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Classroom Technology Equipment

Instructions for using the classroom equipment

Meet Your Classroom (1.25 hr)
— Cassidy Hall (Doceo), Ken Schmidt (ITS), Brian Smentkowski (CETL); recorded on 8/6/2020
This session was recorded live on from the TLC 223 with 20 hand-selected participants. The rest of the attendees participated remotely. This full simulation introduced participants to the newly installed technology in UI's classrooms.

Classroom SetupTopics

Technology-ready classrooms

May 2021 Update
  • 15 classrooms getting upgrades this summer to better support HyFlex-like courses
  • Two classrooms getting full upgrades and serving as pilots (camera at back of room to auto-track instructor, ceiling mics for students, 2nd monitor at lectern w/ annotation capabilities): TLC 029 & TLC 248
  • 13 classrooms getting minor upgrades (ceiling mics for students, 2nd monitor at lectern w/ annotation capabilities): AD 227, AD 326, ALB 112, ALB 212, EP 205, EP 209, MCCL 209, MCCL 315, TLC 023, TLC 030, TLC 046, TLC 047, TLC 148

August 2020 Status

There are a total of 220 "technology presentation/Zoom capable" UI classrooms in place. Please review the Detailed list of UI's Technology Classrooms available.

  • 50 new technology equipment added to classrooms with no previous technology capabilities
  • 84 upgrades to on-campus technology classrooms by adding webcams
  • 86 classrooms already "presentation/Zoom capable"

50 Additional Rooms receive technology equipment (Summer 2020)

  • 75" Display with built-in Speakers
  • Document Camera
  • Webcam with built-in Microphone
  • Adjustable height lectern (28" - 42")
  • Sliding keyboard tray
  • Computer mounted underneath

Microphone/audio issues

During Fall 2020, Faculty provided feedback to both TSPs/Local Support and CETL about difficulties experienced in running class discussions when students are both in-person and virtual while trying to transfer crisp, clear audio back and forth between the in-person and online students. Please note that it is not possible for the technology equipment installed in the UI classrooms to be added to or improved during 2020-2021. The (50) new technology packages are not designed to pick up audio from the students in the physical classroom. These roll-in technology kits contain a single microphone which is only capable of picking up the voice of whomever is standing at the lectern.

Larger Multimedia Lectern Classrooms have wireless lavaliere microphones for sound reinforcement of the instructor's voice. These must be worn to be effective. If you feel uncomfortable sharing the microphone with other people, a number of wearable small portable PA systems exist that you can carry into the classroom with you. One UI instructor is planning to purchase a PA system by Zoweetek, with a wired (not wireless) headset. This one is probably the best one for classroom use on our campus--although ITS has no first-hand experience with it. Bear in mind that ITS does not purchase, set up, or maintain these small portable PA systems.

In 1-Cart Monitor Classrooms, if you feel you need a microphone to help students hear you through your mask in the physical classroom, the webcam microphone installed is not going to help. It picks up the instructor's voice for broadcast (by Zoom) to remote students but doesn't help amplify an instructor's voice to students that are physically attending the brick-and-mortar classroom.

If you are looking to purchase a microphone to help students hear you through your mask in the physical classroom--but prefer the lavalier or wireless lapel microphone rather than a wired PA system, please read the following cautionary points:

  • There is a danger of audio feedback and damage to the system (and damage to your ears)
  • The speakers can only output sound from one source at a time so you would not be able to hear any audio other than the mic while using the microphone
  • There is a danger of interfering with the University's Wi-Fi network or other RF signals
  • There is a danger of damage to the room system because of unknown output levels from the microphone
  • The microphone output connector is not compatible with the audio input on the lectern

Instead of wireless, look into a wired lavaliere (lapel) microphone (not a headset) which can be found on a number of wearable personal PAs. Please bear in mind that ITS does not support these systems. It is up to you to purchase, set up, and maintain your portable PA.

You are welcome to pass along to ITS any feedback you have on this topic so we can better understand the scope and technical challenges you are facing.

Face shield information

Instructors may use a face shield when actively teaching in a room where 6 feet of social distancing can be consistently maintained from other individuals. Instructors should wear regular face coverings that enclose the nose and mouth while entering and exiting the classroom.

Instructors are urged to try the face shield option out for themselves and solicit comments from students before deciding to use one in their classrooms. Please be aware that a face shield may cause glare issues and/or fog up the wearer's glasses.

Testing results while wearing a face shield in a classroom:

  • When wearing a face shield, there is a noticeable drop in voice level for the students listening via Zoom. Also, the intelligibility is slightly degraded.
  • When combining a face mask AND a face shield, the audio quality for the students listening via Zoom is significantly reduced. If you clearly articulate and project your voice, the result is, at best, marginally acceptable.

Testing results while wearing a face shield from the instructor's perspective:

  • Instructors will hear their own voice echo off the face shield. This echo is much louder for the instructor than it is for the students listening via Zoom.
  • If instructors are in a larger classroom and are using a wireless lavalier microphone for the in-class students, the instructor will hear a loud, incredibly distracting echo.