Scope and Goals

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Scope and Technology Functional Requirements

Cline Library Learning Studio, Room 249

Cynthia Childrey, Dean and University Librarian
Carolyn Carr, Project Manager, NAU Facility Services
Jill Koelling, Assistant Dean and Project Manager, Cline Library
Jeff Hillock, Library Technology Services and Technology Project Lead, Cline Library

2-25-2014

Scope and Goals:

The overall scope of the Learning Studio is to create a student centered, active learning, technology-enriched, high-engagement classroom.  Our goals include:

  • Create a next-generation learning space for students and faculty to interact with technology in a seamless environment that stimulates group participation.
  • Increase faculty options for designing, using and evaluating a learning environment in a highly flexible space.
  • Incorporate universal design furnishings and concepts into a highly collaborative student space.
  • Enable students and instructors to build content together across platforms and spaces internally and remotely.
  • Develop an interoperable space for group study and events after class times have ended.

Classroom Program

Technology in the Learning Studio is divided into four categories:  lectern technology, touch-pad technology, workstation technology, and room technology which must all be integrated for simple operation.

Lectern technology

The lectern will serve as a workstation for the instructor, and also as a technology hub for various input sources that the instructor may use, including UHD/HD/SD DVD content, multiple video input connection types and power connections for bring your own device (BYOD), a ceiling mounted HD document camera, and a Wyse thin client with Windows 7.  The height adjustable lectern should be approximately 36″ x 60″ in size and potentially include a fold-out side table for extra workspace and use with the document camera.  The lectern will need lockable storage for UHD/HD/SD DVD components. Keys for the lectern will be located in the DIRTT closet that stores the equipment rack for the back-end room controls and additional laptops for student use.

Touch-pad technology

The room control interface will be handled via a tablet (for example, an Apple iPad or Crestron wireless touch device). Room control will be “activity based,” meaning that all input/output/power switching will be handled in one function, behind the scenes and the instructor will select an activity from a menu (e.g. Show DVD) and the inputs and outputs will perform as needed.  The room control interface will be the key component of the Learning Studio, allowing all the technology to be used with ease, and all functions should be designed with an intuitive and easy to follow workflow.  The technology configuration will include the ability for instructors to manage content display at the lectern, transferring display from the lectern or from content on the wireless touch device to all ten student 50″ LED monitors by giving control of monitors to individual student groups, or display content from a single student group display across any or all room displays (all ten 50″ LED monitors, the 85″ UHD LED TV, and the two projectors as determined by the instructor).   This control will be managed from the touch pad interface run remotely by the instructor.  All functionality on the touch pad will be replicated at the lectern for use with ADA-compliant assistive software.  The default will be to run the room remotely using the touch pad so the instructor can walk around the room and not be tethered to the lectern.   

Workstation technology

There are 10 workstations in the Learning Studio configured as two separate tables; one fixed and one mobile, each accommodating seven students.  The workstations can be divided into smaller groups of three and four students respectively.  Each workstation is paired with a 50″ LED monitor mounted behind the DIRTT glass wrap-around wall (see technology specifications).  At each fixed workstation there will be a Wyse thin client (mounted inside the DIRTT wall) with Windows 7 (including a keyboard and mouse), and a wireless BYOD interface device.  The fixed table has a recessed box with the lid acting as the control panel and the box housing connections for power, Ethernet and an audio jack for the thin client (or multiple audio jacks for the thin client to accommodate multiple students – tbd).  Each fixed table will have HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort (Including Apple Thunderbolt/Mini DisplayPort) cabling to display UHD content.  The workstation will be capable of displaying content from the instructor, the workstation thin client, or student personal devices via the wireless BYOD interface to either the tethered 50″ LED monitor or to all room displays via instructor control.  Each workstation is capable of operating independently of the rest of the room during non-classroom hours.  When the workstations are split into smaller groups, students working at the fixed station can send content to the monitor via the thin client or wirelessly via the BYOD interface. Students working at the mobile table can send content to the monitor via the wireless BYOD interface.  The instructor will always be able to control content at the monitor regardless of the configuration of the tables. 

Room technology

The Learning Studio is designed to be a highly configurable, advanced technology classroom space, in an environment that’s seamless and intuitive to use.  Room technology not incorporated at the lectern, touch-pad or workstations can be broken down into four sub-categories: video, audio, and infrastructure.  

  • Video will include an 85″ UHD TV for use as a large format instructor display and as the “whiteboard” for the digital annotation system.  Additionally, there will be two LED projectors with accompanying ceiling mounted projector screens, located in front of the exterior windows and along the north wall in front of the glass by the north east entrance to the classroom.
  • Audio will consist of (N) ceiling mounted 6.5-8″ full range speakers that will output all room audio, and a volume control normalization system which will facilitate collaboration across the large classroom space.  Audio capture can be easily added to the system, as all room audio is already picked up and processed for normalization.
  • The infrastructure of the Learning Studio includes a wrap-around DIRTT wall matching the height level of the door jams that contains a back-painted glass surface around the perimeter of the room.  This surface is similar to that used in the current collaborative spaces in Phase I of the Learning Space Project.  The 50″ LED monitors at each workstation will be mounted behind clear glass; all other locations will be back-painted glass to simulate white boards.  The room will include a lockable equipment closet that will contain shelving or a laptop cart to accommodate (N) laptops or tablets (tbd) for classroom use, and a lockable equipment cabinet for all room amplifiers, switches, processors, etc.  The room also has a DIRTT raised floor that contains floor boxes for power and Ethernet.  There will be floor boxes at each workstation location to facilitate wiring for the workstation technology.  Floor boxes will also be spaced throughout to accommodate power needs when the workstations are split for small groups.

Technology Specifications

Monitors

  • 85″ UHD LED TV – Samsung preferred
    • UHD (ultra-high definition) is the next step in video technology, and adding this now helps to future proof the room
    • Digital annotation package associated with this TV – eBeam is one possibility
    • after-hours – library staff have access to power UHD TV via room control
  • 12 workstation-based 50″ LED monitors
    • located at 10 student workstations, with 2 extras as back-ups
    • student control of monitor associated with tethered workstation
    • instructor control of all monitors
    • Student control of tethered workstation: Table touch panel controls monitor power on/off, input source selection, and audio input for headphones to access thin client sound. (audio volume controls-tbd)
    • after-hours: library staff access to power all monitors via room control
  • 2 LED projectors with ceiling recessed projection screens
    • Screen at  west wall in front of exterior windows
    • Black out screens for west-facing exterior windows
    • Screen in front of glass at north wall near north east entrance to classroom
    • after-hours –  library staff have access to power projectors and screens via the room control
  • 1 50″ LED monitor
    • located on the north exterior wall of the classroom, facing Room 240
    • same model as classroom monitors
    • this monitor is not connected to the room controls
    • used as library informational panel, class calendar, or both (tbd)

Touch-pad room controller

  • Controller to reside on an Apple iPad or Crestron touch pad
    • A wireless device allows the instructor to be mobile in the classroom, as this space is just over 2500 square feet, and not be tied to the lectern to manage the room controls.
    • Can content be displayed from the wireless device?
      • This deals with room control interface complexity.  Needs discussion.
    • Can Blackboard and classroom content stored in BbLearn be displayed from the wireless device?
      • This deals with room control interface complexity.  Needs discussion.

Room audio

  • Volume normalization system for class discussion
    • Boundary mics to pick up all room audio
    • Audio processor
    • Audio capture can be integrated into the system as required
  • 6.5-8″ ceiling speakers distributed evenly across the room for all output
  • The instructor has control over the system to opt-in/out as desired
  • Two-way audio communication for remote students, guest speakers, co-lecturers (see video communication)
  • After-hours – system is off (library staff have access to turn on the audio system for events via the room control)

Instructor's lectern

  • 36x60″ height adjustable (potential pop-out surface for use with ceiling mounted document camera)
  • Wyse thin client with Windows 7 (keyboard and mouse locked in lower compartment after hours)
  • Ceiling mounted document camera
  • Multi format cable connections (VGA, DVI, mini-DV, mini-HDMI, etc.)
  • iPad or Crestron touch pad device with room control system (locked in DIRTT closet, inaccessible after hours)
  • UHD DVD/Blu-Ray player (locked in lower compartment, inaccessible after hours)
    • The device is backward compatible to play standard DVDs
  • Wireless media system to connect BYOD
    • Crestron AirMedia or Christie Brio; tbd

Mobile lectern (no technology)

  • no technology, just a work surface on wheels
  • possibly a flip-top for easy storage
  • standing height

Lockable equipment closet

  • Slots for (N) laptops/tables (tbd) available for class use – this may also be a laptop cart
  • Locking equipment cabinet (inside lockable closet) containing room control equipment
  • This will allow us to grant faculty access to the laptops, but limit unauthorized access to the equipment
  • Provide whiteboard markers for use during class time accessible in the DIRTT closet.  DIRTT walls need trays for markers.  Markers will be locked away when all classes are completed for the day.
  • Card access to DIRTT closet use Lenel access levels and NAU JacksCards instead, which will allow simpler control and more accountability through auditing.

10 Studio Workstations configurable to twenty (10 fixed/10 mobile)

  • Power, Ethernet, thin client audio jack available at each fixed location
    • Stored in table-top recessed box
  • Wyse thin client with Windows 7 at each fixed table (thin client to reside in DIRTT wall)
    • Keyboard and mouse cabling tbd
  • Wireless media system to connect BYOD (per table)
    • Crestron AirMedia or Christie Brio; tbd

DIRTT wrap-around walls with back-painted glass panel writing surface around room perimeter (including over monitors)

  • Digital annotation system (possibly eBeam) for instructor use at 85″ UHD TV (connected to podium thin client)
  • Can the digital annotation system be connected to the wireless touch-pad device if it is delivering content as well as handling room control?

Video Communication

  • Two-way video communication for remote students, guest speakers, co-lecturers (see Room audio)
  • Room audio will capture students/faculty in the classroom
  • How will video capture be handled for each workstation and for instructor? Will there be a camera at each workstation?

Software

  • Windows 7
  • How will we accommodate specialized software requirements for classes taught in the room?
    • Remote connections to campus terminal servers for software access. 
    • Collaboration with campus IT departments.

Wireless Network

  • Will the Learning Studio need a separate independent wireless network to accommodate the BYOD environment we are building for 70 students?
    • What are the infrastructure requirements?
    • Collaboration with campus IT

After Hours Program

When the Learning Studio is not in use as a classroom, it will be available for use as a group or individual study space for students and/or available for use by large groups as a meeting/presentation space. 

Individual students or group study space use

  • Each workstation is managed individually by the control interface at the fixed table.
  • Power to the monitor is controlled from the individual table.
  • Student groups cannot share content across multiple monitors.
  • Students can utilize the thin client at the table or connect their own device wirelessly to the monitor at their table.
  • Room audio is off after hours.
  • Provide an audio jack in the fixed table that would link to audio from the thin client.  We could also provide an audio device similar to those in use in the viewing studio that would enable up to four headphones so a group of students could listen to audio after hours from the thin client.  (Or this device could be available for check-out from the Main Desk?)
  • Individual/student groups would check out white board markers for use in the room just as they do now for use in group study rooms at the Main Desk.
  • Time-out is required on thin clients and monitors after (n) amount of inactivity and power down after (n) amount of inactivity to reduce power consumption and ensure the room is fully powered down at library close. 

Reserved for use by large groups, first time/only time users

  • The library will schedule the room for large groups and events.
  • Room control will be available for larger groups and events.  The touch pad will be stored either in the lectern or the DIRTT closet.  Library staff/student employees will provide access to the room controller touch pad via the card access on the DIRTT closet door.
  • Library staff/student employees will provide technology support.
  • Library staff/student employees will reset the rooms after large groups or event use.