University of California, Riverside

eClassroom



eClassroom Technology


eClassroom Technology

The eClassroom relies on two key technologies:

  • videoconferencing
  • centralized Internet-driven classroom computer control
  • Videoconferencing

We chose industry-standard H.323 videoconferencing equipment to facilitate student-instructor interaction between the two Statistics labs. Using standards-based products provides the greatest product longevity and the highest level of supportability in terms of repair and functional assistance.In addition, using H.323 allows both rooms to be used as videoconferencing end-points for a variety of applications, including "traditional" distance learning endeavors.

In the "anchor" room, from which the instructor teaches, there is a ceiling-mounted LCD projector and a wall-mounted projection screen. Both rooms sport ceiling-mounted microphones, and a wireless mic is available to the instructor to enhance instructor-student communication.

In the "satellite" room (which is smaller), there are two television-style monitors; one for inbound audio/video and another for outbound video only (in which students populating the "satellite" room can see themselves as the main room does).

The instructor, using a remote control device very much like the one you use at home to control your TV or VCR, initiates a connection to the "satellite room by selecting it's name entry from the address list. The connection is made almost instantly and the instructor can then communicate directly with the students in that location.

Centralized Internet-driven classroom computer control

Achieving and preserving control of over forty students in two physical locations requires some outside-the-box thinking. Instructors in the Statistics computer lab needed the following:

  • A mechanism to demonstrate various software functionality to students in both rooms.
  • A method of quickly gaining the attention of students in either room
  • A way to allow small workgroups in each lab to collaborate on group projects

With unfettered Internet access on all 42 lab computers, there is a great potential for students to "wander off" into the world of the Internet while ignoring their instructor. This problem was solved using NetOP School, a high-performance remote control software package designed to allow instructors to "beam" demonstrations to each student in the lab. NetOp provides a means to hold the attention of students in a large computer lab environment by providing several features:

  • Instructors can instantaneously "lock" any or all of the computers in the lab. While locked, the student has no control of either keyboard or mouse and the screen displays either a fixed text message, graphic image, or static web page.
  • Instructors can display the content of any particular computer screen on any or all of the student computers. While this type of "demonstration" is taking place, the instructor can also use NetOp's built-in screen markup tools to highlight screen content by circling important areas or by using the arrow tool to point to items on the screen.
  • Instructors can send electronic documents to all students simultaneously. This function allows the instructor to electronically pass out assignments. Completed assignments can then be collected electronically. Both the distribution and collection are initiated from the instructor's computer without student intervention. This process reduces the possibility of students "sharing" lab work.
  • Instructors can monitor all student computers using the unique "Mosaic View" feature of NetOp. In Mosaic View, snapshot images of all 42 lab computers are displayed on one convenient page on the instructor's workstation. Using this tool, the instructor can quickly identify any students who are not following the lesson or are otherwise inattentive.
  • Students can request instructor help by clicking on the "Help Me" icon located in the system tray on their computer desktop.
  • A small life preserver icon appears beside the student's name on the instructor's desktop. The instructor can opt for real-time text chat and, if necessary, assume control of the student's machine.
  • Instructors can create "breakout sessions" among groups of students in the lab. Once the session membership is selected, the instructor can assign one student as the "group leader". The Group Leader's computer has functionality similar to that of the instructor's computer -- they can monitor or remotely control fellow students' computers and more.
  • Because NetOp School uses IP (Internet Protocol) technology, students can be anywhere there is an Internet connection, worldwide, and participate in the class.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Computing & Communications
Computing & Communications Bldg.

Tel: (951) 827-4741
Fax: (951) 827-4541
E-mail: helpdesk@ucr.edu

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