Adaptive Teaching Classroom Technologies
If you are experiencing classroom issues, please report them using this webform.
Vanderbilt University is preparing adaptive educational design to meet the challenges presented by the COVID crisis and to continue being a world leader in education. VUIT, in partnership with the Center for Teaching (CFT), has outfitted a number of classrooms with a new technology package that captures audio and video of the instructor and, in some cases, audio of students.
VUIT's strategy includes upgrading classroom technology to support livestreaming and recording in classrooms, building new video recording studios, and training faculty in both new and existing technology available in the classroom. To support this strategy, VUIT has taken a multifaceted approach in providing technology resources:
Installing New Instructional Technology Packages in
Leveraging Existing Video Equipment in
Creating Asynchronous Recording Studios
The updated classrooms fall into one of four classroom categorization types:
- Type 1 classrooms are special-use classrooms with the Enhanced, Extended AV Package. These classrooms have multiple microphones installed in the room to capture lecturer and student conversation.
- Type 2 classrooms are standard classrooms with the Enhanced AV Package. These classrooms have a single microphone installed in the room to capture the lecturer.
- Type 3 classrooms are standard classrooms utilizing the camera on the laptop, webcam, or computer in the room.
- Type 4 classrooms are non-traditional classroom spaces where available technology is varied.
To see a list of the classrooms being equipped with capture packages, please download the Excel file available here.
Type 2 Enhanced AV Walkthrough
Law School Enhanced AV Technology
Quick Reference Guides
Classrooms were selected for new technology packages based on input from deans regarding priority and by working with the University Registrar's office to understand the capacity and use of the rooms.
VUIT worked over the summer to install additional technology packages in 70+ rooms. The packages installed additional microphones, camera, and confidence monitors to enhance the online experience for students. The Deans' Offices can provide information on which rooms had the packages installed.
For the most up to date information, please see the Classroom Protocols webpage at www.vanderbilt.edu/coronavirus/faqs/classroom-protocols-2. Faculty must wear appropriate face mask/covering while in public spaces on campus and must wear a face mask/covering or face shield during class. Students and faculty must be appropriately physically distanced in the classroom consistent with the University requirement of six feet separation. Clear mobile boards should be available for use in the front of the classroom between faculty and students (i.e. around whiteboards, chalkboards, and podiums).
VUIT recommends a camera that has 1080p capability. Even if you are not sending 1080p video through Zoom, the image quality is still going to be better. As far as certain manufacturers are concerned, Logitech is a market leader in this technology. That said, webcams are in high demand and supplies are limited so people may have to buy what is available at the moment.
Students in the class cannot see the students on Zoom and the students on Zoom cannot see the students in the class. However, all students will be able to see the lecturer and whatever the lecturer is presenting on. If students in the classroom are also joined to the Zoom call, they would be able to see all other Zoom participants.
The confidence monitor is an additional monitor in the room that mirrors what is displayed on the in-class screen and the lecturer's laptop. The confidence monitor is not able to be used as a dual monitor.
Faculty may choose to have the in-person students log into Zoom so they can see, chat, and work in breakout sessions with the other online students. If students are logged into Zoom in the classroom it is important that they mute their audio to avoid feedback issues. Students in the room can wear ear buds and if they speak in class, it can be easier for everyone to hear if they speak into their ear bud microphone. If faculty choose to allow this kind of student interaction, it is important to remember the faculty should mute the audio on their computer while students speak to avoid feedback. Faculty are encouraged to test this ahead of time.
Some classrooms have a computer in the room that has a web cam, but not all of them do. It is recommended that you visit the rooms you will be teaching in ahead of time to determine the features they have available.
Zoom has built-in capabilities to share a whiteboard and write live. Some faculty have used other products like Educreations.
For information on using Breakout Sessions, please visit the CFT's website at www.vanderbilt.edu/brightspace/how-to-use-breakout-rooms-in-zoom.
Microphones can serve different pruposes in the classroom. The types of mics that can be used are:
- Omnidirectional USB mics
- These mics are used for voice capture for Zoom. They are meant to be used in classrooms where we have not installed adaptive learning packages and will plug into a laptop via USB.
- Lapel mics
- These mics are used for voice amplification in a room that has amplification capabilities. In the past, these rooms would have likely had one lapel mic that could be used by multiple faculty but in our new world, faculty will each need to have their own.
There are a number of settings you can take advantage of. The below are some items you may be interested in looking at ahead of time to better prepare yourself for teaching.
- Turn off HD and "Fix my Appearance" options in Zoom in order to reduce video bandwidth and help avoid slowness.
- Set up any polls you want to use in class ahead of time.
- Keep in mind that your slides may be partially blocked by the Zoom controls and gallery, so factor that in when creating your slides. We recommend you test your slides in a Zoom share when they are completed so you can pinpoint the covered locations.
- If a faculty member is going to log in and use multiple devices, they should log in with the primary device they want to use first. For example, if planning on running slides and polls from a laptop, log into Zoom on the laptop first.
- If you are showing a video, you need to "Share Computer Sound" to make sure Zoom participants can hear.
- Faculty are encouraged to have someone monitoring the chat window (like a student) and designate a person on Zoom who can alert the faculty if there is a problem, i.e. can't hear people, can't hear video, can't see slides, etc.
- If faculty are going to use the phyiscal chalkboards/whiteboards in the classroom, they should remember to turn off "Mirror Video" in the settings so the text can be legibly read.
At the bottom of the AV bridge Camera remote, you will see a preset button and numbers 1-6. You can set up to 6 different camera angle presets at the beginning of your class.
To set a camera angle preset, use the remote control to move (side to side or up and down) and zoom (in/out) your camera angle. Once you have the angle you like, hold down the preset button and then select a number (1-6) to set that as a preset view. The camera light will blink to confirm the preset saved successfully. Repeat those steps until you have all of the presets you need for your class. You will now be able to switch between the different presets by selecting the preset number you previously saved.