Enhanced Classroom Technology

Teaching a Hybrid NUflex course in the classroom will be very similar to how previous classes have been taught, and will leverage many of the same teaching tools, including Canvas and Zoom. Many of the classrooms across Northeastern are being optimized to allow faculty to more easily teach a course with the methods of their choosing and with which they are most familiar.

What to Expect in Classrooms this Fall

Though configurations in some classrooms will differ slightly, the majority of registrar-managed* classrooms will feature a consistent experience, including standardized A/V touch control panels, and upgraded classroom computers and audio speakers. These upgrades will provide faculty with the capability, as needed, to:

  • Choose whether to present from a classroom computer or from a personal device, such as a laptop or tablet, through a wired or wireless connection;
  • Sign into Canvas to access the class’ home base and to start the video or audio meeting;
  • Connect teaching tool of choice—Zoom or Microsoft Teams—to the room systems through automatic detection;
  • Use a digital whiteboard to help in-person and remote participants visualize concepts and equations;
  • Invite all students to participate and join in dialogue and conversation;
  • Mute and unmute microphones throughout the room, as needed;
  • Provide any student with the ability to present from their personal device wirelessly and remotely; and
  • Teach with minimal disruptions and downtimes, through increased staff support and more reliable, remotely-monitored in-room systems.

* The capabilities and information on this site refer to registar-managed classrooms. There are additional classrooms managed by individual departments and programs. Please refer to the managing departments for information and support for these additional spaces.

 

Demonstrations, quick guides, consultations, and other training options are available to help instructors teach Hybrid NUflex classes and work with the classroom technology. Visit the ITS Training website to learn more and register.

 

Classroom Types

Over 180 classrooms are being outfitted with upgraded technology and systems that enable the Hybrid NUflex learning model. All registrar-managed classrooms will be configured in one of four types as described below. Some department-managed classrooms will also be upgraded for fall 2020 during this initiative. Please refer to the classrooms by type listings later on this page to see which classrooms are included.

NUflex Auto

NUflex Auto classrooms have full NUflex capabilities as described above, including professional quality cameras and mics that can automatically detect and focus on the class participants who are actively speaking. Over 150 classrooms at the Boston location fall into this type.

NUflex Manual

NUflex Manual classrooms have the same capabilities as NUflex Auto classrooms, with the exception of the auto-detecting cameras and mics, which can be manual switched if the instructor would like to do so. At least 30 classrooms across Northeastern’s global network will be NUflex Manual for the fall.

Standard

Standard classrooms will be unchanged from what faculty and students have seen in the past. Instructors can still teach a Hybrid NUflex class in these rooms, leveraging conferencing tools such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. To ensure optimal audio quality for remote participants, faculty should plan to request a wireless Lav microphone.

NUflex Carts

Technology will be installed on over 60 carts that will be strategically placed in or around classroom locations to provide Hybrid NUflex capabilities. NUflex Mobile carts feature a single 65″ display, while NUflex Studio carts will have two 65″ displays to enable separate views for content and for video meetings.

Classroom Features Comparison

The chart below helps to visualize the features available for each classroom type. All registrar-managed classrooms will have a computer, audio speakers, and a lectern or table for instructors at the front of the room.

 

Room Feature NUflex Auto NUflex Manual NUflex Carts Standard
Cameras

Professional quality cameras that can auto switch between active speakers

Professional quality cameras that can be manually switched to focus on instructor and students

Fixed on cart

Pan-Tilt-Zoom camera to capture instructor and fixed camera for students

Lecture Capture Microphones*

Professional quality ceiling-mounted mics that can auto switch to pickup active speakers

Professional quality ceiling-mounted mics that can be manually switched between instructor and students

4-6 shotgun mics for instructor and students

2 ceiling-mounted mics for instructor and handheld mic for students

Projector or Display
Projector Projector Mobile Cart – 1 display
Studio Cart – 2 displays
Projector
Solstice Wireless Display
Available in some rooms
HD Audio/Video Conferencing Available, but may be limited in quality due to existing room hardware
Touch Panels
Available in some rooms. Other rooms have push button panels.

 

NUflex Auto

Cameras
Professional quality cameras that can auto switch between active speakers
Lecture Capture Microphones*
Professional quality ceiling-mounted mics that can auto switch to pickup active speakers
Projector or Display Projector
Solstice Wireless Display
HD Audio/Video Conferencing
Touch Panels

NUflex Manual

Cameras
Professional quality cameras that can be manually switched to focus on instructor and students
Lecture Capture Microphones*
Professional quality ceiling-mounted mics that can be manually switched between instructor and students.
Projector or Display Projector
Solstice Wireless Display
HD Audio/Video Conferencing
Touch Panels

NUflex Carts

Cameras
Fixed on cart
Lecture Capture Microphones*

4-6 shotgun mics for instructor and students

Projector or Display Mobile Cart – 1 display
Studio Cart – 2 displays
Solstice Wireless Display
HD Audio/Video Conferencing
Touch Panels

Standard

Cameras
Pan-Tilt-Zoom camera to capture instructor and fixed camera for students
Lecture Capture Microphones*
2 ceiling-mounted mics for instructor and handheld mic for students
Projector or Display Projector
Solstice Wireless Display Available in some rooms
HD Audio/Video Conferencing Available, but may be limited in quality due to existing room hardware
Touch Panels
Available in some rooms. Other rooms have push button panels.

*Faculty teaching on campus can request instructor mics to amplify their voices, if desired in addition to the existing mics already available in classrooms. This will amplify the voices in the room for the benefit of in-person students rather than remote students. This microphone type is not compatible with personal devices or laptops. Learn how to request and use Classroom Mics.

Classrooms by Type

Below is a list of the registrar-managed classrooms, and some department-managed classrooms, by the type of technology with which they will be outfitted for fall 2020. This list is subject to change. 

Hybrid NUflex In-Classroom Support

Increased staff for real-time support and troubleshooting for classroom technology is available with the Instructional Assistant program. Instructors needing assistance during a class session can reach out to [email protected]rtheastern.edu for IA support. Keep checking this site and the ITS Training website as new resources  and support options continue to be added.