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presentation - Virtual Synchronous Classroom

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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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