Strategies for Effective Teaching:
Using Interactive Video in the Distance Education Classroom:
All You Ever Wanted to Know before You Knew You Needed to Know
by: M. Jayne Brady, M.S.S., M.S.W., L.C.S.W
Florida State University
"Teaching is still the most important element in the distance learning
Dr. William Tolone
This manual was prepared as part of the class requirements for the course
Introduction to Distance Learning in the College of Education, Spring,
1997, Florida State University.
Distance education is growing with such speed and excitement that
those who are responsible for course delivery (the instructors) are
often overwhelmed. This is especially true of the distance educator
in higher education. Instructors are increasingly being asked to
provide courses with an unfamiliar delivery system. The response
of the ill-prepared instructor is to teach the course as it would be taught
in the traditional classroom. However, the distance learning
environment is different from the traditional classroom and requires different
strategies to enhance effective teaching.
The following mini manual is designed to provide information directed
at assisting the novice instructor, at Florida State University School
of Social Work, to deliver an effective distance learning course
when using interactive video (IV) conferencing. Provided is a brief
overview of the technology followed by strategies currently in the literature
and suggestions for evaluation of students and instructors.
Special thanks to Dr. Judith Boettcher and Rita Marie Conrad who
made this project possible and gave me the foundation upon which this manual
to the First Class
The First Class
STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVE TEACHING: USING INTERACTIVE VIDEO IN THE
DISTANCE EDUCATION CLASSROOM
What is interactive video (IV)?
In the past, distance learning with two-way video was out of reach for
many institutions. Recent innovations of telecommunications technologies,
such as compressed interactive video systems, have lowered equipment and
transmission costs, making two-way video feasible for small colleges,
classrooms, libraries and even homes (Reed & Woodruff, 1996.)
Unfortunately, access to interactive video technology does not guarantee
a valuable learning exchange.
Interactive Video (IV) is an effective method of delivering information
to remote distance educational settings. Interactive video supports two-way
video and audio communication between multiple locations. Most IV
systems utilize compressed digital video for the transmission of motion
images over data networks. The video compression process decreases
the amount of data transmitted over the lines by transmitting only the
changes in the picture. By minimizing the bandwidth required to transmit
the images, video compression also reduces the transmission cost (Woodruff
& Mosby, 1996.)
Interactive video courses are often transmitted on dedicated T-1 phone
lines, which are high speed lines which are typically leased with an expensive
monthly cost. The monthly charge is usually based on distance, not
usage. Therefore, the cost effectiveness of IV systems increases
with use. Interactive Video systems can operate at different data
rates enabling multiple simultaneous video courses/conferences over the
same T-1 circuit. An IV system can also share a T-1 circuit with
other digital data uses such as Internet transmissions or file transfers
(Woodruff & Mosby, 1996.)
Interactive video is commonly used to connect two locations using sophisticated
computer technology. The core of IV is the
This electronic device transmits and receives the video signals that the
class members will see on their television monitors (Galbreth,
Other types of equipment, such as television monitors, are needed to make
IV successful. In addition, various forms of instructional technology
can be incorporated into IV, including video cassette recorders/players,
microphones, cameras, and computers (Reed & Woodruff, 1996.)
Some systems, including the ones used at Florida State University and
Community College, are also capable of simultaneously connecting more than
two sites through the use of a multi-point control unit, or MCU (Woodruff.
& Mosby, 1996.)
Advantages of Interactive Video
Interactive video is attractive to administrators for several reasons.
IV provides access to education to those who live in remote locations and
cannot travel to the university; it can provide access to at-risk
or special needs students (Woodruff and Mosby, 1996); it enables
large numbers of students to be taught simultaneously by one instructor;
outside speakers can be involved who would not otherwise be available,
and students can become linked with others from different communities,
backgrounds and cultures (Willis, 1992.)
For the instructor,
interactive video can be effective because it allows for "real time"
or synchronous visual contact between students and the instructor or among
students at different sites. Furthermore, it supports the use of
diverse media (Reed & Woodruff, 1996.) Thus, many things common
in the traditional classroom can be used in the interactive classroom,
such as blackboards, documents, videos and transparencies.
As with any technology, interactive video is not without limitations.
IV is expensive, especially the initial cost. Since it involves
technology there can be audio and visual difficulties, which cannot be
resolved by the professor (Galbreth, 1995.) While compressed video
holds great promise for expanding the classroom, it also amplifies poor
teaching styles and strategies. Instructors must devote greater than
normal effort toward preparation and development of instructional strategies
that actively encourage learning. Instructors typically spend more time
initially preparing for the interactive class, paying special attention
to the development and production of visual material (Woodruff &
Mosby, 1996.) Additionally, the instructor must be vigilant in making
sure the students remain involved in the course, a task more difficult
when classes are taught at a distance.
Frequently instructors are given insufficient time and resources
in which to prepare for the course and insufficient compensation for the
development and delivery of the course. The planning process and
learning curve may seem excessive at first, but the shift from "knowledge
disseminator" to "learning facilitator" is likely to enhance
both local and remote students (Reed & Woodruff, 1996.)
Classroom teachers employ a number of strategies when working with
students in the traditional classroom, for example the instructor, watching
facial expressions and body language, can determine who is bored, tired,
disinterested, confused or thinking through an idea (Willis, 1993.) The
effective teacher constantly monitors these cues and makes adjustments
or stores the information for later use. The distance educator is not that
fortunate. The cues that do exist are filtered through the technological
devices being used. Although the student can be seen, many of the
facial expressions are missed, thus opportunities to make adjustments.
The absence of this connection can make it difficult to establish rapport.
Separation by distance can also impair the rapport between the students
at different sites (Willis, 1993.)
According to Willis (1993), effective teaching at a distance is "more
the result of preparation than innovation." The development or adaption
of distance instruction uses the core content of the class which remains
unchanged. The presentation of that material becomes the focus of planning
Since distance education via interactive video
is a relatively new phenomenon, instructors have been forced to adapt quickly
to the technology and instructional changes. A secondary concern
for many has been considering personal-instructional strategies for effective
teaching and presentation. Although relatively sparse, literature
is now appearing which address this issue for instructors. Following
are suggestions from several distance educators which can guide and provide
assistance to the novice distance instructor.
. . . and in the beginning, there was:
When creating a lesson for two-way video, it's important to plan using
the strategies listed below.
Reed and Woodruff (1996) offers the following matrix for planning:
What do you expect your learners to accomplish?
Methods and Activities
How will you convey the topic (lecture, discussion, hands-on activity?)
What audio/visual aids, handouts, etc. will you use to support
About how much time will it take?
Do you need to show an instructional "slate" with the document
camera or play an audio clip?
Do you need to prepare a visual or get handouts to remote
After you have completed your lesson plan, review it with the following
questions in mind (Reed & Woodruff, 1996):
How much total time is spent in lectures? (Keep it less
How much time is spent at lecturing at any given time? (Keep
it less than 20 minutes.)
Are breaks included?
Can a remote facilitator or guest lecturer facilitate part of
Is rapport established with remote learners?
Do learners know what to expect?
Can any of the lesson be done prior to the video connection
(via print, E-mail, World Wide Web, or with the remote facilitator?)
What support is needed to make the lesson a success?
Is evaluation time needed?
Prior to the first class . .
Before developing something new,
check and review existing materials
for content and presentation ideas (Willis, 1992.) There are several
sites on the Internet which provide sample lesson plans for teaching social
work courses, for example this site maintained by the University of Texas:
assess the amount of content that can be effectively
delivered in the course
. Because of the logistics involved, presenting
content at a distance is usually more time consuming than presenting the
same content in a traditional classroom setting (Willis, 1992.)
Find out if the budget allows you to
teach one class from each site
Typically, the earlier in the course the visit occurs, the better
Develop strategies for student reinforcement, review, repetition, and
remediation (Willis, 1995.)
Consider providing a strong print component
to supplement non-print
materials (Reed & Woodruff, 1996) (University of Idaho, 1996.)
Understand the strengths and weaknesses of the various delivery systems
available to you, audio, video, data and print (University of Idaho, 1996.)
If course materials are sent by mail, make sure they are received well
before class begins. To help students stay organized,
binding the syllabus, handouts, and other readings prior to distribution
(University of Idaho, 1996.)
When preparing transparencies or visual aids, pay attention
to the screens' ratio.
A TV monitor has a different shape than
paper or overhead projectors, so make sure that the visuals fit within
a 3 X 4 ratio (see Appendix A & B, pages 29, 30.)
Also, small fonts and light colors do not show up well over monitors.
For this reason green and blue are frequently used. Sometimes
traditional transparencies reflect light and can create a glare.
When the material is placed on paper, the glare is gone.
large, bold fonts for instructional "slates."
will thank you if they don't have to squint to see text. They'll
also appreciate simple fonts and concise, bulleted information (Reed &
Woodruff, 1996) (Tallahassee Community College, 1996) (Illinois State
Use colors in the middle of the color spectrum.
white does not look good on a screen. Yellow on blue is common because
it presents a clear readable image. For most people, color printing
is not feasible, so black on pastel paper should be adequate. For
"on-the-fly writing," use a bold color ink pen on pastel paper (Reed
Woodruff, 1996) (Tallahassee Community College, 1996.)
Use video carefully.
Many IV systems allow transmission
of video from an auxiliary source such as a VCR or camcorder, but transmitted
video is likely to appear jerky or fuzzy to remote viewers. In general,
it's best to keep video segments brief. To show a lengthy segment,
send a videotape to the remote facilitator (Reed & Woodruff, 1996.)
Obtain written authorization before you use copyrighted materials.
Use of copyrighted material in a distance learning situation requires
So obtain clearance before broadcasting audiovisuals (Reed &
Woodruff, 1996) (Tallahassee Community College, 1996.)
Photos and color graphics look great on video
and can help convey
a difficult concept or simple instructions (Georgia State Academic and
Medical System, 1996) (Reed & Woodruff, 1996.)
Indicate objectives at the beginning of class and close with a summary
of the class
(Georgia State Academic and Medical System, 1996.)
This can be done as an interactive exercise.
Include an evaluation component at mid term
with questions regarding
the technology as well as the content and instruction (Georgia State Academic
and Medical System, 1996.)
Have a back up plan if the technology fails
(Willis, 1992) (Georgia
State Academic and Medical System, 1996) (Reed & Woodruff,
With new equipment technological problems are common.
You will want to decide how to handle student questions.
conferencing etiquette must be established by the users. Most people
do not have experience with interactive video. Students are not accustomed
to talking to a television image and two-way etiquette has yet to be refined
(Reed & Woodruff, 1996.) Imagine yourself in the middle of an
important explanation and some remote viewer breaks into the conversation,
interrupting and ignoring you. In the traditional class room this
would be considered rude. If you simply tell students to ask questions
whenever they want to, you run the risk of never getting any questions
(Willis, 1993.) If you have more than two sites involved, letting
students interrupt when they want to could result in two sites trying to
talk at the same time, privacy buttons being left open, on site dominating
or just chaos.
You may want to ask students to hold, or even write
down questions as they think of them
, then pause after each segment
of your lesson to poll each site individually and prompt for questions.
Since most systems are voice-activated, you can only see one site (besides
your own) at a time. If you are in a multi-point conference, you
may have to ask a site to talk in order to see them (Reed & Woodruff,
1996.) An example might sound like this:
"At this point, let me stop for questions.
City/site name, please say a few words so I can see you."
Do you have any questions regarding _____________?"
Another example might be as follows:
pause for a moment for questions. Look over notes at the questions
you've jotted down. Joan in Pensacola, what have you
(She may have nothing, but if you continue to ask in this fashion,
students will get the idea that you really give them the opportunity
to question you.) If you let students ask questions at any
time, have them identify their name and site when interrupting (it takes
a few seconds of speaking to activate a change in video; this way no one
misses part of the question and people can see who is asking (Georgia State
Academic and Medical System, 1996.)
The First Class
Remind students that audio delays of one to two seconds are common
due to the way that audio and video are compressed. The novice instructor
will experience awkward "go ahead" conversations due to the delay.
Since there is no way to prevent this try to finish thoughts in a single
statement with an obvious conclusion. Listeners should avoid interrupting
and use visual cues (like nodding) instead of verbal affirmations (like
"uh huh.") (Reed and Woodruff, 1996.)
The instructor should remember to
maintain the focus on all the students
not just the students at the "home" site. Think of the
as another student, look directly into it on occasion, don't avoid it
Community College, 1996) (Willis, 1993.) Humanize the course by focusing
on the students, not the delivery system.
At the start of the class set rules, guidelines, and standards.
Once these have been established, consistently uphold them (Willis, 1992
)(Reed and Woodruff, 1996.)
Make students comfortable with the new pattern of communication.
Learn about the students' backgrounds and experiences and discuss the
Remind the students that they are taking an active role in the distance
project and must take responsibility for their learning (Willis, 1993.)
-- both within the class and on the screen.
Since variety is so engaging, reduce the potential distraction of the screen
by posting a still image or slate during a class activity. Don't
be afraid to use silence ( Reed and Woodruff, 1996.)
Prepare a seating chart
to help identify students by name at
Variety and Interaction
Instructor to Group/Class/Site
Lessons should incorporate a variety of activities for all students
at the various sites.
Guest speakers, group activities, student
presentations and occasional breaks can all add variety to lengthy classes
(more than one hour.)
According to Reed and Woodruff (1996),
as a rule of thumb, instructors should change instructional methods every
10-15 minutes, and limit lectures to 20 minutes (Georgia State Academic
and Medical System, 1996) (University of Idaho, 1996) (Willis, 1994.)
Switching from lecture to question-answer to small group activity can keep
students alert. Guest speakers at remote sites can allow the students in
the home class to experience what it is like to have the teacher at another
site. This has the added advantage of encouraging participation of
those remote students. To encourage students to participate consider
incentives, e.g., extra credit for active participation (Tallahassee Community
College, 1996.) Variety of visuals can also help to maintain student
interest (Reed and Woodruff, 1995) (Georgia State Academic and Medical
Motivate peer learning, support, and collaboration
students' work together both in and out of class (Georgia State Academic
and Medical System, 1996.) Students can interact with you and their
classmates using electronic mail. Maintaining and sharing electronic
mail entries can address this issue (Laurillard, 1995) (Willis, 1994.)
On-site facilitators can stimulate interaction when distance students
are hesitant to ask questions and participate. In addition, the onsite
facilitator can act as your eyes and ears. (Willis, 1994.)
Call on individual students
to ensure that all participants have
ample opportunity to participate. At the same time politely and firmly
discourage students from monopolizing class time (Laurillard, 1995) (Willis,
Use pre-class study questions and advance organizers to encourage
and informed participation on the part of the learners
Use names when calling on people at remote sites
, use seating
charts to facilitate this (Laurillard, 1995) (Willis, 1994.)
Begin question/answer segments with questions at the recall or understanding
that can be answered easily (Willis, 1994.)
Don't wait for volunteers.
Call on specific sites' and/or
people to answer questions (Laurillard, 1995) (Willis, 1994.)
Ask other students to answer peer questions
before hurrying to
answer yourself (Georgia State Academic and Medical System, 1996.)
Dialogue and Interaction
Integrate a variety of systems for feedback
, including one-on-one
calls, fax, electronic E-mail and computer conferencing. Have telephone
and electronic mail office hours (Willis, 1994.)
Contact each site or student every week if possible
early in the course. Take note of students who don't participate
during the first session, and contact them individually after class (Laurillard,
1995) (Willis, 1994.)
Make detailed comments on written assignments
, referring to additional
sources for supplementary information. Return assignments without
a delay, using fax or electronic mail, when practical (Laurillard, 1995)
Don't wear white, black, very light pastels, busy or shiny patterns.
Solids work best (Laurillard, 1995) (Tallahassee Community College,
If your style is to move around, talk with the technical support staff.
In general sudden movements in any direction are visually distracting and
should be avoided (Laurillard, 1995) (Tallahassee Community College, 1996.)
Keep the structure simple and use outlines
to let the students
know where you are Use short clear concise statements realizing there will
be a lag before the audio reaches the site, and vice versa (Georgia State
Academic and Medical System, 1996.)
Never read material out loud
(Georgia State Academic and Medical
Maintain a moderate speaking pace but vary the tone and pitch
for emphasis and variety (Georgia State Academic and Medical System, 1996.)
The following is a portion of a checklist, developed by Reed & Woodruff
(1995), for instructors to use in planning for their class/course.
This portion of the checklist assumes that there is technical support on
hand to assist with most of the technical functions, such as room arrangement,
camera positioning, linking to the sites and rebooting the system if necessary.
Date of Conference/Class: _______________ Time: _______________
Far End: ___________________ ISDN numbers
Near End: _________________ ISDN numbers
Well in advance:
_____ practice using equipment
_____ prepare a lesson plan and materials and obtain copyright
clearance if necessary
_____ develop a back-plan in case of technical problems
One week prior to start of the course:
_____ share your expectations with participants
_____ make sure the remote site has necessary materials
_____ find out who to contact if there are problems
_____ practice with remote facilitators
_____ decide what to wear (avoid loud patterns, red, white and
Evaluation of teachers
Effective teachers in the traditional classroom use many techniques to
assess successful learning, formal and informal. Informal evaluations in
the distance learning class are more difficult because face to face
interaction and assessment of verbal and nonverbal communication is no
longer possible. The instructor, however will want to know a variety
of things, such as is the student comfortable with the delivery system
used, the appropriateness of class assignments, the clarity of the course
content, if class time is spent well, if teaching was effective and
how to improve the course. In order to ascertain this information,
the instructor may use formative and/or summative evaluations (University
of Idaho, 1996.)
Formative evaluations should be conducted throughout the course.
Strategies for conducting the evaluations include providing pre-stamped,
self-addressed post cards and asking the students to send one each week
with their thoughts, concerns and problems, using electronic mail and having
electronic mail office hours, using the telephone and having telephone
office hours (although you should welcome call at other times) (University
of Idaho, 1996.) It is important to ask open-ended questions followed by
probing questions. The instructor should be open to suggestions and
encourage feedback. Formative evaluations can begin with the first
lesson (University of Idaho, 1996.) When the lesson is over, review
it to help make future adjustments which will make the telelearning experience
more effective. Consider video taping the session and viewing it
later, or jot down some notes when the session is completed. Here
are some questions to ask yourself (University of Idaho, 1996):
What were the intended outcomes of the lesson? Were they
Were expectations clear prior to the lesson?
Was the lesson technically effective?
What did you like/dislike about technology?
What would have improved the lesson?
What should be done differently next time?
How did the experience compare to a more typical classroom experience
of Idaho, 1996?)
Summative evaluations occur at the end of the course and assess the
overall effectiveness of the finished class. They can act as a spring
board in developing a revision plan and provide a base line for designing
a new course. Unfortunately, since summative evaluations occur at
the end of the class, they won't help current students. Possible
questions may include: What are the weaknesses of the course and
If you were teaching this course what would you do differently? Would
you recommend this class to a friend? What did you think would be
covered but was not? Also, gather background information about the
students such as age, grade, number of distance learning courses previously
taken and prior technological experience (University of Idaho, 1996.)
The distance learning network is designed to allow standard testing
and student evaluations. Each site should have a facilitator to process
exams and distribute and collect assignments from students. When
administering an examination during a class period, the instructor should
remain available for the questions from students in both on- and off-campus
sites. Take-home exams may require additional telephone office hours
so students may contact the instructor with questions (Illinois State
Quantitative vs. Qualitative
Quantitative analysis requires that questions be asked in a way which can
statistically be tabulated and analyzed. The individual who responds
is limited to preset categories of answers. Quantitative analysis provides
many benefits but most courses will have too few students to justify the
use of quantitative statistics. Additionally, the classroom population
would be stratified further rendering quantitative analysis impotent.
Too often there is an over reliance on the results which give the illusion
of precision but may be far from reality (University of Idaho, 1996.)
Qualitative analysis allows for a range and depth of responses and
tends to be more subjective. Qualitative analysis is more flexible
and dynamic and not limited to preset questions or categories. The
instructor can use a variety of techniques to gather data:
nonparticipant observation, open-ended questions and answers, content analysis
and interviewing either one- on- one or one on small groups (University
of Idaho, 1996.)
What to evaluate
Following are some areas the distance learning instructor may want to evaluate
(University of Idaho, 1996.)
Use of technology-- how comfortable was the student with the
technology--what were the concerns and/or problems--what were the positive
aspects and attitudes about the technology?
Class formats -- how effective was the lecture, discussion,
questions and answers?
Class atmosphere-- was it conducive to student learning?
What was the quality and quantity of the interaction with other
Course content--was it relevant--was there an adequate body
of knowledge and was it organized in a way that enhanced student learning?
Assignments-- were they useful, what was the percentage of difficulty
and time, timeliness of feedback, what was the readability of printed material?
Tests--frequency, relevance, was there sufficient review, level
of difficulty and timely feedback
Support Services--facilitator, technology, library resources,
Student achievement--adequacy, appropriateness, timeliness,
and student involvement
Student attitudes--attention, class participation, assignments
Instructor--contribution of instructor and discussion leaders,
effectiveness, organization, preparation, enthusiasm, openness to student
Evaluation Tips (University of Idaho, 1996)
Look for already published questionnaires and evaluations,
once again don"t try re-inventing the wheel. Draft and revise
changing if necessary. Make use of follow-up probes.
Assure anonymity to students.
Establish rapport by being interested and supportive.
Withhold judgmental statements.
Adapt to students formality and pace of communication.
Use the evaluation as a way for understanding teaching
Try to get both positive and negative feedback.
Self-Evaluation of the Instructor
Self evaluation may be helpful to those who are new to teaching in a distance
learning setting (Illinois State University, 1996.) Several techniques
can be used for this purpose. Suggestions for improvement can be
solicited from students and other instructors who have experience teaching
in a distance learning network. Instructors may also want to videotape
their presentations before actually teaching the first class. Colleagues
can provide objective feedback. The technician can also provide good
feedback (Illinois State University, 1996.)
Glossary of Terms
Since the terminology of the technology involved in IV is new to many
a glossary of terms, prepared in part by the University of Idaho (1996),
Analog: A signal that is received in the same form in which it is transmitted,
while the amplitude and frequency may vary (University of Idaho, 1996.)
Amplitude: The amount of variety in a signal. Commonly thought of as
the height of a wave.
American Standard Code for Information Interexchange (ASCII): A computer
language used to convert letters, numbers, and control codes into a digital
code understood by most computers (University of Idaho, 1996.)
Asynchronous: Communication in which interaction between parties does
not take place simultaneously.
Asynchronous Transmission Mode (ATM): A method of sending data in irregular
time intervals using a code such as ASCII. ATM allows most modern computers
to communicate with one another easily (University of Idaho, 1996.)
Audio Bridge: A device used in audioconferencing that connects multiple
telephone lines allowing for multiple teaching sites.
Audioconferencing: Voice only connection of more than two sites
using standard telephone lines.
Backbone: A primary communication path connecting multiple users.
Band: A range of frequencies between defined upper and lower limits.
Bandwidth: Information carrying capacity of a communication channel.
Binary: A computer language developed with only two letters in its alphabet.
Bit: Abbreviation for a single binary digit.
Byte: A single computer word, generally eight bits.
Browser: Software that allows you to find and see information on the
Internet, such as Web Crawler and Excite.
Central Processing Unit (CPU): The component of a computer in which
data processing takes place.
Channel: The smallest subdivision of a circuit, usually with a path
in only one direction.
Codec (coder/decoder): Device used to convert analog signals to digital
signals for transmission and reconvert signals upon reception at the remote
site while allowing for the signal to be compressed for less expensive
transmission (University of Idaho, 1996.)
Compressed Video: When video signals are reduced to allow travel along
a smaller carrier.
Compression: Reducing the amount of visual information sent in a signal
by only transmitting changes in action.
Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI): Teaching process in which a computer
is utilized to enhance the learning environment by assisting students in
gaining mastery over a specific skill.
Cyberspace: The nebulous "place" where humans interact over computer
networks. Coined by William Gibson.
Desktop Videoconferencing: Videoconferencing on a personal computer.
Dial-Up Teleconference: Using public telephone lines for communications
links among various locations.
Digital: An electrical signal that varies in discrete steps in voltage,
frequency, amplitude, locations, etc. Digital signals can be transmitted
faster and more accurately than analog signals.
Digital Video Interactive (DVI): A format for recording digital video
onto compact disc allowing for compression and full motion video.
Distance Education: Distance education takes place when a teacher and
student(s) are separated by physical distance and technology (i.e., audio,
video, data, and print), often in combination with face-to-face communication,
is used to bridge the gap (Willis, 1994.)
Distance Learning: The desired outcome of distance education.
Download: Using the network to transfer files from one computer to another.
Echo Cancellation: The process of eliminating the acoustic echo in a
Electronic Mail (E-mail): Sending messages from one computer user to
Facsimile (FAX): System used to transmit textual or graphical images
over standard telephone lines.
Fiber Optic Cable: Glass fiber that is used for laser transmission of
video, audio, and/or data.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP): A protocol that allows you to move files
from a distant computer to a local computer using a network like the Internet.
Frequency: The space between waves in a signal. The amount of time between
waves passing a stationary point.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): A collection of information on the
basics of any given subject, often used on the WWW.
Full Motion Video: Signal which allows transmission of complete action
taking place at the origination site.
Fully Interactive Video: (Two way interactive video) Two sites interact
with audio and video as if they were co-located.
Home Page: A document with an address (URL) on the world wide web maintained
by a person or organization which contains pointers to other pieces of
Host: A network computer that can receive information from other computers.
Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML): The code used to create a home page
and is used to access documents over the WWW.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP): The protocol used to signify an
Internet site is a WWW site, i.e. HTTP is a WWW address.
Hypertext: A document which has been marked up to allow a user to select
words or pictures within the document, click on them, and connect to further
Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS): Microwave-based, high-frequency
television used in educational program delivery.
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN): A telecommunications standard
allowing communications channels to carry voice, video, and data simultaneously.
Internet: An international network of networks primarily used to connect
education and research networks begun by the United States government.
Internet Protocol (IP): The international standard for addressing and sending
data via the Internet.
Listserve: An e-mail program that allows multiple computer users to
connect onto a single system, creating an on-line discussion.
Local Area Network (LAN): Two or more local computers that are physically
Microwave: Electromagnetic waves that travel in a straight line and
are used to and from satellites and for short distances (i.e., up to 30
Modem: A piece of equipment to allow computers to interact with each
other via telephone lines by converting digital signals to analog for
along analog lines.
Mosaic: An example of browser software that allows WWW use.
Multimedia: Any document which uses multiple forms of communication,
such as text, audio, and/or video.
Multi-Point Control Unit (MCU): Computerized switching system which
allows point-to-multi point videoconferencing.
Netscape: An example of browser software that allows you to design a
home page and to browse links on the WWW.
Network: A series of points connected by communication channels in different
On-Line: Active and prepared for operation. Also suggests access to
a computer network.
Origination Site: The location from which a teleconference originates.
Point of Presence (POP): Point of connection between an interexchange
carrier and a local carrier to pass communications into the network.
Point-to-Point: Transmission between two locations.
Point-to-Multi point: Transmission between multiple locations using
PPP: A software package which allows a user to have a direct connection
to the Internet over a telephone line.
Protocol: A formal set of standards, rules, or formats for exchanging
data that assures uniformity between computers and applications.
Satellite TV: Video and audio signals are relayed via a communication
device that orbits around the earth.
Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP): Allows a user to connect to the
Internet directly over a high speed modem.
Server: A computer with a special service function on a network, generally
receiving and connecting incoming information traffic.
Slow Scan Converter: Transmitter/receiver of still video over narrow
band channels. In real time, camera subjects must remain still for highest
Synchronous: Communication in which interaction between participants
T-1 (DS-1): High speed digital data channel that is a high volume carrier
of voice and/or data. Often used for compressed video teleconferencing.
T-1 has 24 voice channels. (1.54 mg)
T-3 (DS-3): A digital channel which communicates at a significantly
faster rate (three times) than T-1.
Telecommunication: The science of information transport using wire,
radio, optical, or electromagnetic channels to transmit receive signals
for voice or data communications using electrical means.
Teleconferencing: Two way electronic communication between two or more
groups in separate locations via audio, video, and/or computer systems.
Transmission Control Protocol (TCP): A protocol which makes sure that
packets of data are shipped and received in the intended order.
Transponder: Satellite transmitter and receiver that receives and amplifies
a signal prior to re-transmission to an earth station.
Video Teleconferencing: A teleconference including two way video.
Uniform Resource Locator (URL): The address of a homepage on the WWW.
Uplink: The communication link from the transmitting earth station to
World Wide Web (WWW): A graphical hypertext-based Internet tool that
provides access to homepages created by individuals, businesses, and other
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Copyright 1998, M. Jayne Brady