Auburn University
Auburn University
Office of Information and Instructional Technology
Auburn University
 

RATIONALE AND PROTOCOLS FOR SCHEDULING OF ROOMS
and VIDEO AND AUDIO CONFERENCING

In order to provide the best possible connectivity between Auburn and Mobile, HSOP OIT has contracted with BT Conferencing to provide a dedicated network between the two campuses. This year, we will have access to two T1 lines, which provides 3.0 mbps (megabits per second) bandwidth and will be used for video conferencing only. This bandwidth allows for four simultaneous medium-high quality (768 kbps (kilobits per second)) connections.

In addition to limited bandwidth, we must also begin observing overall video conferencing utilization in order to monitor resources on the MCU (Multipoint Control Unit, a.k.a. the bridge). All calls that pass through the bridge take up resources on various parts of the system depending on the bandwidth and type of call, layout of the view, number of endpoints, etc. BT Conferencing will be monitoring call volume and bandwidth as we move forward with our program.

Further, we continue to record and archive classes and other meetings on DejaView, which also uses resources and bandwidth on our network, and therefore must be scheduled and accounted for in the overall total.

Note: these protocols do not include standard telephone usage, including calls to Mobile. However, toll-free conferencing for 4 or more locations should be scheduled.  AU Telecom systems will conference 3 locations without using the toll free number.

Due to the constraints created by our limited bandwidth and resources, certain protocols must be followed for scheduling of rooms and video and audio conferencing connections between all sites. We have created a new Resource to manage this schedule, aptly named HSOP Master Schedule. Selena Day has volunteered to temporarily manage this calendar, with additional support by Don Davino, Barry McConatha, Chuck Bolivar, and others. All faculty, staff and students have rights to view this resource through proxy.

All requests for scheduling of rooms, connections, meetings, online office hours, etc. should be sent via an online form which has been created to facilitate your reservation request. You may access the online submission request form at: http://pharmacy.auburn.edu/intranet/request_forms/request.htm. Upon submission of the form, you should see a confirmation screen noting that your submission has been received. This does not mean you have secured the reservation. Please check the calendar to confirm your request. If there is a conflict, we will contact you with additional options or suggestions.

If you are unable to access the form, requests sent via email must include: New Request or Update to Existing Reservation; Name; Date, Time, Length, Location of Room or Resource needed; Type of Request (meeting, facilitation, class, etc.); Type of Connection (point-to-point, multi-point, recording, toll-free number, etc.); Names of faculty/staff connecting; any additional information or special instructions.

Please submit your request as early as possible. Requests submitted less than 24 hours before start time cannot be guaranteed. We will make every effort to accommodate requests, but note that certain types of reservations have priority over others, and the schedule is very full already. Adjustments may have to be made to date/time/location requested.

When you view the HSOP Master Schedule, you will see various color coding and emphasis (underline) given to appointments (classes, meetings, etc.). Video conference calls connecting to the Mobile campus will be highlighted in red. Calls shown in blue are point-to-point connections not including Mobile. Items in purple are audio conference only. Calls where the title is underlined will be recorded on DejaView. Listings in gray do not connect as video conference calls. The title will list the class name or other type of call, such as Faculty Meeting. Following the title will be the location(s), shown in parentheses as room number(s) or site(s) that are connecting, or simply the location of the meeting, etc. If there is a connection, it will be shown as near end location (typically Auburn) - far end location. Multipoint connections will be shown with all site locations in parentheses. Additional information may be included in the text area of the appointment. Color scheme subject to change.

Master Calendar
Click to enlarge


For classroom to classroom connectivity, which will include transmission of people and content, we plan to use the medium-high quality (768 kbps) at all times, thus taking up half the bandwidth available between Auburn and Mobile campuses. This is necessary for the far site students to receive good quality visuals from the document camera or computer. Likewise, for PPE use, where people and content will be required, we will use the medium-high quality (768 kbps). For certain calls with no content component, it will be possible to make additional connections between the two campuses.

All video conference calls must be scheduled in advance. This includes, but is not limited to: Classes (including PSS, PPE and IP); Committee Meetings; Student Organization Meetings; Supplemental Instruction; Online Office Hours for Mobile; presentations by and interviews of job candidates; Faculty and Department Meetings; Colloquium; PRN meetings; Town Hall meetings; Special Presentations; Virtual Meeting Room needs, etc.

As we are currently limited to four concurrent connections with Mobile, these calls take priority. Any connection to the Mobile campus must be scheduled ASAP in order to get on the calendar and to avoid conflicts. All classes, including PSS, PPE, and IP, regardless of connectivity, will be placed on the HSOP Master Schedule for tracking. All committee, departmental and organization meetings should be placed on the calendar as well, but with particular emphasis on those connected or recorded via StarBak. Note that ACPE requirements state that Mobile campus must have equal access to meetings, etc., and that faculty who are teaching students in Mobile must offer online office hours.

Priority for reservations:
1 – Coursework (including PSS, PPE, IP Facilitation)
2 – Mobile calls (other than coursework, including online office hours)
3 – Student Organizations
4 – Committees and Supplemental Instruction

Ad hoc calling is discouraged. During testing, the addition of one call to the Mobile network severely disrupted (and can potentially disconnect) calls already in progress. If you must make a call at the last minute and cannot schedule with Selena or others, please check the HSOP Master Schedule to confirm that you will not interfere with ongoing calls.
 

Link to: Request Form