Classroom Upgrade Project for Summer 2021 Launches

Simmons Instructor StationOver the past 12 months, our classrooms received a significant amount of technology and equipment upgrades and changes.  During the summer months, work was done in 250 rooms to install the various components necessary to support SMUFlex.  During the Winter break, we added more components and changes to approximately 93 rooms to deliver an enhanced SMUFlex course experience. As we prepare now for a fully in-person Fall semester, we will focus our classroom efforts on a variety of maintenance and repair requests with a smaller number of major upgrades than is typical.

Each classroom will be reset for full capacity by the Facilities department.  The SMUFlex equipment will remain in the classrooms with the exception of our event spaces that were repurposed temporarily.  Most of the event spaces will be decommissioned as classrooms in May and returned to their respective areas.  The classrooms will remain configured for both in-person delivery as well as SMUFlex.

There are a number of minor repairs needed such as projector screen replacements, projector replacements, lamp replacements, and programming fixes.  We have some additional equipment that was ordered such as whiteboard cameras, ceiling microphones, and mounted cameras that were not installed in a few rooms last fall as they weren’t used for courses.  We will work on deploying those already purchased items to as many locations as possible.  We will upgrade approximately ten classrooms with the standard equipment.

Finally, now that courses are spread out in all buildings on campus, there are a few classrooms still configured without a built-in computer.  Since not all faculty have a dedicated laptop computer, we plan to install either a podium with a desktop computer or simply a laptop that is fixed in the room.  This will allow faculty to move more easily from one location for the course instruction.

As always, our teams will also do complete inventory checks, testing, and documentation revisions for all rooms.  One final walk-through of all spaces prior to the start of class will also be conducted as we welcome everyone back on campus.

Check out the project website with a more detailed list of rooms and the project schedule for all work.

05/14/2021: Updated with project website.

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Published by

Rachel Mulry

Associate CIO for Planning and Customer Service Office of Information Technology