CaTS recently converted several classrooms around campus to integrate new distance learning equipment. This allows Faculty members to teach a class at either Dayton or Lake Campus and include students from other off-site locations. IVDL is essentially videoconferencing in a classroom setting. IVDL connects two or more classrooms with audio and video equipment that enables participants to see and talk with each other, almost as if they were in the same room. So students in a classroom at Wright State's main campus may be joined by students at Lake Campus—or by students at any IVDL-equipped classroom in the world.
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Wright State has six IVDL classrooms:
- 009 Millett Hall
- 050 Rike Hall
- 125 Oelman Hall
- 154 Russ Engineering Center
- 1 portable unit
- 150 Dwyer Hall
- 186 Andrews Hall
- 2 portable units
- Cisco SX80 Codec - the control device for room interactions
- Cisco SX10 Codec (portable version of the SX80)
- 3 cameras
- Multiple microphone pods placed in the ceiling
When an instructor walks into the room, the first step is using an iPad-like device to choose which room they want to connect to. Once the instructor begins talking, the SX80 uses a camera to follow the instructor around the room using facial recognition. Two additional cameras can also work in tandem to zoom in on audience members as they are talking.
Using the SX10 Codec portable version, you can turn any room into a receive site for the full functioning setup described above. Interaction is still available (audio and video) using a single camera and microphone solution.
A benefit of using this system is the ability to easily upgrade software, which will allow for future features to be easily introduced. For example, new software can allow the instructor to use the SX80 to “predefine” where the whiteboards are in their room by setting one of the cameras to show the whiteboard. If the instructor who is being tracked by a camera approaches the whiteboard and starts to write on it, the cameras can immediately zoom in on the whiteboard. When the instructor moves away from the board, the cameras resume following them.
If you plan on incorporating distance learning in your class, CaTS is happy to provide you with training on this new equipment. To schedule a training session, contact Debbie Whisler at (937) 775-4066.