FAQs

Learn from Anywhere (LfA)

Please Note:  If your question is not answered below, or you would like clarification on any content, please create a ServiceNow ticket by sending an email to classrooms@bu.edu.  A representative from Learning & Event Technology Services (LETS) will follow up with you regarding your request.

Visit the Find-A-Classroom section of the main Classrooms page to search for your classroom.

For an overview of our Pro and Basic LfA Rooms, watch the videos below:

 

Should faculty bring additional tech such as headsets?  Or will current classroom tech set ups be sufficient?

UPDATE – Bluetooth headsets will be provided to each instructor of record. These will provide the best audio for the remote students given additional background noise that might be experienced in the rooms. The technology enhancements in the classrooms are sufficient to enable Zoom in support of LfA but the headsets give the audio a bit more of a boost. Also worth noting, while faculty could choose to bring their own headset, the Zoom interface only allows for selecting one video and one audio device. Using a headset means that what is said remotely would not come through the room speakers to be shared with the in-room students. If you have questions or want to test that, LETS or your local IT support staff can test that with you. See the videos available on this page for more details.

How do I connect my Apple laptop with USB-C to Zoom in the classroom?

You will need an Apple USB-C adapter with USB and HDMI ports. Watch our video here detailing how to connect:

Adapters and connections PC/MAC

Exactly how many and which type of microphones will be standard for classrooms in CAS?

There are several different types of spaces in the CAS building and across campus. The project will be adding ceiling drop pendant microphones over the instructor and over the student area of each classroom, regardless of the building. Some rooms included in the project will have an additional microphone in the camera at the back of the room. Rooms with existing full Echo360 lecture capture solutions will retain the existing number of ceiling microphones that have been in place for that solution but those will be bridged to also be used for Zoom on a built-in PC, if there is one, or on a faculty laptop. We are assessing each room and deploying supplemental microphones as needed. Faculty will also receive a set of Bluetooth headphones that will help boost the audio for the remote student audience.

Will every currently booked classroom have working Echo360 lecture capture, or if my assigned room does not list this resource, do I need to request it, or is this being done this summer already?

No, Echo360 lecture capture capabilities are not being expanded as part of this project. If you require Echo360 for lecture capture, you can request that. However, Zoom is used by many institutions for lecture capture because you can record the meeting and have that for students to refer to later. In this way, lecture capture will be available in all rooms being outfitted for LfA. In Registrar classrooms, you can look up classroom technology and room attributes in the Find a Classroom tool located on the www.bu.edu/classrooms website.

A more general version of the previous questions, when and how will we learn which technology exactly will be available in each room?

All Office of the University Registrar classrooms are included in the project and will provide technology in support of LfA. Many proprietary classrooms are also included in the project and these rooms were selected in collaboration with representatives and IT support staff in the schools and colleges. For all LfA enabled classrooms (~500), you can look up classroom technology and room attributes using the Find a Classroom feature located here, on the www.bu.edu/classrooms website. We have updated these pages across the over the summer to include more information for the specific rooms including the tech solution, a prototype room that matches it, a video for that type of room and other information. Please note that faculty should be prepared to bring their own adapters to use with their laptops in rooms without a built-in PC. You can find more information about adapters here.

How will remote students hear what in-class students say?

The project includes the installation of ceiling microphones to pick up student discussion and faculty instruction. Some rooms will have an additional microphone in the camera at the back of the room. Rooms with existing full Echo360 lecture capture solutions will retain the existing number of ceiling microphones that have been in place for that solution but those microphones will be bridged to also be used for Zoom on a built-in PC, if there is one, or on a faculty laptop. We are assessing each room and will determine if supplemental microphones are needed. Faculty will also receive a set of Bluetooth headphones that will help boost the audio for the remote student audience.

 

Will remote students be able to understand us if we are wearing a mask?

We have done tests using rooms with existing equipment set ups similar to the enhancements being added to classrooms included in the project. The ceiling microphone over the main teaching area picked up the speaker’s voice well and remote attendees did not have an issue. We do recommend that faculty focus on speaking carefully and clearly instead of loudly. See our above videos for examples of how an instructor will sound with a mask on. Faculty will also receive a set of Bluetooth headphones that will help boost the audio for the remote student audience.

LINK: Echo360 Universal Capture (UCAP) test in CAS-214 (6/29/2020) using both N95 & disposable medical face masks.

Will we be able to see remote students on a large screen in our classes?

We are not adding large flat panels to the hundreds of classrooms included in the Zoom classroom upgrade project. The remote students will only see the students in the classroom that are captured by the in room camera or if the in room students opt to also join the Zoom meeting for the class.

What technical support will the faculty receive; either before/after, and also during the actual time of teaching in the classroom?

LETS has offered over 115 in-person sessions for over 445 faculty. Existing classroom support resources have been expanded and are available to faculty. The LfA Classroom Moderators can also assist with basic issues and will escalate to an appropriate group if needed. The LETS LfA Hotline is 617-353-3227.

I’ve heard students participating on Zoom won’t be allowed to see students in the classroom. Is that true, and is the reverse also true?

The remote students will only see the students in the classroom that are captured by the in room camera or if the in room students opt to also join the Zoom meeting for the class.

I’ve consistently had problems with the technology that is currently in the rooms. I’m worried that we’re building on that not very good technology.

The project does include addressing some known, major underlying system issues. In 68 of the oldest Office of the University Registrar classrooms, a new digital system upgrade is happening to address some failing component issues where a replacement unit was no longer available by the manufacturer and was no longer repairable. This will drastically improve the teaching experience and the experience for remote students attending classes held in those rooms. In addition, IS&T has funded Laser Projectors to be installed in these 68 spaces to completely bring the old technology up to current standards. As we are reviewing the proprietary spaces, notes for required repairs and upgrades are also being captured and are being completed if necessary if they fall within the scope of the project.

What is happening in the laboratories and specialty spaces like studios in CFA?

Great question!  The discussions we have had with faculty who teach in STEM labs and at CFA have been creative and productive. There are suggestions for portable carts with technology to allow labs to be streamed. We have a few different versions of the mobile cart solutions in labs and are grateful to faculty for sharing their ideas and expertise on how these would best work for others.

Resources at the CRC and Med School differ.  What will be available at the Med School for us in terms of technology, technology helpers, etc.?

In addition to the pre-existing support available from BUMC LETS, classroom moderators will be available for GMS and SPH courses on all campuses.

Will all classrooms have multiple screens — A screen for faculty slides and another screen or 2 to see students who are on Zoom?

No, this is not part of the basic enhancement design that is being installed in classrooms.

Will a totally touchless, Wi-Fi based system be set up?

Crestron AirMedia, a wireless presentation system, is available in many Office of the University Registrar (OUR) classrooms. You can see if this functionality is in the OUR room you will be teaching in by using the Find a Classroom feature.

If we use the classroom computer to incorporate the Zoom meeting, then presumably we can’t use that system to project PowerPoint slides or show videos.  Is that the case?

No, there are easy ways to achieve both, including sharing your screen, and these options will be addressed in faculty training to go over different scenarios. LETS will also have instructions and training (written and video) on the different ways you can incorporate this functionality in your classes. Classroom Moderators can also assist.

The technology for recording seems aimed at frontal lectures of the sort few of us in the Humanities do. If the classroom learning model is all about discussion but the recording is focused on the front of the room, how does that work?

You’re correct that the basic enhancement includes a camera with preset Zoom scenarios accessible from the system control panel. However, if you find you need a modification to support your teaching style, additional portable equipment will be available to you. Your classroom support staff can assist you with finding a solution that will work.

Can I use the Document Cameras that are in the rooms with Zoom?

Yes, some of the Doc Cams have a micro USB connection that can plug into your laptop. Watch our video walking you through the process here:

 

Support & Service

Can I receive training on the installed classroom equipment?

Yes! Please contact us to arrange a one-on-one or group training session with one of our Learning & Event Technology Specialists.  We will do our best to arrange for a meeting in a classroom of your choosing, schedule permitting.  If your preferred classroom is not available, we may schedule a session in a room of similar capability and/or technology level.  Helpful written and video instructions are also available here on our website. LETS can be reached at (617) 353-3227, classrooms@bu.edu or by completing our request form.

What are the Learning & Event Technology Services support hours?

Regular business hours for Learning & Event Technology Services are as follows:

MONDAY:   7:30am — 9:30pm
TUESDAY:   7:30am — 9:30pm
WEDNESDAY:   7:30am — 9:30pm
THURSDAY:   7:30am — 9:30pm
FRIDAY:   7:30am — 5:30pm
SATURDAY:   CLOSED
SUNDAY:   CLOSED

 

 

 

 

 


NOTE:  Hours may vary in the summer and/or during holiday and break periods.

How can I reserve a Registrar room?

The University Registrar has a web page that explains the Room Reservation Policy where you can find out additional information on reserving a room.

Whom should I contact to support my class or event?

Please call the Learning & Event Technology Services hotline at (617) 353-3227 or email your event details to classrooms@bu.edu and we will arrange for support for your class or event.

 

Equipment

Can I borrow a Mac adapter?

Mac adapters are available for sign out from the Learning & Event Technology Services office located in the CAS basement, Room B05.  Adapters can be borrowed on a per-class basis, and must be returned to CAS-B05 or a fee will be assessed.  LETS maintains an inventory of the following adapters but cannot guarantee their availability:

CTS Mac Adapters

LETS highly recommends that you purchase your own adapter for use with your personal laptop.  To determine which adapter is necessary for your machine, check out Apple’s Cable & Adapter page.  Adapters can be purchased from the Apple Store or your local electronics store.

Why doesn’t my classroom have a built-in projector?

Learning & Event Technology Services is responsible for the media support and maintenance of all Registrar classrooms across the Charles River Campus.  Each of these rooms is equipped with a projection system.  If your classroom does not have an installed projection system, it is very likely that you teach in a proprietary teaching space under the control of your department.  If you are interested in having a projection system installed, please speak with your department chair or administrative coordinator to arrange a consultation with the AV Engineering group in Information Services & Technology regarding equipment installation options.

Does Learning & Event Technology Services provide laptops or computers in the classrooms?

Learning & Event Technology Services does not provide laptops for faculty use in the classroom at this time.  There are many Registrar classrooms on campus with built in computers. You can locate these rooms through the Find a Classroom page.

What technology equipment is installed in my classroom?

All Registrar-controlled classrooms on the Charles River Campus have some kind of installed media equipment.  For a searchable, detailed list of all Registrar classroom equipment, and to find out what equipment is already installed in your classroom, please visit the Find a Classroom page to search for your room.

Where is the VGA/HDMI cable located? (Also, can I have my own cable?)

In a majority of classrooms, if it is not already connected to the VGA or HDMI input jack when you arrive in the room, the VGA and HDMI cables can be found in the rack drawer in the media box.  In some special cases, the VGA or HDMI cable connection can be made at the podium.  If you prefer, we can provide you with your own VGA/HDMI cable to keep with your laptop, free of charge.  Please contact classrooms@bu.edu or visit room CAS-B05 (725 Commonwealth Avenue) to sign out a cable for the duration of the semester.  If lost, a fee may be assessed for any further cable replacements, if necessary.

Why can’t I move the podium in my classroom?

By design, the podia in the classrooms are not meant to be moved.  Inside each podium, there are many delicate cable connections running to a floor box.  It is understandable that one might forget about these connections due to the fact that they cannot be seen; however, they are integral to the function of the room’s projection system.  When the podium is moved, these connections are often severed, contributing to complete system failure. Moving of this equipment often accounts for repair downtime.