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Project Title: Technology Upgrade Proposal for Van Es 105-107, Microbio

Award number: TFAC # 0215
Project Leader: Douglas Freeman
Report Period: final

Project Description:

The project proposes the installation of a multi-media station in the microbiology teaching lab facility, Van Es Room 105-107. This would include a ceiling mounted projector and audio system connected to a computer and VCR in a permanent station. Justification for Information Technology Upgrade of Van Es 105-107

To use the multimedia cart in Room 105-107 (teaching laboratories separated by an
accordion curtain) the following problems exist:

  • Students are displaced. The only outlets in the room are located on the lab benches. To connect to the internet, a 50' wire must be strung to reach the jack. If the cart is set up and used throughout the class period, students cannot work at their assigned spots. If the class is full, there is nowhere for the displaced students to sit.

  • The cart cannot remain set up for the entire class period. Microbiology
    laboratory classes are set up so the instructor lectures, students perform a task, instructor lectures and so on. If a permanent unit were available, the instructor could continue to teach in this manner but with the increased capability of using excellent software to demonstrate important procedures. To leave the cart set up throughout the class opens the door to potential disaster. Students have to step over cords, walk around the cart and always be mindful of the location of the cart. Presently, to avoid disaster, the cart is used at the beginning of class and then put away.

  • A permanent unit would allow us to use a document camera to demonstrate microbiological techniques. It is very difficult to project images on the screen without having to move many items on the benches. At present, the instructor stands in front of the class and demonstrates techniques. Students in the second through fourth benches can hardly see what is being demonstrated. We do not have a document camera because we do not have a place to set it up, and store it, in the lab. The overhead projector, which is used on a daily basis, has to be stored on a cart, and again, students need to be displaced when it is in use.

  • Many teachers will simply not use the cart due to the associated difficulties and inconvenience. Set up time is usually at least ten minutes, and with classes meeting one right after the other, there is often not enough time to set up the cart and computer. The biggest concern with using the media cart involves safety issues. The connections make the area conducive for tripping. Also, in some courses students handle live, potentially pathogenic microorganisms. With the cart set up at all times, the potential exists for spills and accidents.

  • This proposal affects approximately 700 students. Specific majors and programs include microbiology, pre-vet, biotechnology and pharmacy. In addition to the students in specific majors, approximately 500 students per year are in the general education science course, Biol 202, Introduction to Microbiology. Therefore the impact is extensive. It is clear that the quality of instruction, and student safety, would be dramatically improved with a permanent station and ceiling mounted projector.

Progress toward Milestones:

Spring 2003: Installation and initial use of the system.
Summer 2003 and beyond: This system will result in significant expansion of teaching capabilities that should result in improvements in lab instruction on an extended basis.


The improvement in teaching has been phenomenal! The system allows us to use a document camera to demonstrate microbiological techniques. Access to power point and internet teaching and demonstration materials is possible. Teaching aids and demonstrations can now be utilized throughout the entire lab period, and there are wonderful demonstration materials and software that are being used. Further improvements will occur as the labs utilize the PRS system for rapid response and comparison of results between lab groups. In fact, the system is used daily and recieves more use than we even anticipated. This project has been a huge success. The only down side is that it is only able to serve half the facility, when the room is split for two separate classes. With increasing enrollments and course sections, the room use has increased. We will be submitting a request to make similar upgrades on the second half of the teaching lab.

Funding Summary:

NDSU fund number: 1528-2140
Carryover: 0.00
Award: 0.00
YTD expenses: 0.00
Anticipated remaining expenses: 0.00
Unspent amount: 0.00

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Campus address: Bison Court West 104
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5310 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
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Last Updated: Monday, August 08, 2011 1:36:53 PM
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