UC Davis Information & Educational Technology

IET Report : Educational


This section outlines some of IET's projects and service enhancements in support of UC Davis instructors and students. Often found within this section are the latest news on educational technology and media services available to instructors for both classes and research, and information about campus computer rooms.

Educational Tools and Support

Expansion of Teaching and Research Support Model, Tools
IET-Mediaworks has been reorganizing its programming efforts to provide a powerful suite of instructional technology applications to the campus, many of which are also excellent tools for research. Applications in the pilot phase that are expected to launch within the next six to twelve months include:
• Sakai, the next generation course management tools
• Breeze Live Meeting, an online communications and collaboration tool

Applications that are now available to staff, faculty, and students include:
• Breeze Presenter, PowerPoint broadcast tools
• Breeze Trainer, a quizzing function for Breeze Presenter
• Almagest, a digital media repository and instructional tool

Webcasting and podcasting services are also available. IET and the Teaching Resources Center (TRC) have come together to provide faculty, teaching assistants, and students with support for these applications through a new collaboration of IT Express, ET Partners, Mediaworks’ faculty support unit, and the TRC. The collaboration with the TRC is incorporating pedagogical issues and concerns with technology training—the next step to producing quality online instruction. A variety of support programs and resources are available, such as hands-on training, in-office support (ET Partners, http://etpartners.ucdavis.edu/), Faculty Mentoring Faculty Program, phone and email support (IT Express http://itexpress.ucdavis.edu/), online training (http://etpartners.ucdavis.edu/res/index.htm), and tech tips (http://etpartners.ucdavis.edu/res/tips/index.htm).

Computer Labs and Classrooms

Reprographics May Assume Responsibility for Student Printing in Computer Labs
IET-Classroom Technology Services is working with Repro Graphics to investigate the possibility of Repro Graphics assuming responsibility for student printing in open access computer labs. Students print approximately 5.5 million sheets annually. IET has studied and is interested in hearing about successful models for computer lab printing at other UC campuses. For more information contact Jan Dickens, Director of IET-Classroom Technology Services (jdickens@ucdavis.edu).

Software Improves Computer-Based Teaching in PC Classroom
To improve its computer-based teaching tools in PC classrooms, IET piloted a screen management program, AB Tutor Control, in 2020 Sciences Laboratory Building. AB Tutor Control helps instructors and students collaborate in the computer classroom and enables instructors (or network administrators) to control a number of student workstations in a computer room—or remote location—from one central workstation. This software, which also provides screen locking, remote viewing, and control capabilities, will be installed in all PC computer classrooms this spring and summer (http://clm.ucdavis.edu).

Classrooms Upgraded with Digital Recorders, New Projectors
IET’s Classroom Technology Team pursued and received funding from the Office of the University Registrar to replace audio-cassette recorders in 10 lecture halls with digital recorders. Additionally, the team received funding to upgrade the associated audio inputs and outputs in the media cabinets in order to provide optimal signals for digital recording. The equipment will be purchased during spring quarter; audio upgrades and digital installations will be completed during the summer. A second projector has been installed in Roessler 66 to accommodate the Personal Response System installed in the room. A detailed article about the Personal Repose System “Clicking to Learn,” appears in the IT Times (http://technews.ucdavis.edu/news2.cfm?id=1274). Projectors are also being replaced in 42 classrooms. These new projectors were ordered and received at the end of March; installations will begin during spring quarter.

Special Installation Projects Completed for Departments
Large classroom installation projects were completed for Material Management, McClellan Nuclear Radiation Center, and IET-Mediaworks. The projects included complete media systems, which contain a data projector, smart panel, and sound systems. Two smaller projects were completed for the Physics and Native American Studies departments. Data projectors and screens were installed in two classrooms in the Physics department, and Native American Studies had an audio system with CD players installed into the Gorman Museum in Hart Hall. In addition, Classroom Technology Services is actively involved in the audio-visual planning process for classrooms in the Mondavi Wine and Food Institute (http://cts.ucdavis.edu).

Special Player can Play DVDs from Any Part of the World
Different regions and countries employ different television broadcast systems that determine how television sets display the signal they receive. North America uses National Television System Committee (NTSC), while most of Europe and Asia uses Phase Alternating Line (PAL). A DVD recorded for PAL will not work on most North American DVD players. To address this problem, Computer Lab Management (CLM) has installed a region-free DVD player in the Hart Media Distribution Lab (clm.ucdavis.edu/rooms/hartmedialab/) to allow access to foreign films. The unit (JVC XV S500) can play DVDs from any part of the world and supports both PAL and NTSC media. It also plays SVCD and Video CDs, thus increasing the types of media that can be viewed in the lab. The station has four sets of headphones for group viewing (http://clm.ucdavis.edu/rooms).

Event Team Assists with Building Dedications, Conferences
The IET-Special Event Support team provided sound and recording for the Chancellor’s Office at Mrak Hall during the UC Office of the President Conference in January, and for the dedication of the new Mathematical Sciences Building, as well as for the Watershed Sciences Building dedication. The unit also assisted with many UC Davis community services presentations such as First Robotics Challenge and the Tower of Youth Film Festival.

Videoconferencing Center Continues to Support Distance Learning Courses and Events
Two distance-learning courses were offered through the Videoconferencing Center during winter quarter. An Animal Science Department class was transmitted to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly Pomona, and a History Department course was transmitted to Hosei University in Tokyo, Japan. An article in the spring IT Times, “Studying Abroad by Staying Put,” describes a videoconferencing course that took place between UC Davis and Hosei University during the fall 2005 quarter. The article includes information on how faculty and staff can obtain videoconferencing services (http://technews.ucdavis.edu/news2.cfm?id=1268). In addition, thirteen separate videoconference events were held in the two Olson Hall facilities (http://cts.ucdavis.edu/services/vtc.html).

Multimedia Services

Campus Considers Apple’s iTunes U
In April, a workgroup that included representatives from various campus units was formed to investigate the possibility of partnering with Apple to join iTunes U. iTunes U is a program that organizes a university’s audio, text, and multimedia files and makes them available to faculty and students at no charge. Based on preliminary analysis and feedback from the campus workgroup, an application was submitted to Apple on behalf of UC Davis. Shortly thereafter, given interest expressed by various UC campuses, UC Office of the President initiated discussions with Apple to negotiate a system-wide service agreement. Results from these negotiations will be shared with members of the UC Davis community as soon as they become available. Pending further development, Information and Educational Technology plans to continue to provide podcasting services through its podcasting program. For more information about iTunes U, see www.apple.com/education/solutions/itunes_u/ . To access the UC Davis podcasting Web site, visit http://podcast.ucdavis.edu.

Fall and Winter Podcasting Pilot Enormously Successful
This past winter, IET expanded and refined the campus digital lecture recording and distribution pilot program initially launched in fall 2005. One of the improvements made was the installation of a permanent digital recorder (Marantz PMD570) in the 123 Science Lecture Hall’s media cabinet. In addition, the number of users in the pilot grew substantially this winter as IET helped podcast lectures for 13 undergraduate courses. Of the 2,500 students enrolled in these courses, more than 1,900 students uploaded MP3 lectures or subscribed to the course podcasts. For Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior courses, 65 percent of enrolled students downloaded and used podcast/MP3 lecture materials. Thanks to podcasting, IET is distributing over 330,000 MB of MP3-streaming content per month, an increase of 280,000 MB per month since last December (http://podcast.ucdavis.edu).

Design Services Provided for Annual UC Davis Health System Future Faire
IET-Mediaworks’ Graphics Unit provided comprehensive consulting and design services for the annual UC Davis Health System Future Faire held on May 17 at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. The theme of this year’s event was “Infectious Diseases,” and it highlighted areas of collaboration and research provided by UC Davis, UC Davis Medical Center, and Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. The event was by invitation-only and drew hundreds of attendees. In addition to being on the planning committee, Mediaworks designed large display/presentation posters and provided design and production services for menus, signage, and interior display and presentation stations (http://wifss.ucdavis.edu/futurefaire.html).

And the Silver Telly Award Goes to….
In April, eight members of IET-Mediaworks’ video team were honored with a Silver Telly Award for their video production work on the March 13, 2005 Mahler Symphony No. 2 in C Minor performed by the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra. Telly Awards (http://www.tellyawards.com/) are a national telecommunications award that honors outstanding local, regional, and national television video and film productions. Last year, the Telly Awards received more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and from 5 continents. The UC Davis Symphony Orchestra program was entered in the 27th annual Telly Awards by the University of California Television Channel (UCTV).