Videoconference 13/03/98 10.00-11.00

Simon Lavington, Essex (SL)
Sue Sharples, Essex (SS)
Jim Dingley, SSEES (LP)
Roy Bennett, UCL (RB)
Louise Clark, UCL (LC)
Julian Chesterfield, UCL (JC)
Alberto Andreaux, Aber (AA)
Angela Sasse, UCL (MAS)
Gary Stringer, Exeter (GS)
David Hearnshaw, Westminster (DH)
Dave Price, Aber (DP)
Kristian Hasler, UCL (KH)
Colin Perkins, UCL (CSP)
Meeting Minutes:-
1. Connection and tool check
All Well - even audio from Exeter is loud and clear at UCL, though not at Aber.
NTE not functioning properly, thought to be due to PC version, causing others to crash.
UCL connection cut off for a short period of time due to internal problem midway through meeting.
2. Contract update

Contracts not done yet - MAS was unaware that situation was not being dealt with.
Head of contract office is going to deal with them now. Expected to go out today.

3. Update on structured activities
a) Teaching:

Spanish for Lawyers

LC: last session on Monday, level of students too wide, but all still enthusiastic. Problem with feedback from Nina's headsets.

MAS: Suggested that teacher should interview students previous to start of trials to ensure that level is both similar and language skills high enough to cope.

Finished. Comments from students and observer indicate that the audio quality was not good enough for students learning a language on beginners level. The audio was not good enough to clearly understand the sounds and the lack of lip synchronisation on vic
also adds to the difficulty.

Evaluation session to be arranged when students can make it. MAS suggests come up to London, but leave it up to students.

ACTION 98/03/13-1 (SL): Suggest dates for evaluation workshop.

DP: Sessions have been run on workstations due to fiddling round with audio cards on PCs etc. Alberto and students seem happy
JB: Aber term goes on a week later than Exeter, but Marie-Danielle will come in during break to get most teaching over and done with before next term.

GS: Problem setting up just after the Spanish - not enough time. A few network problems
Essex-SSEES Social Science Teaching

SL: Went reasonably well - apprehensive about 2nd session. Teacher worried + wants to use complicated diagrams.

MAS: anything we can do to help?

SL: No... Mastering the wb for complicated diagrams is the problem
KH: has looked at media board which seems to work well between PCs (can import GIFs rather than PS)

ACTION 98/03/13-2  (KH, LC): Find solution! (possibly use different wb [mediaboard])

SL: Dave Boman (?) from BT (Highview) will observe session on Tuesday.

KH: Only one student turned up, but left after having decided that coursematerial wasn't what she expected.

JD: Maria Widdowsen and Kris acted as students...

ACTION 98/03/13-3 (JD, LP): Students must be found for Tuesday!!! Advertise more widely.
b) Seminars:

UCL seminar March 12 given by Lorenzo Vicisano on congestion control.

MAS: Seemed to be well received

DH: Quality of audio and slides was good

DAP:  hum when Lorenzo talked - Diagrams must have been larger than default max PS size. We must find a way that teachers can prepare slides without running it through a number of Unix applications and starting up wb with different parameters.

Discussion followed between CSP, DAP and MAS about the viability of the wide deployment of the Mbone tools - spurred by recent email discussion on whether the -P flag in wb should be made easily available or not. It was decided to try out media board as a possible substitute for wbd on PCs.

ACTION 98/03/13-4 (KH, DAP): install and try media board. Can be found at:-
or http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/K.Hasler/pipvic/mediaboard.zip
DAP: is it worth using new version of vat?
CSP: will experiment.

DAP: small percentage loss duing seminar - also noticed one way tunnels within UCL
CSP: that is on purpose
MAS: please cc comments about UCL network to John Andrews (not on the PIPVIC mailing list)

4. AOB

Seminar next week will be from UCL given by Anna Watson. She will be talking about evaluating audio and video quality on video conferences on the Mbone. (Ian Campbell had to cancel)

5. Outstanding Action points

ACTION 98/03/06-3 Exeter to suggest suitable time for student to watch MMCR

JD: Problem with rat - have had to restart many times during meeting. Slides during Lorenzo's seminar didn't show up on wbd at SSEES.
CSP: Please report problems when they happen so we can see whether they are tool problems or network problems.
ACTION98/03/13-5 (KH): Look into interoperability of wb and wbd

JD: please suggest date for SSEES seminar on language teaching ASAP so Kasia and others involved can start preparing

MAS: 14 May preferred date.

ACTION 98/03/13-6: JD to check with Kasia if 14 May is suitable for SSEES seminar on language teaching.
ACTION 98/03/06-5: More specific info on how best to prepare slides for the whiteboard needed.
MAS/LC/KH to look at this and prepare guidelines for size, shape, fonts, etc.

ACTION 98/03/06 - DH and MAS to do series on hands-on experiences of using videoconferencing for distance education.
Dates: April 23,30 May 7, 14, 21, 28

ACTION 98/03/13-7 (KH): Fix PC nte so it doesn't break Unix nte.

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