Classroom Conferencing Equipment: What to expect in your classroom
For Fall 2021, many instructors and students are looking forward to resuming traditional in person classes, while others will continue with fully remote instruction. Language classes that will serve a mix of in person and remote students joining simultaneously will likely be scheduled in a Classroom Management classroom with one the following three basic conference technology configurations: Two-Camera Video Conferencing, Single-Camera Classroom with a Ceiling Microphone & Mounted Camera, or Single-Camera Classroom with an Audio Video Bar.
In the case of all three styles, planning and practice is required to facilitate student-to-student interactions that bring in person and remote students together. Instructors are encouraged to consider configurations other than having all local students come to the classroom every class session. The HyFlex Teaching model can be adapted to meet the needs of instructors and students in many ways. Retaining some remote elements in an in-person class can allow instructors to bring local students back to the classroom while providing an interactive learning experience for all students.
Two-Camera Video Conferencing Classrooms
These video conferencing classrooms offer a two-camera system that can call into your Zoom session, including an audience camera that provides in-person students a presence online, a high quality ceiling microphone for class discussions, and three monitors for both presentation content and a classroom presence for students connecting via Zoom. Folwell 118 also has the advantage of a flexible room layout, but is the smallest of the three rooms.
Instructors can only utilize the two-camera system if they join the Zoom meeting via the codec system on the podium. Hosting the Zoom meeting using only a laptop connected to the USB cable for camera and microphone signals, instructors will not be able to use the audience camera. Only the instructor-facing camera will be operational in this mode. Training on using the codec system is available.
Single-Camera Classrooms with a Ceiling Microphone & Mounted Camera
Available in Nicholson Hall (1st and 3rd floor) and other buildings.
These classrooms have a ceiling microphone and an instructor-facing camera that is mounted on the ceiling or the corner of the wall. Most of these cameras are Pan/Tilt/Zoom style, meaning that the instructors can manually control where they are pointed. The ceiling microphone should pick up the voices of all students well. However in many rooms, the camera can only be aimed at the front of the room, meaning that remote students will hear everyone in the classroom, but may only see the front of the room. Connect to Zoom via a USB Camera and Audio cable at the podium.
Single-Camera Classrooms with an Audio Video Bar
Available in most rooms in Folwell Hall & many other buildings across campus.
These rooms feature an audio video bar which sits on the instructor podium. This provides the hardware you need for conferencing: camera, microphone and speaker in a single piece of technology. The camera includes auto-speaker tracking, so you do not need to manually adjust it. This bar is instructor-facing by default, but can be aimed at the front of the classroom by physically turning the podium so it is audience-facing. The range of the microphone at full quality is 12 feet. It often picks up audio from beyond this range but quality drops off and can be affected by differences in room acoustics. Connect to Zoom via a USB Camera and Audio cable at the podium.