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Developing Network Infrastructure For Classroom Technologies

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Computer Education Innovations II

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.387.1 - 15.387.15



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Paper Authors

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Joseph Tront Virginia Tech

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David Bailey Virginia Polytechnic and State University

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Thomas Walker Virginia Tech

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Steven Lee Virginia Tech

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract



In order for classroom technologies to be useful in engineering education, appropriate infrastructures must be planned, implemented and tested so that they are sufficiently robust to serve the needs of the target usage. Usage will vary depending on size of the class, complexity of the teaching technology being used, and the amount of interactivity that the instructor attempts to utilize. This paper describes an infrastructure planned to be used in large and medium sized classrooms with the reasonably complex tool, Classroom Presenter, in a mode where four different levels of interactions are used in the classroom. The hardware infrastructure is designed for a nominal class size of 250 students with a medium amount of network traffic.

Testing of the infrastructure was performed using 80 student volunteers. The audience was requested to complete individual timed operations including: downloading graphic slides, receiving electronic ink strokes at each student station, students responding to polls, and students submitting graphical information back to the instructor’s computer. All of these activities are generally included in a typical highly interactive and engaging classroom.

The infrastructure design will be described. Data will be presented on the outcomes of the testing including the timing of the data and graphical transmissions. Finally, suggested improvements to the infrastructure will be made in order to facilitate its use for larger student populations.


Designing classroom network infrastructures involves determining the expected bandwidth needed and the amount of interaction latency that can be tolerated while still maintaining an effective learning environment. The network implementation that will satisfy these two parameters depends on the number of students in the classroom, the amount of data transmitted by the courseware application, the network communications protocol implementation, and the amount of interaction the students and instructor attempt to have during typical classroom sessions.

A number of different classroom courseware tools are available on the market these days. Many of them endeavor to support rich real-time classroom interaction by sending data back and forth between student and faculty machines. Designing a network infrastructure to satisfy the needs of


Tront, J., & Bailey, D., & Walker, T., & Lee, S. (2010, June), Developing Network Infrastructure For Classroom Technologies Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16974

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