Educational Technology Services

Faculty Guide for Video Classroom Network

Video Network Overview

This guide is designed to give faculty an overview of the many capabilities of video network classrooms at Idaho State University. You are encouraged, however, to make an appointment with a staff person to have a on-site orientation of our rooms. Contact names and numbers are listed at the end of the guide.

The following sections cover many topics related to the technical delivery of video network classes that apply to faculty needs. If you have any questions about topics covered or not covered, please contact a staff person.

*Important Note: Staff will always try to accommodate any requests that are technically possible. Advance notice is appreciated and will help guarantee that class time will not be interrupted or delayed, but we know that advance notice is not always possible. We will accommodate last minute requests whenever possible as quickly as we can and try to keep class interruption to a minimum.<

We currently have classrooms in various locations on the I.S.U. campus in Pocatello, at the Center for Higher Education in Idaho Falls, on the College of Southern Idaho campus in Twin Falls and at the ISU Meridian Health Science Center.

We use a compressed video system for our interactive video network classrooms. It allows us to connect to several sites simultaneously. The video and audio are high quality, but it has the characteristic look of digital video, where the motion is slightly stilted. We have found that students and faculty quickly become accustomed to it, but you should be aware that motion handling is limited. Slower, more deliberate motion is preferred.

For every video network classroom, there is video network staff at each location involved in the class to take care of the technical aspects. You are encouraged to communicate with the video network staff at each location if you have any questions, requests, or need assistance.

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The Interactive Video Network Classroom

Our classrooms have fully interactive video and audio. The compressed system is voice-activated, which means all locations in a class can hear all of the other locations, and they will see whichever site has the dominant speaker. In practice, this allows all of the distant locations to see the faculty member or lecture materials when he or she is lecturing, or see who is talking during discussion periods. It also allows you to see a student at a particular site when that student asks a question.

It is important to remember that our rooms use push-to-talk microphones for students. As the name implies, students must press a button and hold it to be heard. While it is easier for the students at the remote sites to remember to use the push to talk microphones to be heard, it is just as important for the students in the room with the professor to use them so that the remote students can hear questions and answers, and follow discussions. The local students often need to be reminded to use the push-to-talk microphones.

There is a monitor in the back of the classroom for the lecturer that shows the students at the other locations. When a student at a distant site speaks they are shown on this monitor. There is a camera located above this monitor that shows the professor. It is positioned so you can ignore the camera and, by looking at the faces of the students on the monitor, appear to make eye contact with the distant students.

The monitor and projection screen in the front of the classroom are for the students. They can show visual materials presented by the faculty or show the other classrooms.

The faculty member wears a small microphone with a lapel clip that allows him or her to be heard by the students at the distant classrooms. The microphone has a thin cord about ten feet long that attaches to the faculty podium. You have the option of requesting a wireless microphone, which allows movement around the room.

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Presenting Visual Material

Computer Presentations

Every classroom has computing capabilities. If you have specific computing needs for a video network classroom, please contact a staff person to make ensure that the room meets your needs. Most rooms are equipped with a Sympodium connected to an LCD projector. The Sympodium is a device that acts as an interactive interface with the computer. This allows you to control computer function with the light pen interface and annotate on prepared presentations while you lecture. If you have any questions about incorporating computer capabilities into your class, please contact the Instructional Technology Resource center at 282-5880 or email itrc@isu.edu.

We use desktop conferencing as much as possible to preserve the quality of computer presentations, but it is important to keep in mind that some locations can only receive a computer presentation via compressed video. This means that the video quality will be slightly degraded and not as clear and crisp as the presentation appears on a computer monitor. Also, video isnít compatible with desktop conferencing, so if you have video embedded in your presentation, please let a video network manager know. We recommend following a few guidelines that may help when creating a successful computer presentation for a video conference class.

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Written Material

For faculty who write notes as they lecture, the Sympodium provides a Notebook application that allows you to write notes on the same screen on which you show your computer presentations. This is the preferred method for write-as-you-go lecture notes. For those who do not choose to use the Sympodium, there is a document camera provided with pens and paper for a more traditional approach.

The document camera can also be used for pre-prepared written material. There are several issues to consider when preparing them. Video images are wider than they are tall. Specifically, they use a 4 X 3 aspect ratio. All this means is that when preparing written materials, to use word-processing terms, the paper should be in the landscape orientation instead of the standard letter orientation. When using word-processing software, we recommend using a font size no smaller than 36 point, preferably larger than that. Any font size smaller will be difficult, if not impossible, to read by the students on the video monitors.

If you have existing material that cannot be re-made, and does not meet the above criteria, we can compensate somewhat. The document camera can zoom in and out for smaller fonts or for papers in the letter orientation. This, of course, means that the complete paper will not be shown, so you need to use the document camera monitor to make sure the area to which you are referring is in the camera shot.

Transparencies are not ideal for video network classrooms. In most cases they are in letter orientation, and in most of our classrooms, glare from the lights can obscure the writing. Using the plain paper masters or copies from the transparencies is preferable. If the transparencies are the only option, we will compensate to make them look as good as possible.

The document camera is also a good way to show small objects to students. It is the best way to show the object to the distant students, and generally is better for your local students than passing an object around the room or having students huddle around the object.

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Requirements to Play DVD's in Class

All video network classrooms have the capability to show DVDs. In order to show a program a Copyright Media Statement for must be completed. This will list all the media you wish to show in your class. You can download the Copyright Media Statement or get a copy from a video network staff person.

VHS tapes are no longer supported in the video network classrooms.

If you have any questions about the Copyright Media Statement please contact Educational Technology Services at 282-3212

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Video Network Classroom Encoding Policy

All classes held in the video network classrooms are digitally encoded. However, it is the responsibility of each faculty member to request encodings to be linked in your Moodle ISU course. Nothing will be done with the encodings without the request of the instructor. To request class encodings be linked in your Moodle ISU course please complete the ITRC's online form: Video Encoding Request Form. The encoded classes will be linked in your Moodle ISU course as requested. Students must request class encodings with their instructor, not Video Network employees. Video Network employees are only allowed to encode classes according to the Video Network Encoding Policy.

Requesting encoded videos to be posted to your MoodleISU course:

There will be several video links with dates corresponding to days the class meets placed in your Moodle course. The links will be created in advance as part of the automated process for posting videos.

Three things need to happen for a video to be posted to Moodle and available to students:

  1. You will need to tell the Video Network Staff person, or video operator to encode the lecture.
  2. You will need to complete the Video Encoding/Posting Request Form located online at http://www.isu.edu/itrc/form_video_posting_request.shtml. You will receive an email confirmation once the links have been added to your Moodle ISU course. Encoded lectures may take up to 48 hrs to be posted.
  3. Remind your operator to encode each class session.

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Distributing Class Materials

Material needed for students in distant locations should be sent well in advance to the faculty support staff in those locations, listed in the final section of this guide. These staff people are separate from the Video Network staff. We do provide a wall file at most locations, including Pocatello, designated for each video network class to use for distributing material. Also, every course has an online component in Moodle ISU available that can be used to distribute material electronically. If you have any questions about how to do this, please contact Instructional Technology Resource center at 282-5880 or email itrc@isu.edu.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Video Network staff persons, including supervisors and operators, are not allowed to collect or distribute any kind of class material, nor are they allowed to proctor tests. The faculty member's department office is responsible for these duties in Pocatello. Please contact the support staff in the outlying areas with any questions about these subjects.

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Canceling Classes

Video Network staff do not need to know in advance of class cancellations. We plan to be ready for every regularly scheduled meeting of your class. This way you do not need to be concerned with notifying us of cancellations, or notifying us if you had previously cancelled a class but then decided to hold class after all.

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Video Network Classroom Contacts

Contact and Telephone Numbers (printable pdf version)

Pocatello:
Jim Dalley, Manager 282-4871
Guy Cotroneo, Producer/Director 282-2243
Matt Burch, Video Instruction Manager 282-3007
Katie Cikaitoga, Video Instruction Manager 282-5726
Rick Fowler, Video Instruction Manager 282-2439
Educational Technology Services Front Office 282-3212
Insturctional Technology Resource Center (ITRC), Internet, Moodle and Computer Technology Related Questions: 282-5880 or email itrc@isu.edu

Idaho Falls:
Frank Mason, Producer/Director 282-7971
Gina Hartgraves, Video Instruction Manager/IEN 282-7838
Angela Burnham, Video Instruction Manager 282-7737

Meridian:
Casey Skelton, Producer/Director 373-1755
Todd Christensen, Video Instruction Manage 373-1757
Jeff Porter, Part-time Video Instruction Manager 373-1756
Christine Parker, Part-time Video Instruction Manager 373-1756

Twin Falls:
Cary Craner, Video Instruction Manager 282-1205
Computer Lab, 736-2119

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Faculty Support

Idaho Falls:
Becky Wray, 282-7889

Meridian
Main Office 373-1701

Twin Falls
Maggi Seipel 282-1200 or 736-2101

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IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY

921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209