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FAQs

If I have a question or problem in a classroom, is there one phone number I can call for help?
For general university classrooms (GUCs), yes: the phone number for Academic Media Services (AMS) is posted on the wall in every general university classroom (335-5044).  Though AMS’s primary responsibility is classroom equipment, AMS staff serve as the “first responders” for any kind of question or issue you may be experiencing in a classroom and, if needed, will dispatch a technician to your room.  If AMS cannot help you immediately, its staff will make the necessary contacts or refer you to the appropriate department.  AMS support is available 7:30AM-5:00PM, Monday through Friday.  After 5PM, phone support is available.If you are teaching in a departmental classroom and need assistance, you should contact your department’s staff.
Is training provided for general university classroom technology and equipment?
Answer:  Yes; AMS provides both group training at the beginning of each semester and individual training on a scheduled basis.  There are some online training materials on the AMS website: www.ams.wsu.edu.
What kinds of media can I show in the general university classroom?
The classrooms provide for many different types of media.  Some of these include:  DVD, Blu Ray DVD, VHS, 16mm film, 35mm sildes, overhead cellophane materials, laptop presentation materials and many types of computer content supported by fixed classroom computers.
How do I find which rooms are in use at a given time?  How do I find which course is meeting in a room?
The web page at http://www.schedule.wsu.edu/ should provide this information for you.
How do I reserve a room for a single time use?
This web page will have information: http://scheduling.wsu.edu/ .
How do I know which rooms have the equipment I need?
If you know the building you are interested in or the general location, this Academic Media Services website shows pictures of each room by building, how many students the room seats, and the available equipment:   http://www.ams.wsu.edu/ClassroomTech/ClassroomSpecs.aspx.If you don’t have a preference for location, you can call Academic Media Services at (335-4535) to describe your equipment needs.  The staff can tell you which classrooms contain the specific equipment you need.
How do I control the devices in the classroom?
Devices like the projector, sound system, and assistive listening device are controlled centrally in each classroom.  Some classrooms have a computer installed with a keyboard and mouse available for users to manage the devices available.  Other classrooms have an LCD touch screen or a mechanical push button panel to control the devices available in your classroom.  As classroom electronics are upgraded, keyboards and mice are available for users to manage applications on the classroom computer and control the devices in the classroom.  Instructions are posted in the classroom or available on the computer or touch screen itself.
If I bring a laptop, what equipment do I need to bring to the classroom (e.g. cables)?
Since laptops vary, there is no one answer to this question.  But you will need a VGA cable that is compatible with your laptop.  (The VGA cable has the broad rectangular plug with many pins visible by looking at the end.) The connector on the other end of the cable, as well as any other display adaptors, must be compatible with your particular laptop.  You can usually purchase the right VGA cable and adaptors from the computer’s maker, online or at an electronics store.  If your presentation requires audio, you will also need a 1/8” audio cable to connect your laptop to the audio connection in the classroom.  The VGA cable and the audio cable are available for checkout or purchase at AMS in Holland 150.
Is advance preparation required to access the internet from my laptop in the General University Classrooms?
Yes.  In most cases, before you first access the WSU network, you will need to register your laptop beforehand for a DHCP network address assignment with the WSU network. We would be happy to assist with this setup, or you can register your laptop yourself at www.wsu.edu/dhcp.  A computer needs to be registered only once.  There is no annual re-registration.  In most GUC’s, it’s possible to access the internet either wirelessly or by plugging your computer into the Ethernet connection at the teaching station.  If you are connecting your computer to the internet via wired you will need to bring an Ethernet cable.  Ethernet cables are available for checkout or purchase at AMS in Holland 150.
Can I save my files to the classroom computer?
No.  Because the classroom computers are used by all instructors using the classroom, they are not available for storing your files.  In addition we periodically clear the memory to ensure best performance.   If you opt to use a classroom computer, always bring a thumb drive to view, edit and save your work.
How do I play a DVD in the classroom?
There are three options for playing a DVD in the classroom.

  1. Schedule the DVD to be played through the AMS distributed media system.  Drop off your DVD ahead of class time at the AMS office in Holland 150.  Even though the DVD will play from the AMS control room, classroom controls will allow you to play, pause, rewind, and so on.
  2. Use the classroom computer (if the classroom is furnished with one) to play the DVD.  Simply insert the DVD into the classroom computer’s disk drive; the software DVD player will automatically launch.  Audio from the DVD will be carried by the room’s speaker system.
  3. Carry in a DVD player.  Using a video + left and right audio cable, plug the DVD player into the connections on the lectern.  Select “Local Devices” on the classroom controls.  Audio from the DVD will be carried by the room’s speaker system.   Use the DVD’s control buttons to play, rewind, pause, and so on.
How do I play a Blu Ray DVD?
There are two options for playing a Blu Ray DVD in the classroom.

  1. Schedule the Blu Ray DVD to be played through the AMS distributed media system.  Drop off your Blu Ray DVD ahead of class time at the AMS office in Holland 150.  Even though the Blu Ray DVD will play from the AMS control room, classroom controls will allow you to play, pause, rewind, and so on.
  2. Carry in a Blu Ray DVD player.  Using a video + left and right audio cable, plug the Blu Ray DVD player into the connections on the lectern.  Select “Local Devices” on the classroom controls.  Audio from the DVD will be carried by the room’s speaker system.   Use the Blu Ray DVD’s control buttons to play, rewind, pause, and so on.  
What happened to the overhead projectors?
The overhead projector has been replaced by the document camera.  The document camera is an advance on the earlier technology.   The document camera is more versatile than overhead projectors because it can also project three-dimensional objects.   The overhead projector uses cellophane spools that can be used only once, so they are not cost-efficient to maintain.  If an overhead projector is required, AMS maintains a small inventory that is available by request.
Can I still use 35 mm slides?
Yes; 35mm slide projectors are available for checkout from the AMS equipment counter located in Holland 150 (entrance on Terrell Mall).  If a 35mm slide projector is required, AMS maintains a small inventory that is available by request.
 Can I show dual images (e.g. PowerPoint slide and document camera image)?
Yes, some General University Classrooms are equipped with special projectors that simultaneously display two images side-by-side.  On the Classroom Controls application, select “Dual Image,” and then specify the two video inputs you would like to see projected side by side.
Where is the microphone?
The wireless microphone and batteries are generally in a locked drawer in the classroom podium.  A key to this drawer can be checked out for the entire semester from AMS in Holland 150.  Wired microphones are also available for checkout from AMS.
How do I control microphone volume?
The microphone level can be controlled via the Classroom Controls application.
Can I edit files (e.g. Word, PowerPoint) on the classroom computer?
Yes, you may create or edit files using the Microsoft Office products installed on the classroom computer.  These files cannot be saved on the local computer’s hard drive, however.  You can save them on a storage device, such as a thumb drive, or use the internet to transfer the files to your own computer.
Can I record my lecture?
A number of strategies are available to allow you to record or video record lectures.  For courses held in GUC’s, AMS makes available a videographer who will attend your class sessions to make a video recording.  As an alternativeGUC classrooms are gradually being updated to allow you to use other technologies, such as web conferencing technologies. Contact AMS about your needs to find out more.
 How do I use student response devices (AKA clickers)?
Student Response systems are supported at the departmental level.  AMS does not provide support for student response systems at this time.
 Can I use web conference or videoconference technology in the classroom?
It is possible to use web conference technology in most GUCs to bring in remote presenters.  Contact AMS for recording options and availability.  The classroom computer can connect to WSU’s web conferencing host service, Elluminate.  Then computer users at remote locations (one or more) can also connect to the same Elluminate session.  The classroom’s video projector and audio system display the computer’s Elluminate interface and incoming audio.  In this way, students will be able to see and hear the Elluminate session.
Who pays for classroom equipment, painting, or other room upgrades?
If the room is a General University Classroom, the Provost’s GUC Committee plans for and requests funding for the upgrades through the normal university allocation process.If the teaching space is assigned to a college, the college is responsible for the planning.  Funding could be requested through the university allocation process or provided by other college resources.