ITV faculty handbook
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The Interactive Television courses at Murray State University are a
tool to reach non-traditional as well as traditional students across
county and university dividers. These classes give students the
opportunity to experience course offerings and professors to which they
normally would not have access. It also provides the faculties of Murray
State University and local high schools that are equipped with ITV
facilities with the chance to interact with students of various ages and
The technology in the Interactive Television rooms allows us to
gather sound and image data and send the material via telephone lines to
remote sites where this information is reproduced as audio and video.
The audio information is compiled from microphones that react to
voices from the classroom and other audio sources such as video tape
recordings. Visual information is provided by any of the classroom
cameras, or from some other video source such as the document camera.
The audio and video signals must be converted from analog to digital
form, compressed, and then combined into a composite signal in order to
be sent over data-quality telephone lines. The Codec is the computer
which is responsible for the coding and decoding of the signals. Audio
and video information are decompressed/decoded at the remote site Codec
and output through audio speakers and video monitors.
For instance, each ITV classroom within the Business Building on
- 4 student monitors
- instructor camera Cam 1 (mounted at rear)
- student camera Cam 2 (mounted above podium)
- ELMO document camera Cam 3
- 2 9" preview monitors (installed in podium)
- VCR, Cam 4
- Push-to-talk microphones
- Fax machine
- Scan Converter (for use when sending computer images)
Video input may come from four different sources:
- the instructor's camera (cam 1)
- the classroom camera (cam 2)
- ELMO or PC (cam 3)
- and the VCR (cam 4)
Cameras one and two are used to send the video images of the
instructor at the podium and the students in the classroom. The
instructor's camera is the main video source at the site where he or she
The document camera can perform several functions in the ITV
classroom. It can be used much like a chalkboard, an overhead projector,
slide projector, or as another camera. At remote sites the students can
use the document camera to place their homework and quizzes under the
camera to enable the instructor, or other class members, to give
feedback or suggestions.
The document camera can function as an electronic chalkboard, and the
professor may write on the document beneath the camera, and send a live
image. When using the document camera the instructor can send a live
graphic (where the graphic replaces the instructor video, but not the
audio) or a still graphic.
The VCR, which is located in the central office, provides videotape
playback during a class. The VCR can also record the host site or the
remote site video. The tapes of these classes are sent to the
circulation desk where they are available for checkout in the Waterfield
Microphones are installed in each of the classrooms, permitting
students at all sites to ask questions or make suggestions. Currently,
when a student speaks, the picture on the monitors of all sites will
switch to the student's site, allowing all sites to see that student.
Therefore, all sites would be viewing that student instead of the
instructor. If a student at another site responds first, that site then
becomes the active remote site. The video source switches to the
instructor when he or she resumes the lecture.
There are two kinds of student microphones in our ITV rooms. Some
rooms have gated microphones while others have push-to-talk microphones.
The microphones are placed on the classroom tables and each one is
shared by two students.
With gated microphones, all classroom noises such as air conditioners
and fluttering papers can be audible and cause interference unless the
sites keep their audio muted. Those sites using push-to-talk microphones
do not have to mute their audio. The students just press their
microphone when they are ready to talk, and press again to shut it off
when they are done speaking.
At the local site, audio and video information from the camera and
microphones currently active are converted to a digital signal and
compressed by the Codec. This information is then sent via phone lines
to the remote sites where a Codec decompresses the data and, in turn,
sends it to classroom speakers and television monitors.
The video signal from the current active remote site will be shown on
the television monitor in the rear, as well as on the front remote site
monitor. The audio is sent to the classroom speakers that have been
placed in the ceiling.
The rear monitor allows the instructor to see the remote site, just
as the students can, without having to turn away from the local
Operating the Tablet
The tablet is a touch responsive unit that makes it possible to:
- Select the video source (ex. cam 1 (instructor), cam 2
(classroom), cam 3 (document camera or PC), or cam 4 (VCR))
- control local site camera movement: pan, tilt, zoom, focus
- send a still graphic from the document camera
- control volume and select mute
The table allows the instructor or students to mute their audio. When
mute is selected, no audio is transmitted from that site. When the
audio is muted at the local site, "mute" appears on the rear monitor.
Each ITV classroom at Murray State University contains a fax machine
and has access to a copier. The rooms also have regular phone lines,
allowing instructors to contact students privately during breaks, or
before or after class.
Operating the ELMO © (Document Camera)
The ELMO © is positioned to the right of the tablet in each Business
Building classroom. The EV-368 model that is in the ITV classrooms has
three functioning parts: the base, the arm, and the head.
The base has a power switch, an arm release button, and an input
selection panel. The power switch is on the top left-hand corner, and
the arm release button is located on the arm itself. The power switch is
a toggle switch which contains a red LED light. The arm release button
allows the arm of the document camera to be lowered or raised at the
point where it connects to the base.
The input selection panel has controls for selecting video input from
the document camera or PC. This allows the instructor to switch
directly from a slide to use of the PC. There are also controls for the
adjustment of the white balance and switching between positive and
negative images, for use with dark papers or photo negative strips.
These controls are used with the EV-368 video input.
The arm of the document camera has two different pieces. One is
connected by a locking hinge-joint to the base, and another that is
placed inside the lower arm piece and connects it to the head of the
camera. The upper part of the arm piece is extendible. To adjust the
distance between the camera and the base, the upper release button is
The head of the camera is connected to the top arm piece by a swivel
connector. Pressing the button at this joint allows the head to swivel
in a 90 degree arc. This permits the user to display slides behind the
document camera. This is sometimes used so that students can share
poster presentations via the system.
Located either on the head or on the bottom right-hand corner of the
base are buttons that control the zoom and focus of the camera lens. The
"T" stands for "tight-shot," while "W" corresponds with "wide-shot."
Becoming familiar with the ITV classrooms and equipment is the first
step, but to make an ITV class a successful venture, the instructor
needs to consider some logistical issues that can make the class either
rewarding or difficult. The following suggestions may help to enhance
the students distance learning experience, and may seem to be common
sense. Due to the distance between the remote and local sites, some
problems in a normal classroom that are easily resolved can become more
difficult to deal with at a distance.
Class Material Distribution
Getting materials to remote sites in a timely fashion is a critical
facet of successful distance learning. This can be accomplished with
Here are some options for class material distribution:
1. Send collated, low-security items such as homework assignments
to the third floor of Sparks Hall. Use the mailing labels provided.
Mark the materials with the site destination and the date of
distribution. These items should be sent four days in advance to insure
they will reach the site on time. (Please keep in mind mail and school
2. Send materials such as quizzes and exams in envelopes clearly
marked "secure items inside." This alerts the remote site contact that
sensitive material is enclosed and should be handled accordingly. The
instructor may also wish to inform the site that these materials are en
3. If materials must be sent shortly before or during class, fax
machines are available. Please keep in mind while most ITV rooms are
equipped with copiers, some are not. If an exam is faxed, have the
student worker call the remote site(s) and alert the contact that an
exam is being sent.
4. All materials mailed, sent by courier, or faxed should include
- Course Name and Number
- Instructor Name
- Date and Time of Class
- Any Necessary Instructions for Materials
The syllabus should include student guidelines for the ITV
classroom, including attendance, student responsibilities, and a plan of
action for technical difficulties or severe weather conditions.
Contacts at remote sites need to know in advance when special
attention is needed for exams, quizzes, videotapes, class projects, and
also when the instructor plans to teach at the remote site. If a visit
to the remote site is canceled, the instructor should let the remote
site know. Also, the site at Murray State will need special instructions
in the professor's absence.
Proctoring of Exams and Quizzes
Technicians and coordinators at Murray State and contacts at remote
sites are responsible for proctoring exams and quizzes, provided that
they have been informed of the dates.
Instructors are expected to abide be the copyright laws of the United
States. In relation to copyright use, please consider
- the use and purpose, involving whether such use is of a commercial
nature or is for non-profit purposes
- the nature of the copyrighted work
- the breadth and substantiality of the portion used in relation to
the copyrighted work as a whole
- the effect of the use upon the potential commercial market for or
value of the copyrighted work
The instructor should include student guidelines for the ITV course
in the syllabus. During the first class meeting, a minimum of 15 minutes
should be used to familiarize the students with the equipment and the
remaining guidelines. If a class is to be canceled, the instructor
should advise the student worker or technician at MSU so that the remote
sites and all contacts can also be notified. If the instructor should
like to have office consultations via ITV before or after the scheduled
class time, this can be arranged in advance through the master
scheduler. If the instructor should choose to incorporate a guest
speaker from an extended site, this can also be arranged.
The local site technician or coordinator will work with the
instructor to provide assistance in distributing handouts and other
materials. It must not be assumed that all remote sites will be able to
The coordinator or technician is the person who assists the
instructor in the ITV classroom with technical requirements . This is
the person who will be proctoring exams at extended sites, as well as
collecting or distributing materials. The instructor should make his or
her needs known to this person so they will be better able to assist.
Often, professors will use the Internet to post class instructions
and information. To find information regarding general class
registration, consult the Murray
State University Home Page.
All MSU students are eligible for a free e-mail account through the
university. This provides the user with access to electronic mail.
Students can obtain an account by filing a request with Academic
Computing on the second floor of the Lowry Center here on campus.
Access to Instructors
Often, the students involved with ITV are non-traditional students.
They often work full-time and may have difficulty reaching the
instructor during daily office hours. We ask instructors to make every
effort in making themselves available to their students by providing
flexible office hours. An e-mail address will also allow students to
leave messages and ask questions which the instructor can access from
the office, and often from home.
At some point in the semester, any given ITV class will encounter
technical problems. Instructors should be prepared for this possibility.
In the first class session, a plan should be devised for dealing with
these problems. The instructor should consider if the class will
dismiss, and if so, at all locations? Taking a short break to allow
troubleshooting is advised. Remember that all ITV classrooms are
equipped with phones and fax machines. The instructor or the student
worker can contact the remote sites to advise them of the status of the
class in most situations.
Food and Drink Policy
Currently, there is a policy of no food or drink in the ITV
classrooms. This policy serves to protect the microphones and other
sensitive electronic equipment, as well as the carpeting. We ask that
instructors help in enforcing this policy to help preserve our rooms.