘office hours’ Current Challenges • Off campus student interaction – Initial training (10-20 minutes) – Small file download and one-time setup – Ongoing and/or one-off student A/V issues require attention • Still determining optimal campus A/V configuration – Web cam placement, number of webcams – Audio levels and settings – Microphone selection • Quality assurance – Real-time monitoring – Alternatives for when technical failures arise – Formal institutional adoption plan • Logistics – homework, labs, exams What Went Well… • It is working!! • Daily live-sessions: – past: used by one student for an entire class (two days from Turkey!) – current: regularly used for five students in three courses (students come to campus weekly for labs) • Daily recordings: – past: used by one student for an entire independent study course – current: regularly used for three remote students in two courses (students come to campus weekly for labs) • Additionally… – used by a professor to teach from out of town – used for global meetings (China to Seattle) – used by a professor to pre-record a class session What Did Not Go Well… It’s working but…. • It’s not working perfectly – Camera issues remain • multi-point focus, whiteboard, classroom panning, etc. – Audio issues are constantly improving – Technical difficulties still occur, thus backup plans need to be in place • sometimes the off campus student cannot be heard due to microphone problems on their end • laptop issues: updates, locking up, etc. • sometimes the projector on campus fails… • Our training procedures for further adoption are limited – We are developing (limited) training materials and best practice guides. – Most of our training is one-to-one The Future • We are planning to use this for current students… – needing to participate in class from a distance (illness or work) – needing to miss class (view recorded lecture) – desiring to review the class session (recorded lecture) – when the professor needs to be out of town • Possibilities for further adoption… – Advertising to potential students in our community – Advertising to faculty for many possible uses of the technology • Ongoing VSC management would require institutional plan – Training of students and faculty – Monitoring/maintaining hardware and software for quality delivery – Exploring other appropriate technology tools (see last slide) – Monitoring for updates and new tools – Money for more Adobe Connect ‘seats’ Technology Grant Outcomes • Overall Conclusions – In general, positively accepted but not perfected… • Publications – 1 accepted and presented, 1 submitted, and 1 still to be developed from this work. • Utilization – approximately 100 students served in 8 different courses – 8 students regularly dependent on the VSC (Winter 2008) • Survey Results – Student feedback is favorable, especially from students dependent on the VSC. Further Investigation Needed Adobe Connect is not the only alternative out there. • Microsoft Live Communication Server – New RoundTable 360 camera could be a viable option for current camera limitations • Elluminate’s Elluminate Live!® – Marketing materials suggests that it integrates well with blackboard Additional Possible Technology to Include: – Smart boards, touch screens, and AV capture card Thank you… • ITS • CIS • CSFD • David Wicks • David Sundquist • Daryl Siu • Eric Deister Questions This technology is being utilized elsewhere… – What are we (SPU) going to do? – Is this is a practical way that we can ‘Engage the Culture’ through our classroom experience? – Questions or comments you may have?
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