The George Mason University Instructional Foundation, Inc. (GMUIF) manages two Virtual Presentation Studios (VPS) to provide high-quality, high-touch interaction for faculty and staff.
The need to teach classes and have staff work from home will continue, even after in-person classes resume more fully. A subset of courses needs more high-quality, high-touch interaction, which is lacking when using standard home office equipment. GMUIF manages two Virtual Presentation Studios (VPS) to help address this situation. The VPS Studio facilities offer a safe campus location with easy-to-operate equipment that enhances the teaching and learning environment. These studios enhance Mason's instructional quality for some virtual courses to help faculty manage the audio-video (AV)/Zoom technology more effectively. Additionally, they can be used to improve online or hybrid meetings for administrators. The VPS Studios will serve as a testing ground, prototype, and pilot to help determine to what extent Mason faculty might benefit from having some or all of these facilities features.
Contact GMUIF via the scheduling Link or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about how you can teach your next class using the VPS Studio.
The purpose of VPS Studios is to create mobile smart rooms for distance education by providing a plug-and-play process that will allow professors or staff to walk into the room, plug in their laptop or USB drive and start teaching via Zoom, Blackboard, or any other distance education program. The studios allow the professors to view all the students in the online room on one monitor, active speaker on another, and a separate live monitor for any PowerPoint, whiteboard, or document camera presentations. The instructor can control what is being seen by the students via the document and room controller, which are at their fingertips. In addition, the professors can view and hear any student speaking while maintaining a full view of all students on a separate screen, the microphones ensure there is no feedback for the professor or students, and it provides adequate lighting, video and audio levels, and security.
The VPS Studios utilize Zoom Rooms to facilitate ease of use. Zoom Rooms include a touch display (iPad) controller as a companion to the system, allowing one-touch access to the system attachments. These attachments include a camera that will follow your movements as you move around the area. A whiteboard and whiteboard camera that can capture what is being written on the whiteboard and translate it into a digital format which will be displayed on the Studio displays and virtually to the viewers. A document camera that can be used when reading books or showing physical objects while utilizing the sharing capabilities of a Zoom call. A Kamvas tablet and pen that will allow you to annotate or mark up documents as you show them to the viewers. In short, the VPS Studio provides the next level of engagement to online learning by augmenting the experience with robust hardware and features in both distance learning and future hybrid designs.