University of West Florida

Information Technology Services

 

Special Faculty Edition: Fall 2008


Help Desk News

Instructional and Administrative Video Conferencing

Introduction

A video conference is a live communications connection between people in separate locations involving audio, video, and often data transmission (text, graphics, PowerPoint presentations, sharing Word or Excel documents, etc.). At its simplest, video conferencing provides transmission of static images and text between just two locations. At its most sophisticated, it provides transmission of full-motion video images and high-quality audio between multiple locations. Video conferencing systems typically consist of cameras, microphones, a codec (coder-decoder, which handles the video, audio, and data signals), network access equipment, a network, and other specialized equipment.

It is important to distinguish between conferences with only two remote sites and those conferences where a larger number of sites are involved. A point-to-point video conference is only between two sites. A multi-point video conference includes more than two site, and requires some method for each site to receive the communications from all the others. A central Multi-point Control Unit (MCU) is used to accomplish this. Each site connects to the MCU and the MCU receives and sends the video and audio from and to each of the connected sites. The university has access to such a device, which can be used to connect several video conference systems together for a meeting.

Video conference rooms can be used for instruction and administrative meetings. Rooms are typically specialized for one of these purposes. Therefore, the advanced features and functions of the instructional classrooms may not be available in the administrative video conferencing rooms.

Instruction

The instructor facilitates the course from one video conference classroom and simultaneously broadcasts the lecture and course materials to students in other video conference classrooms. Each instructional video conference classroom is equipped for full motion, interactive, two-way audio and video. Students can see and interact with the instructor and classmates at other locations at all times. Although the instructor will be based at one location, he or she may visit and teach from other locations throughout the semester. Instructional Video Conference Classrooms are located on Pensacola, Combs, NWF State College-UWF, and REEF campuses.

Administrative Meetings

Several facilities are available for administrative meetings. Administrative meetings conducted via video conference can greatly reduce travel time and costs associated with attending meetings. These facilities are located on the Pensacola and NWF State College-UWF campuses and at the Bowden Building for WFHPI.


Desktop Video Conferencing (DVC)

In general terms, desktop video conferencing (DVC) is communication with other people using audio and video equipment attached to a desktop or laptop PC. A better term might be "personal video conferencing," which distinguishes DVC from systems which use more sophisticated equipment (cameras, microphones, and speakers) and can be used for larger numbers of people at each site.

Desktop Video Conferencing requires a camera, speakers, and microphone. It is preferable to use a headset that includes a microphone. This prevents echoes from occurring at the other end (caused by sound from the remote site entering the microphone and being transmitted back to the remote participants). Instead of a headset, which can only be used by one person, echo-cancelling microphone/speaker combinations are also available. DVC is intended for one person at a time to be seen and heard from a single computer. Multiple computers can be connected, but only one person per computer.

The university owns a combination desktop video conferencing/multi-point control unit known as Scopia Desktop. The unit is capable of being used for teaching and administrative meetings. Scopia Desktop allows a person to connect to other people and systems in multiple ways. Scopia Desktop users can also connect to each other, independent of connecting to a video conference system.


Orientation, Training, Operational Assistance, Facilitation, and Technical Support

Each academic and administrative unit will identify one or more support persons who will be able to train end-users, provide reactive support, assist end users with the operation of the system, and facilitate classes, conferences, and meetings. Information Technology Services provides a train-the-trainer program for most systems and technical support for equipment malfunctions. It is the responsibility of the administrative or academic unit using the system to provide operational assistance.

For technical problems with equipment in an Instructional Video Conferencing Classroom, instructors can receive on-site support from 8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Friday during regular academic semesters on the Pensacola campus by contacting the ITS Help Desk at 474-2075. Other campuses’ hours of support differ; please check with the Local Support Provider for more information.

For administrative meetings in the John C. Pace and NWF State College-UWF libraries, technical support is available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on normal business days. Contact the ITS Help Desk at 474-2075 for assistance. In other administrative video conference facilities, contact the Local Support Provider.

For more information, please consult the UWF Video Conferencing article at http://portal.knowledgebase.net/article.asp?article=293890&p=6390.


Elluminate Online Classroom and Scopia Desktop

Elluminate Online Classroom is built specifically for live, multi-media, many-to-many collaboration. Whether there are two students or two hundred, Elluminate enables communication, collaboration, and education that facilitates teaching and learning. The foundation of Elluminate is that each participant, both instructor and student, is using his or her own computer and are not in physical proximity to each other as they are in a traditional classroom - thus, Elluminate does not require use of an Instructional Video Conferencing Classroom, but can be used anywhere. Multiple types of computers can be used with Elluminate, such as PCs and Macs. Elluminate is an intuitive, instructor-led environment that delivers real-time, interactive education and encourages real learning and collaboration.

Scopia Desktop is another technology that enables many-to-many collaboration. Scopia Desktop enables students to join a class being taught from an Instructional Video Conferencing Classroom. Elluminate does not have this functionality built-in. Scopia Desktop also enables more seamless voice communication. Scopia Desktop works best when meeting participants are using a Web camera and headset with microphone.


Uses of Video Conferencing and Elluminate

Use

Video Conferencing

Scopia Desktop

Elluminate

Audio

Microphones in classrooms

Use headset with microphone

Use headset with microphone

Video

Cameras in classrooms

Web cam

Web cam

Desktop Sharing (i.e., PowerPoint Presentations)

SMART Boards in classrooms

Annotation built-in

Annotation built-in

Ability to record sessions

Yes*

Yes*

Yes

Instructor and students participate from distant locations (i.e., they are not in the same room)

Not the best choice

A good choice, depending on the number of students

Best choice

Instructor and students in classrooms that are at distant locations

Best choice

A good choice, depending on the number of students

Not the best choice

*Functionality is currently being tested.


Student Response Systems

Student Response Systems (SRS or “ask the audience”) have become very popular instructional tools in recent years. Using SRS, students can answer their instructor's in-class questions using a remote control device ("clicker"). The student responses are collected and can be displayed on-screen. SRS enables instructors to engage students (while allowing anonymity), instantly understand student comprehension, create an interactive lecture environment, and track student performance. Student response systems allow instructors to easily create interactive PowerPoint presentations that collect real-time responses from students.

The university is currently evaluating student response systems in several courses. The student response systems being tested are from Turning Technologies (www.turningtechnologies.com). Student response systems as learning tools are supported in the literature, and Turning Technologies is highly-recommended by many universities. More information will be published about the evaluation during Spring Term. Send questions and comments to Michael White, mwhite@uwf.edu.


TurnItIn Plagiarism Detection

The University of West Florida (UWF) maintains a license agreement for TurnItIn, an online text matching service. Using advanced search technology, TurnItIn checks papers against a proprietary database of millions of previously submitted student papers. The TurnItIn service has the potential to be an important resource for promoting information literacy as well as encouraging academic integrity. All UWF faculty have access to the TurnItIn service and may request an account by contacting Mary Hallford (473-7435) at the Center for University Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.

Because TurnItIn has implications for copyright of student work and privacy of student academic records covered by FERPA, it is important that TurnItIn be used appropriately. The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment maintains support information on their web site about using the TurnItIn service including a recommended notice for course syllabi. A training video for instructors as well as a Quick Start Guide can be found at the Academic Technology Center (ATC).

Center for University Teaching, Learning, and Assessment
http://www.uwf.edu/cutla/turnitin.cfm

Academic Technology Center
http://uwf.edu/atc/assessment/Security.cfm#respld


Respondus Helps Reduce Cheating in Online Quizzes

It is difficult to completely eradicate online cheating; however, the Respondus LockDown Browser can reduce cheating in eLearning quizzes by "locking down" the web browser window. This prevents students from surfing to other areas of the Internet, printing, copying, or using other applications during a quiz. Complete instructor information on Respondus is available at http://uwf.edu/atc/RNT/Respondus.html.

To require the use of Respondus in an eLearning quiz...

  1.  In the quiz restrictions settings, indicate that Respondus is required to take the quiz.



  2. Instruct your students to download the Respondus browser on their computer and use it to open eLearning and take the quiz. If students attempt to take the quiz with a different browser, they will be directed to the Respondus download page and will not be able to proceed further. The Respondus download and additional information for students are available at http://uwf.edu/itsdocsandtraining/elearning/respondus.

Respondus is available in the SAIL and CyberLounge computer labs but cannot be used in eDesktop. If you plan to use Respondus, the ITS Help Desk recommends developing a sample quiz for students that will allow them to make sure their browser is installed and working properly before taking a real quiz.


New Proposal and Grant Reports

Information Technology Services and the Research and Sponsored Programs Office have completed development of a new database reporting system for proposals and awards. This system provides real-time information on sponsored research activities and includes the following new reports that are available in Information Navigator (Argus > My Office Tab > Administrative Tasks):

  • RSP000030  Proposals Submitted Summary/Comparison YTD: Compares the number of proposals submitted by type of funds and monthly number and dollar amounts of the current fiscal year with the immediate past year.

  • RSP000031  Awards Funded Summary/Comparison YTD: Compares the number of awards received by type of funds and monthly number and dollar amounts of the current fiscal year with the immediate past year.

  • RSP000032  Summary of Proposals/Awards by Type of Funds FY: Provides dollar amount of proposals and awards by type of funding (new, additional funds, renewal, continuation, or other change such as reductions).

  • RSP000033  Summary of Proposals/Awards by Project Type FY: Provides dollar amount of proposals and awards by type of funding (instruction, research, other sponsored activity).

  • RSP000034  Division/College/Department Summary YTD: Provides dollar amount of proposals and awards by University division, college, and department.  Individual proposals or awards may be viewed by clicking on the proposal, grant/fund numbers.

  • RSP000035  Investigators Summary by Division/Department YTD: Provides the same information as the previous report, however, each individual investigator is listed in the administrative department.

  • RSP000036  Sponsors (Agencies) Summary YTD: Provides dollar amount of proposals and awards by name of the sponsoring agency and the type (federal, private, state and local government).

  • RSP000042  Proposal-Award Monthly Activity Logs YTD: This report is in final stage of development and will active by end of July. The report provides the option to view a detailed list of proposals and awards on a monthly (or multiple month) basis.  It is designed to give a detailed summary of proposals submitted and/or awards received during a given month or series of months.

Search functions are available that allow for requests of information by fiscal year, other time periods such as calendar years, or entire life-to-date span of system entries. This allows a multiple fiscal year search for individual investigators, departments, colleges, or agencies to be performed on past fiscal years to date. Records available begin with fiscal year 2001-2002. Data prior to FY2008 has been uploaded from other formats, and some information may be displayed differently or be incomplete for the earlier years. Additionally, this function permits users to view a detailed report of certain basic information (by individual, department, college, or division) for all proposal and grant activities.

The Research and Sponsored Programs staff is available to provide assistance or orientation in viewing each report in individual or group meetings.  For more information, contact Carol Rafalski, crafalsk@uwf.edu, 474-2825.


ArgoPrint Changes

Beginning Fall Term 2008, students and employees who print in ArgoNet computer labs will receive a one-time page credit of 1000 pages to their ArgoPrint account. Formerly, the university gave variable page credits each semester, the most recent being 500 pages per semester. Students and employees will no longer receive page credits each semester. Purchases of additional pages can be made online or at the Cashier’s Office. For more information, see http://portal.knowledgebase.net/article.asp?article=247430&p=6390.


Mac Computers Available in the SAIL Lab

To provide students with opportunities to use technologies with which they are most familiar in support of their learning endeavors, Mac computers have been installed in the building 79 computer lab (SAIL) and CyberLounge on the Pensacola Campus. Students now have the choice of using a PC or Mac computer when they write papers, conduct research, or complete other assignments. Check them out yourself—visit SAIL or CyberLounge to see what’s available to students in the open access computer labs.


Mac OS Available for University-Owned Computers

Mac OS X Leopard is now available to faculty and staff for installation on university-owned computers. The new OS requires an Intel, PowerPC G5, or PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster) processor and 512MB of memory. Among Leopard’s over 300 new features are improved backup and file sharing functionality, enhancements to the Safari browser, and a “Spaces” utility to group application windows and reduce desktop clutter. If you are interested in having the new OS installed on your Mac, contact your Local Support Provider or the ITS Help Desk.


Learn 8 in'08

The ATC/ITS faculty technology series Learn 8 in 08 returned Friday, September 12th with “Wikis and Blogs: Web 2.0 Collaboration Tools”.  There are two remaining events in this yearlong series. Sessions are held Friday afternoons in Building 36/Room 108.

Upcoming Sessions:
Animations, Simulations, and other Free Stuff (Friday, October 3)
Game Time (Friday, November 7)

Sign up at http://uwf.edu/atc/learn8in08/index.cfm.


New ITS Help Desk and Computer Lab Hours

 
Mon - Thur
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
ITS Help Desk
8 am - 10 pm
8 am - 5 pm
Closed
Closed
SAIL Lab (Bldg 79)
7 am - 11 pm
7 am - 5 pm
Closed
1 pm - 8 pm
CyberLounge (Commons)
8 am - 10 pm
8 am - 6 pm
10 am - 8 pm
11 am - 8 pm
John C. Pace Library
7:30 am - 10 pm
7:30 am - 5 pm
10 am - 6 pm
1 pm - 9 pm
eDesktop Virtual Lab
Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
ITS Help Desk | Bldg. 79 | 11000 University Pkwy. | Pensacola, FL 32514 | (850) 474-2075 | Campus Map | Text Only