E. Computer Classrooms and Displays.
1. Need reflected in survey and college plans.
In the 1998 ARCC survey 49% percent of faculty indicated that they had made a computer-based presentation in the previous year. An estimated total of 3300 computer presentations were made by all faculty. Of all IT needs, faculty put development of classroom display equipment at a medium priority. Thirteen percent feel that it is the top priority for funding and 54% feel that reallocation of University resources for this purpose should at least be considered. On the other hand all colleges and 13 separate departments indicate a need for display equipment in their individual plans.
Three types of devices allow instructors to display computer output to a class: 1) permanently mounted projectors or large screens; 2) portable projectors which can be carted or carried into a classroom along with a computer; and, 3) LCD panels which can be connected to a computer and placed on an overhead projector. The University has 26 fixed display classrooms in 12 buildings. At least 23 high quality portable projector systems are available for faculty use and they are distributed across most colleges. Academic departments also own at least 20 older and less bright LCD panels. Appendix A contains a description of all WSU owned display devices.
Five computer classrooms, in which instructors can lead students working on computers, have been setup for general faculty use: Union 310, administered by Learning Support; Social Science 15, administered by Academic Computing; Library 30 and 138, administered by the Library; and Davis lab, administered by the Davis Center. The departments of TBE, MMET, CS, IS&T and perhaps others also have such classrooms. Some hours in the open labs can be scheduled for group class work.
3. Future Recommendations, including.
The ARCC is allocating 40% of its available funds (after subtracting 15K for support) for computer classrooms and displays in 2000-2001.
The following actions should begin now and continue into the future.
a. Acquisition. Additional projectors should be purchased. All departments should have at least one good projector system. In departments of high computer usage more than one will be necessary.
b. Standardization. Maintenance and usage of display equipment is made more difficult by diversity of systems. The University, in particular CATS and Purchasing, should identify a standard for projectors and all purchasers should be encouraged to buy this standard.
c. Optimization. Utilization of projectors could be increased and effectiveness improved by improving convenience, portability, network connectivity, room lighting control and other environmental parameters. For examples, the mounting projector and computer on a cart, or the addition of a light circuit that would allow the extinction of half the lights in a classroom could make presently owned projectors more usable and more used. Appropriate improvements would vary with department. The University should contract with a vendor of display equipment to study projector setups and departmental needs and to effect improvements as needed. This contract should be part a purchase contract, see c2 above, which would automatically provide the service for new purchasers, as well as extend to present projector owners. CATS should develop a Request for Proposals for this service, and supervise the contract when established. A budget of $5,000 should be supplied to initiate this service.
d. Education. CATS should provide education in projector setup and use for faculty and staff.
e. Sharing information. A database of University display systems should be maintained and accessible to users. This database would include descriptors of projectors and of procedures for access or borrowing. This database should be readily available on the Web, in order to help faculty find display equipment when they need it.
f. Troubleshooting and maintenance. Computer Support should provide first level support on all projector problems. Technicians from this office should correct simple setup problems, provide information on replacing light bulbs, and refer more serious problems to appropriate repair facilities. This would extend the type of assistance this office already offers for pc's. As part of this maintenance Computer Support would maintain the projector database referred to above.
g. Loaner and one-time usage. CATS should maintain a projector which would be available to all faculty for special, one-time events and not permanently scheduled. A standing agreement should be established by Purchasing with a local company to rent additional projectors as needed.