Using Hybrid Classrooms on Campus

The Hybrid Classroom equipment MSU has recently installed in classrooms across campus allows for faculty to capture their in-person classes or stream their classes via Zoom. Some have reported difficulties in getting set up, as well as limitations on what can be achieved with the equipment. Below are some support resources, as well as some tips we’ve discovered while experimenting with the equipment.  

Getting set up 

For a primer on how to use the equipment, we recommend taking some time to watch these excellent video walkthroughs. There is a video for each of the three kinds of tech carts available on campus.

Most buildings CAL faculty teach in have a mix of Digital carts and Analog w/Touchscreen. If you have trouble identifying what cart is available in your classroom please check the videos above and contact us if you need assistance. MSU IT and the Hub have also prepared a quick guide that is linked on the desktop of each cart computer. 

Recording Your Class

Live Streaming In-Person Classes in 12 Steps – This guide created by the Enhanced Digital Learning Initiative (EDLI) provides the specific steps for live-streaming your class using a university hybrid classroom. Main sections of the document include what to do before, during, and after your class.

Things to keep in mind  

The system has been designed primarily to facilitate remote delivery of classroom instruction through Zoom. In this hybrid delivery system, emphasis is placed on sharing content and not on robust interaction with a remote audience. Here are some tips: 

  • If you use the cart computer, you must use the lapel mic as there are no other audio inputs. As most rooms only have one lapel, online students won’t be able to hear anything F2F students say unless you pass the mic or repeat it for the online students. 
  • When online students say something, it will be broadcast via the room speakers so everyone in the classroom will hear.
  • When using the lapel, your voice will also be broadcast through the room speakers. This will help with projecting through a mask, and you should be able to adjust your volume using the cart controls. Measures have been taken to reduce audio feedback.
  • Connecting your own laptop prevents you from using the room camera but allows you the affordance of choosing a different microphone (the built-in microphone on your computer, a headset, etc.) provided you run the Zoom session on your laptop. If you use the built-in microphons on your computer it may be able to pick up student voices in your classroom relatively well, especially in smaller classrooms, and especially if the laptop is placed on a table at the front of the class rather than on the podium. This also opens the possibility of bringing and connecting your own room microphone for better audio quality. Conversely, if you would like to use the classroom lapel microphone for your Zoom session, you will need to run Zoom on the cart computer.

Please contact us if you have questions not answered by the support materials linked above, or if you have any other type of feedback on the hybrid classroom experience. We will continue to update this document as more information becomes available.

This post co-authored by Daniel Trego, Shannon, Kelly, Dustin DeFelice, and Scott Schopieray