As Missouri State University prepares for the fall semester, many modifications, large and small, are being made to campus. Seated classes will continue to be the predominate way of teaching and learning at MSU, but online courses will play a larger role than heretofore. One technology that was used extensively during the last half of the Spring semester and during the summer session was Zoom.
Founded in 2011 by Henry Yuan and launched in 2013, Zoom uses Internet-based communications technology to host online classrooms, meetings, webinars, online professional conferences, town-hall meetings, etc.
Many classes, meetings, lectures, and events will be “blended events,” where some people are in a shared physical space, such as a physical classroom, lecture hall, or conference room, while others are participating online via Zoom.
One challenge, then, is to make physical rooms on campus “Zoom-ready” so that these blended events can occur easily and seamlessly. A Zoom-ready room needs to have Internet connectivity, of course, which has been true at MSU for years. Cameras, microphones, video displays, and speakers need to be placed strategically throughout the physical room so that both the in-person and online participants have access to all the ideas and information being shared and discussed by the combined group.
Currently in Duane G. Meyer Library, Room 101, the large tiered lecture hall off of the main lobby, is Zoom-ready, thanks to the recent renovation of that room with financial support from the Sunderland Foundation. Plans are being finalized, too, for making Rooms 120, a smaller instructional space, and Room 10B Zoom-ready.
For the smaller group meeting rooms throughout Duane G. Meyer Library, any computing device, such as a laptop with a camera, would make that space Zoom-ready. We have good wi-fi service throughout the library building. Users and employees working in the library are strongly encouraged to wear masks, practice good social distancing, cover a cough or sneeze, and wash or sanitize your hands frequently.
Members of the MSU community also can participate in Zoom events on their smartphones. Local data rates and plans will apply.