Update regarding configuration of e-classroom spaces

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

ITMS has received feedback that, for the current Fall 2022 term, some instructors had expected e-classrooms would be configured as they were pre-pandemic; with multiple screens and projectors available in the larger classrooms. A decision was made during the first week of class to proceed with the reconfiguration. Consultations and classroom evaluations to determine the logistics and timing required to return these learning spaces to their pre-pandemic configurations have begun. A classroom will need to be down for 2-5 days for the reconfiguration; the team will plan how to most effectively use weekend and reading week opportunities so that classes are not disrupted. This plan will be posted to the Featured Projects section of the Teaching & Learning Spaces site once confirmed. We apologize for the inconvenience our delay in beginning this work has caused.

Changes to e-classroom configurations during the pandemic

In preparation for the Fall 2021 term, the Registrar (RO) and some Faculties asked for upgrades to e-classrooms to allow instructors to host remote participants attending “held-with classes” via an online collaboration platform. Assessments of the learning spaces were conducted to determine how to best support this request given internal capacity constraints and pandemic restrictions. Premium or full systems, which included adjustable camera and microphone systems operated by a Touch panel, were installed in multiple rooms, permitting instructors to share the camera image, projector image (content), or display a split screen of both to the remote participants. Pre-set camera positions could also focus on any of the white/blackboards or podium (close-up or wide angle). During the pandemic, rooms with multiple screens and/or projectors were altered to have only one screen and/or projector so that the remote experience would match the in-class experience. 

About this work

The reconfiguration of the classrooms to enable the functionality of all screens and projectors entails reprogramming and testing the rooms’ entire AV system, which will require the classroom to be down for a minimum of 1-2 days. Rooms that require the installation of scaffolding for staff to safely reach installed equipment will require approximately 5 days of down time, to allow for the installation of the scaffolding, the reprogramming and testing of the AV system, and the removal of the scaffolding.

In the classrooms where premium collaborative systems have been installed, training material for instructors will be developed for the reprogrammed systems. The equipment will have additional options compared to the pre-pandemic systems.

Contact ITMS

Faculty and staff who may have concerns regarding this work should contact ITMS, Marcel David, mdavid@uwaterloo.ca or Pam Fluttert, fluttert@uwaterloo.ca.