re: my "synchronous course" message from last night

Richard Ashley (ashleyr@vt.edu)
Sun, 24 Aug 1997 13:27:56 -0400


I see this morning that my message subscribing myself to the list was
mis-addressed. I have just re-sent it and received my receipt that I
have been added to the list. Because I was not subscribed, my previous
message most likely never reached the list but, in case it did, if you
have been kind enough to reply to my request for information, I would
appreciate it if you would re-send it to my personal e-mail address of
ashleyr@vt.edu.

In case my message to the list also mis-fired, its content was
essentially as follows:

I am considering using Cu-SeeMe to run a synchronous college course over
the Web. My plan is to distribute my powerpoint slides, quiktime
movies, etc. to the students via the Web ahead of time and then go over
these materials with them remotely using CU-SeeMe to send the
audio/video. I would monitor the chat box for immediate
feedback/questions and have the students fill out an HTML form every 20
minutes or so, so see how it's going for them. The idea is to make
something that could scale up to large classes (I currently teach 500 in
a horrible lecture hall) so I would/could have a teaching assistant
monitor/collate/condense the forms input as it came in (on a separate
server) and was added to a text file. That way I could respond to it in
the next 20 minute segment.

My questions are:

1. Will one video and one audio channel "work" over phone lines? My
only experience with CU-SeeMe has been using only video and using a fast
ethernet connection. Would I need to require that the students have 56K
modems or would 28K suffice? What else would I need to require that the
students have (to at least receive the audio and video) in the way of
hardware as a minimal configuration?

2. From what I have gleaned from the Web pages on this, it sounds like I
may need to find a unix box and set up my own reflector in order to
transmit one-to-many like that. Is that correct? I know more about
Macs and Windows machines -- is reflector software available for those
platforms (or even for unix on a PC)? How hard will it be to set up and
maintain? Or do I need to set up an Mbone server?

Information and leads to sources would be much appreciated!

Rick Ashley
ashleyr@vt.edu