January 2013 Archives

OCM provides Mini DisplayPort adapters in all classrooms--HDMI adapters in rooms with HDMI connections. Other rooms have VGA adapters. Per Apple, using HDMI via the Mini DisplayPort adapter connected to one of the following laptop models does not provide audio:

MacBook (late 2009)
MacBook (13-inch aluminum late 2008)
MacBook Pro (late 2008, mid 2009, early 2009) 

To project audio with these laptop models, use the audio cable and VGA connection with VGA adapter at the instructor station (you will need to supply the VGA adapter compatible with your model).

To find out which classrooms have HDMI connections, see the HDMI feature instructions

For more assistance with Apple devices in classrooms, see the Apple device projection instruction, or contact the Classroom Support Hotline at 612-625-1086 or ocmhelp@umn.edu.

Classroom Support Hotline hours to change Feb 4

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Effective Monday February 4, the Classroom Support Hotline will be staffed
7:30 a.m to 4:00 p.m Monday through Friday. Messages left at the Hotline are monitored by an
On-Call Manager for response as appropriate after these hours. You can also
continue to report classroom issues via email at ocmhelp@umn.edu.

This change is a response to ongoing reduction of resources and staffing
within the Office of Classroom Management. Despite these challenges, we
remain committed to providing excellent service through alternate
communication methods and response systems.

If you have any questions, please call the Hotline or email classrm@umn.edu.

U Card access

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Q: I noticed that there is a card reader by the door of my classroom. Will I need U Card access? How do I set that up?

A: Many general purpose classrooms are secured via card access. The classrooms are unlocked when classes are in session so you will not need to have access programmed via your U Card. For more information about classroom hours, see this useful FAQ.

CTS first week activities

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During the first week of the semester, Classroom Technical Services visited 385 classrooms to check on room conditions and resolve issues. The technicians met with 146 room users to provide on-the-spot training and orientation to room technology features, answer questions, and troubleshoot any presentation problems instructors experienced.

Keeping classrooms in tip top shape

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Just as you would like to find a classroom ready for your use, it is equally important to leave the room in a teaching-ready condition for the next instructor or event. Before leaving the room, check these items:

-Is the AV system turned off?
-Are the rechargeable microphones returned to the charging station? Are any other microphones easy to locate at the instructor station?
-Is the room furniture re-set to the layout posted in the room?
-Are all the writing surfaces completely erased of markings?
-Are all postings removed from walls?
-Did you use the last of any supplies, such as markers or batteries? Did you notice any malfunctioning equipment or problems with the room environment? If so, call the Classroom Support Hotline to report the issue: 5-1086.

There is a very short time in between classes that are scheduled back-to-back. Please be considerate and leave the room in a teaching-ready condition for the next instructor to save valuable class time for teaching and learning.

Classroom Q&A

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Q: I showed up to where my class was supposed to be held but no one is in the room. How do I find out where the class is?

A: Last minute changes occur frequently as the semester starts. Check the One Stop class schedule for the most up to date information. You can also contact the Classroom Support Hotline for location or directional information: 612-625-1086.

Using HDMI in classrooms

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Hoping to take advantage of the high-definition capabilities on your laptop? Use it in a classroom with HDMI connections at the instructor station. Refer to the HDMI feature instruction page for directions on how to use the connection and to find a list of classrooms with this feature.

Study space for AHC students

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Q: I am a student in the AHC and hoping to find some places to study. Can I use general purpose classrooms or study spaces?

A: Of course! AHC Classroom Services has information about study spaces on their website, but you are welcome to general purpose study spaces and unscheduled classrooms as well. Use the OCM website to find more information about study space locations and features.

Welcome to spring 2013!

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Classroom renovations and updates completed over Winter Break 2012-13
Several general purpose classrooms received environment or technology updates during winter break. Some of these updates include the following:

  • Video conferencing features were added to Humphrey 20 through a partnership with CLA.
  • Furnishing upgrades included new marker boards in Lind Hall, and Armory 202 received new student tables.
  • Technology feature upgrades were completed in selected rooms in Mechanical Engineering, Alderman Hall, and Akerman Hall.


Reminder: How to locate your classroom assignment
Room assignments for spring 2013 classes are available on the One Stop Class Schedule. Please note: room assignments are subject to change prior to the start of term. While this usually only affects a small number of classes, verify your classroom assignment before the first class meeting. If you have specific questions about your room assignment, contact your department scheduling coordinator.

Classroom technology instructions & videos
The classroom technology instructions for each building provide a list of equipment and additional features, a list of rooms that include the equipment/features, and a representative image of the instructor station in each classroom.

Orientation is available upon request for those who want to learn more about the technology features. For any questions, contact OCM Classroom Support or 612-625-1086.

OCM News Blog
Stay informed about general purpose classrooms and student study spaces by visiting the OCM News Blog. The blog provides news and information updates throughout the semester and is accessible via the OCM website or by subscribing using your favorite RSS feed/blog reader.

Contact us
OCM is available to help with any questions, concerns, or comments regarding general purpose classrooms or central student study spaces. Contact us via the Classroom Support Hotline:

The hotline is available from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Messages left at the Hotline are monitored by an On-Call Manager for response as appropriate after these hours.

Upcoming CTS projects

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After wrapping up winter break updates to selected Akerman, Mechanical Engineering, Alderman, and Humphrey classrooms, CTS will focus their energy to full-time work installing technology systems in the new Biomedical Discovery District during spring semester.

Reporting clock problems

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During fall semester, you may have noticed several classrooms had stopped, slow, or otherwise malfunctioning clocks. You may have also noticed that the resolution wasn't always, er, timely. That's because the classroom clocks are synched and require more than a simple battery change to fix. After the actual power source is replaced, the clock requires re-synching to a satellite source. Completing this work requires an FM electrician, not a custodian, and some FM districts are short on electrician staffing, so the process may be delayed. Complicating the process is that some room users thought they could replace the battery themselves, but because the re-synching process did not occur, the clocks did not work correctly. The good news is that after the power replacement and re-synching is completed, the clock will keep time (and autocorrect) for approximately three years.

Classroom Q&A

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Q: Why does it take so long to get things fixed in classrooms? I reported something broken weeks ago, and it's still not addressed.

A: Nearly 80% of issues reported to the Hotline are resolved within a day or two, but there are some that can't be resolved as quickly or without the help of campus partners, explains Hotline Supervisor Paula Seeger. "We proactively address items to prevent class disruption, but sometimes there are unexpected issues that OCM has no control over that can result in delayed resolution."

For example, building infrastructure can limit network or HVAC installation, upgrades, or resolution. Other limitations include staffing levels or work schedules, room schedules (i.e., something needs 3 hours to fix and there are back-to-back classes scheduled all day), and the inventory of parts needed to replace what is broken (parts may be backordered or in short supply either at the University or with the off-campus vendor). "If there will be an unexpected delay in resolution, we try to inform customers as soon as we are aware of the issue so they can make changes to their class plans or try to relocate courses to other classrooms," Seeger says. "We realize the challenge this presents and greatly appreciate the patience most instructors and room users demonstrate when an unexpected delay occurs."

Hotline call volume for fall 2012

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During fall semester 2012, the Classroom Support Hotline logged 1,316 calls, resolving 33% of the issues during the call. The top three hotline topics were as follows: 60% technology, 31% facilities, and 11% scheduling.

Finding study space features

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Q: I'm looking for a place to study with individual desks. Are there any study spaces like this?

A: Sounds like you're referring to study carrels. Wilson Library has carrels. Also take a look at the list of features associated with each study space, including photos, to see whether it meets your needs. Other spaces may also have what you need, so review the list of features at the bottom of this page.

CTS pages redesigned

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The Classroom Technical Services (CTS) website has recently undergone a redesign to provide an easier and more efficient way to access information regarding CTS service offerings.

CTS is a unit within the Office of Classroom Management (OCM) that provides clients with high-quality presentation technology services, including design and installation, digital signage, accounts and billing, events services, and maintenance.

Current CTS service offerings will remain the same, but the site itself is much easier to navigate. The redesign has caused the website to be less text heavy and more visually appealing to make it easier to locate information.

The new website also contains updated contact information for each CTS service unit.

Remember to set an end date for reserve capacity requirement groups for spring 2013, fall 2013 and spring 2014. The end date should be set to the Friday before the start of the term or earlier.

  • Spring 2013 (1133) - Set to Friday 1/18/2013 (or earlier)
  • Fall 2013 (1139) - Set to Friday 8/30/2013 (or earlier)
  • Spring 2014 (1143) - Set to Friday 1/17/2014 (or earlier)

Scheduling Update: Update room characteristics

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Make sure to update room characteristic information during ECS period 1. This provides OCM with information about the type of classroom the instructor requires. It also helps ensure that classes do not have to move to a different room because the instructor didn't get the type of room they wanted.


Tips for getting the right classroom:

  • Check with the instructor to verify the appropriate room characteristics.
  • Don't request room characteristics that conflict with each other (e.g., Active Learning Classrooms and Tablet Arm Chairs or West Bank and East Bank).Search for classroom features if you have questions about potential room characteristic conflicts.
  • Choose a maximum of four room characteristics. Choosing multiple room characteristics limits the number of possible classrooms.

Scheduling Update: What's open in ECS?

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A number of terms are currently open for editing. See the scheduling production calendar for more information.

  • Spring 2013 (1133) - currently in ECS period 4 to make changes for spring semester
  • Summer 2013 (1135) - in ECS period 3 until April 8, 2013
  • Fall 2013 (1139) - in ECS period 1 until February 20, 2013
  • Spring 2014 (1143) - in ECS period 1 until April 16, 2013