Videoconference 03/04/98 10.00-11.00

PIPVIC Videoconference 3rd April 1998

attendees: -
Paul Hogan (UCL Language Centre), PH
Louise Clark (UCL), LC
Julian Chesterfield (UCL), JC
Simon Lavington (Essex), SL
Sue Sharples (Essex), SS
Dave Hearnshaw (Westminster), DH
Henry Hughes (UKERNA), HH
Nac Datta (Exeter), ND
Roy Bennett (UCL), RB
Lesley Pitman (SSEES), LP
Adriono Vincentelli (Aber), AV

Colin Perkins (UCL)
Angela Sasse (UCL)
Dave Price (Aber)
John Buckett (Exeter)
Gary Stringer (Exeter)


1. Connection and tool check

All fine - exept audio a bit broken from Essex and SSEES. Audio from SSEES improved when silence suppression was switched off.

2. Contract update
SL - Sub contracts have been sent out. SL has been in contact with Graham to get hold of main contract as well. In process.
ACTION 98/04/03-1 (LC) to check about contract for PH at the Language centre

SL - Who has final responsibility for deliverables?

ACTION 98/04/03-2 (LC) Check up on where final responsibilities lie.

a) Teaching:
- - -Spanish for Lawyers - Evaluation session

LC: Evaluated last Saturday. There were two sessions, one with the students, one with the observers and the tutor. Students
seem very positive. They felt that they get a lot out of teh sessions, though this can probably be put down to having only two students.

PH: Mar felt that it's important to assess level of students in advance. Should have some good material from the session.
LC: we should always have a proper test session before a course of tutorials to help students/tutors to get used to technology in advance.

PH: are we to begin mandarin class on the 27th april?

LC: looks likely, we will confirm later on today

AV: document on recommendations for tutors should be just an A4 size sheet of crucial points

LC: maybe we should produce a full length document plus a short summary.

AV: make it more clear about how to get around problems, so that tutors don't feel that it is their fault when things go wrong.

DH: the document should be circulated for comments before the final version is produced.

SL: last session for Human rights series to be on the 5th may although cannot be confirmed with lecturer who is currently off campus.

SS: what is the arrangement for Polish, Essex has more students who are interested.

ACTION 98/04/03 -3 : (SS, SL, LP) to coordinate arrangements for new Polish course.

b) Seminars - upcoming events

2 seminars scheduled for after easter:-
Ian Campbell
Craig Rodine from OU

4. PC tools - update/review of new releases

JC - Session very useful - mainly rat and vic were tested. Problems previously observed with resource allocation have been fixed.

VIC - windows management problems influencing the audio - solution found. New versions released yesterday afternoon - PLEASE DOWNLOAD

Network loss from Exeter. Essex, Language centre and SSEES very clear at UCL. Audio received at Essex was very poor.
LP - rat seems much better now, but  vic crashed crashed when trying to load vic this morning

SL - Using a rating scale which compares audio with best quality ever received in an ISDN video conferen, the audio received during the tests on Wednesday was about 50 per cent.

LC - We shouldn't compare with ISDN conferences - we should rate on the basis of the adequacy of the quality to the task we are trying to do.

HH - changes which are about to take place on the Mbone will bring the quality very much closer to ISDN line standards. Currently, the quality of Mbone conferences is better than ISDN 2 but not as good as ISDN 6. However, whith SuperJANET III and improved bandwidth and reserved bandwidth for Mbone traffice, this should reach equally good standards.

SL - Suggests testing audio by sending out simulated constant mbone traffic.

HH - Yes, good idea.

LC - Yes, we can try that, but in general we should follow the recommendations of Anna Watson, who has done a lot of work on how best to evaluate quality of Mbone conferences. We can't as a matter of course apply guidelines for videoconferencing and broadcasts in general.

5. AOB

Network representative

LC - We need a network representative to take over while DAP away. GS is the obvious choice as he has been working closely with DAP- but as he is not well at the moment, UCL will do it until he gets better. LC will be responisble for making sure it is done.

ACTION - HH to send information to LC on reporting procedures for reporting network probelms to SuperJANET operations staff.

Next meeting: No meeting next friday 10th april, there will be a session on the following friday 17th.

PH - vic works really well now.

6. Outstanding Action points
ACTION 98/03/27:(KH, JC) - check which cards work with new version of rat

Information will be sent out soon based on last Wednesday's trials.

ACTION 98/03/27:(LC, KH) pointer from PIPVIC webpage to latest version of PC tools - with dates and times...

- done

ACTION 98/03/27: JC - Weekly sessions testing PC software systematically.

One session held - more to come.

ACTION 98/03/20: PH & MAS to identify some possible dates in late April for (language) tutor workshop and email to tutors.

- nothing decided yet, PH will follow up

ACTION 98/03/06-5: More specific info on how best to prepare slides for the whiteboard. MAS/LC/KH to look at this and prepare guidelines for size, shape, fonts, etc.

- Guidelines will be available on website before teaching starts again after Easter.