A Primer on IVN

The interactive video system has been the mainstay of UMCES teaching for at least 25 years. It has gradually improved over time to the point where it is now a reliable and consistent platform over which to teach.

There are multiple interactive video systems, including Zoom, available. It is important to understand how IVN differs from these platforms to use it effectively.

IVN can broadcast information in two ways:

  • Video is low resolution image, but refreshes the image at a high rate. This mode is ideal for students seeing you, and you seeing the students. This mode is the transmission mode for all wall mounted cameras.
  • Content is a high resolution image, but refreshes the image at a low rate. This mode is ideal for showing class content such as images from powerpoints, etc. This mode is the default mode for the Elmo device, the IVN PC and any laptops you connect to the IVN system.

This is why in our primary IVN room, there are two screens on each wall – one is set to show video- the other to show content. In rooms with only one monitor – content trumps video and will be shown preferentially. This is also why standing in front of the monitor to show people content while you teach really doesn’t work, because the content on the monitor in your room that you are pointing will be transmitted as video – at low resolution. In contrast, writing on the screen with the onscreen tools will be transmitted as content.

You initiate an IVN conference by choosing one of two set ups on the LCD screen.

  • Lecture – Use this when you are teaching from the Houde Teaching Suite. It automatically configures the monitors so one shows the content you are sending, and one shows the video the system is sending. It duplicates this on the back wall so you can see what you are sending out and the far site video.
  • Classroom – Use this one if you are not teaching from the Houde Teaching Suite. It automatically sets the screens at the front so that one receives content from the far site and one receives video. It turns the rear screens off.

You then enter the IVN conference code when prompted by the system. The IVN conference code is specific to your course – you can log onto your course using the same code from any conference room that is IVN compatible.