Classroom Technology Updates and Zoom Availability for Fall 2020

In response to questions from faculty regarding Zoom capabilities in classrooms, the following provides a more detailed overview of classroom changes.

The Registrar’s Office, Facilities Management and Information Technology Services have been working throughout the summer to accommodate face-to-face classes keeping in mind both physical distancing requirements as well as the potential need to accommodate some students remotely via Zoom.  The Registrar’s office continues to work to finalize room locations and there may be adjustments thru August 10th.  

In order to meet these goals, Facilities Management and Information Technology Services will be working until August 10th to configure classroom furniture, install protective barriers, signage and technology updates.

Faculty are encouraged to visit their scheduled classrooms on August 10th and 11th to test the technology in the space.

Zoom Capabilities in All Classrooms

  • Information Technology Services is currently working to ensure all classrooms are equipped with a Lenovo All-In-One computer with an integrated webcam and an array microphone that supports Zoom.  We have determined that the built-in microphone on these computers works well to support the audio for Zoom meetings even if the instructor does not stay directly behind the podium.  Depending on acoustics and room size, this microphone may also pickup a number of students in the room.  

Additional Classroom Enhancements

  • In many spaces, we will be adding an additional webcam mounted on a flexible gooseneck attached to the podium.  This will allow faculty to more easily position the webcam based on teaching preferences.  (Example: White Board, students in classroom, or any other object.)
  • In some classrooms where existing technology allows, we will incorporate the document camera which will allow an additional source to share documents or objects with remote students.


Lab Space Enhancements

  • Many disciplines have lab spaces where a standard podium may not meet the need.  In order to allow faculty members to be flexible, we have mounted a webcam on a flexible gooseneck to a portable cart.  This will allow faculty to bring their laptop and connect to a Zoom meeting and use this flexible webcam/cart anywhere in the room.  We are continuing to meet with departments to determine where these are beneficial.   

Temporary Classroom Spaces

  • In order to accommodate physical distancing requirements, a number of larger spaces are being temporarily converted into classrooms.  These include spaces like the Bondurant Auditorium, Pridemore Playhouse, Muse Banquet Hall among others.  We are currently working to configure the technology in these spaces so that they will be similar to standard classrooms.  Some of these spaces may have portable PA systems such that the faculty member can use the space without additional support staff.    

Classroom Recording

  • In the Spring, Zoom was integrated with Kaltura and D2L.  Using Zoom’s Cloud Recording feature, recordings with closed captioning are automatically transferred to MyMedia within D2L streamlining student access.

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