Published on

1 Comment
  • Nice presentation Ronny. Thank you for the sharing. Resume keywords are way more important than resume formats. Because recruiters conduct keyword searches during the initial sourcing process in Applicant Tracking Systems. You're not found if your resume doesn't contain the exact keywords. But it's a pain to find those keywords from the job descriptions. I found the site Jobscan that identify keywords for your. All you do is paste in your resume plus the job description, then Jobscan analyzes your job description for you automatically and identify the most important keywords for you. It literally takes seconds and it so worth the copy and paste. Saved me so much time AND I got more interviews using Jobscan! I recommend it as well.
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide


  1. 1. FORM 1: HIGHER EDUCATION COVER PAGE NAME OF INSTITUTION: The University of Texas at Austin Name of Contact Person: Dr. Thomas F. Edgar Title of Contact Person: Associate Vice President ddress: Academic Computing and Instructional Technology Services Computation Center Building Austin, Texas 78712 Telephone Number: (512) 475-9300 Fax Number: (512) 475-9282 E-Mail Address: Federal Tax ID#: 74-6000203 County Name: Travis State Senator: Gonzalo Barrientos State Rep.: Elliott Naishtat TOTAL TIFB FUNDS RQUESTED $759,151 TOTAL LOCAL FUNDS FOR PROJECT $76,000 If applicable, NAME OF COLLABORATIVE IN WHICH YOUR INSTITUTION IS PARTICIPATING: Date: _________________________ Signature of Authorized Official Printed Name and Title Wayne K. Kuenstler, Director, Office of Sponsored Projects 1 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  2. 2. FORM 3: DESIGNATION OF GRANT OFFCIALS PROJECT DIRECTOR Name: Dr. Thomas F. Edgar Title: Associate Vice President Organization Name: The University of Texas at Austin Academic Computing and Instructional Technology Services Mailing Address: Computation Center Bldg., Austin, Texas 78712 Telephone: (512) 475-9300 Fax #: (512) 475-9282 E-mail Address: Signature: ______________________________ Date: _________________ FINANCIAL OFFICER Name: Louis Chavarria Title: Manager, Contracts and Grant Organization Name: The University of Texas at Austin Mailing Address: Mail Bldg, Room 316, Austin, Texas 78712 Telephone: (512) 232-6541 Fax #: ((512) 471-8613 E-mail Address: Signature: ______________________________ Date: _________________ AUTHORIZED OFFICIAL Name: Wayne K. Kuenstler Title: Director, Office of Sponsored Projects Organization Name: The University of Texas at Austin Mailing Address: Mail Bldg, Room 302, Austin, Texas 78712 Telephone: (512) 471-6424 Fax #: ((512) 471-6564 E-mail Address: Signature: ______________________________ Date: _________________ 2 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  3. 3. FORM 4: CERTIFIED ASSURANCES Ljdlfjdl 3 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  4. 4. Khkhkhkh dfsdfsdfsd 4 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  5. 5. 5 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  6. 6. FORM 5: TABLE OF CONTENTS (one page) e-Learning through Enhanced Access to Distance Education Resources (e-LEADER) Form 1: Higher Education Cover Page 1 Form 3: Designation of Grant Officials 2 Form 4: Certified Assurances 3 Form 5: Table of Contents 6 Form 6: Narrative Abstract 7 Form 7: Vision Statement & Introduction to Narrative 9 Form 8: Needs Assessment 13 Form 9: Statement of Existing Conditions 16 Form 10: Project Objectives & Methods 19 Form 11: System, Infrastructure, and Network 29 Form 15: Sustainability/Security Funding 41 Form 16: Project Timeline 44 Form 17: Evaluation Plan 48 Form 18: Budget Plan 51 Form 19: Budget Summary 52 Schedule A: Personnel 53 Justification Attachment 54 Schedule B: Contractual Services 55 Schedule C: Travel 56 Schedule D: Supplies and Materials 57 Schedule E: Equipment/Fixed Assets 58 Justification Attachment 59 Form 25: Application Checklist (See Appendix B) 61 Appendix C: Resume of Project Participants 62 6 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  7. 7. FORM 6: NARRATIVE ABSTRACT The abstract is a summary of the project and should mention the problem or need being addressed, the proposed activities, and the intended outcomes. The abstract must contain: a statement of goals, purpose and objectives; and a brief description of expected results. Applicant Name: The University of Texas at Austin Amount Requested: $759,151 Total Project Cost: $835,151 e-Learning through Enhanced Access to Distance Education Resources (e-LEADER) The University of Texas at Austin, the flagship higher education institution in the state, faces a complex and growing set of challenges as it continues to provide outstanding teaching, learning and research environment for the citizens of Texas. The continued population increase and economic growth in Texas are imperatives for UT Austin to provide leadership in demonstrating effective methods for using technology to increase academic productivity and enhance learning opportunities for students, and to expand the course delivery system beyond that of the traditional classroom. To be successful, those methods must be efficient in the use of human and capital resources as well as simple to establish, replicate and maintain. The primary project goal is to achieve, through several pilot courses at UT Austin, an improved e-learning and distance format and process that derives directly from activities in residential classes. A second goal is to deliver e-learning and distance education in an efficient and effective way that uses advanced server and network technology, and at the same time keeps development, delivery and support costs low. A third goal is to make the content easily accessible to the student and easy to generate for the instructor, again while minimizing costs. Finally, a fourth goal is to create and maintain a suitable training and reference service to enable students and faculty to use the information technology tools and access the information resources essential to success in harnessing the enormous potential of e-learning and distance education. UT Austin's vision of its future recognizes that e-learning provides the opportunity, through interactivity, visual images and sound, to enable active learning to transcend distance. Media streaming technology has reached a stage where it can be readily incorporated into web-based courses and to improve student cognition through audio/video interactions with the instructor. It can also convey more elements of a classroom learning experience, via instructor videos. In this project UT Austin plans a major upgrade of its content development, delivery, and student system for e-learning, whether local or at a distance. An essential element of this system is the server and telecommunications infrastructure that will be required to support substantially larger volumes of video information. We are requesting funding to upgrade our infrastructure so that we can deliver educational content to the 50,000 UT Austin students on and off-campus as well as to other interested institutions throughout the UT System and the state of Texas. Additionally, funds for digital video production hardware and software are requested in order to 7 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  8. 8. FORM 6: NARRATIVE ABSTRACT speed video processing and greatly increase both the quality and quantity of video in several pilot courses and programs. The model identified as most applicable to the UT Austin's e-learning and distance goals uses asynchronous access and the Internet to create an innovative, highly interactive learning experience focused on easy access to content and computer facilitated communication among students and faculty. Further, this model allows for large-scale implementation, a critical factor in a university environment with a student population of the size at UT Austin. The plan also aims to provide e-learning, both local and distance, at low cost, a necessary threshold for achieving anything more than boutique implementation. The key elements in this model are a standard Web-based template, streaming media of the instruction, digitized learning materials, and online communication with other students and the class instructor via group conferencing software. We propose a basic instructional template that integrates video and text material on the student’s desktop. That system includes four elements: (1) video and slides (2) lecture outline (e.g., in PowerPoint), (3) frequently asked questions by students who have already taken the course, and (4) group e-mail/chat/discussion. The courses will be delivered to learners in two modes: high bandwidth for on- campus students and low bandwidth for off-campus students. Our pilot program of courses in Pharmacy, Spanish Language, and Texas Politics will use streaming media to replace costly videotaping and videoconferencing course delivery techniques. The project budget requests $759,151 from TIF, with $76,000 in local matching funds and $656,250 of in- kind resources provided from UT Austin. Although the installation, related research, and assessment of the project and its initial objectives will occur within the timeframe of the grant reporting specifications, UT Austin envisions this plan as a permanent cornerstone of the University's goals in delivering distance education and one that will have a far-reaching and positive effect on the institution's learning environment. It is anticipated that the successful completion of this project will directly impact the learning environment and distance education efficient and effective model of providing quality active learning experiences at a distance for options available to all 50,000 current and future students at UT Austin and serve as a cost- other institutions across the state. 8 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  9. 9. FORM 7: VISION STATEMENT & INTRODUCTION TO NARRATIVE Include statement of purpose, goals and philosophy. Clearly establish what entity is applying for funding. Describe the target population, their characteristics; and how many will be affected by the project. Explain how the project serves rural, remote, and underserved populations. Describe how organizations in the community may/will contribute to the project. Indicate whether the proposed project involves a single entity or represents a collaborative effort by more than one organization. Where the project involves more than one organization, explain the roles and responsibilities of each entity relevant to the project. Include mechanisms to promote growth, community involvement, and responsibility for self-containment. e-Learning through Enhanced Access to Distance Education Resources (e-LEADER) As the flagship higher education institution in Texas, located in one of the nation's premier high- tech cities, the University of Texas at Austin continues to play a major role in developing the state's essential knowledge capital through providing an outstanding teaching, learning and research environment for the citizens of Texas. The population of Texas reached 20 million in 1999 and is expected to grow to 33.9 million in the next 30 years. During the last decade, Texas led the nation in job creation, fueled by a powerful broad-based economic engine. A significant factor in the population and economic growth of the state has been its strong participation in the New Economy, a revolution in high technology enterprise emerging from the vast knowledge capital of the citizens of the state. The Internet and the technologies that support it are a significant part of a major revolution in not only the Texas economy, but in the academic community, including the way in which faculty and students increasingly engage in teaching and learning experiences. In April 1999, the University of Texas at Austin, mindful of the continuing evolution of e-learning in the classroom, the increasing demand for Web-based courses for education at a distance, and the need to define the role of distance education at the University, convened a Technology Enhanced Learning Committee and charged it to formulate “an overall framework to help shape the development of technology-enhanced learning (TEL) and distance learning programs on the campus.” The principles and recommendations of that report articulated that TEL and distance learning would be a means to enhance the quality of the student’s educational experience, ensure that student-faculty and student-student interaction is included and that faculty would be provided with a supportive environment for the development of online course materials. Today, UT Austin offers many exciting and worthy efforts in e-learning in line with these principles and recommendations. Numerous faculty are developing multimedia course materials with the financial and resource support of their deans and the Provost. A $20 million building (Applied Computation in Engineering and Science, ACES) with state-of-the-art facilities for using technology in instruction and research was opened in September 2000. The University libraries are at the forefront of the Internet revolution investing more than a million dollars annually to provide a broad spectrum of accessible digital content. As individual e-learning and distance projects have evolved, however, so too has the realization of the significant cost of those efforts measured in human resources, 9 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  10. 10. FORM 7: VISION STATEMENT & INTRODUCTION TO NARRATIVE capital investment, and ongoing operating expenditures. Clearly a new approach will be required if e- learning is ever intended to achieve more universal status. With 50,000 students in residence, UT Austin clearly has a significant history of meeting its teaching responsibility in physical rather than virtual classrooms. Increasingly, faculty develop their own multimedia teaching materials for use in technology-enhanced traditional classrooms and for sharing with the residential class through the World Wide Web. Therefore campus-wide implementation of easy to use classroom multimedia technology and an infrastructure to support the creation, archiving and distribution of content is seen as a key to effectively leveraging proven teaching approaches to expand UT Austin’s e- learning and distance opportunities. The primary project goal is to achieve through several pilot courses at UT Austin an improved distance education format and process that derives from e-learning activities in residential classes. This goal, in accordance with the principles and recommendations spelled out in the Technology Enhanced Learning Committee report, is an essential first step toward developing a more comprehensive collection of e-learning opportunities, both local and at a distance, for current and future students. A second goal is to deliver e-learning in an efficient and effective way that uses advanced server and network technology, and at the same time keeps costs low. Streaming media across the Internet holds great promise for the delivery of instructional content accessible in an anytime and anyplace mode, especially when the distribution can incorporate both high and low bandwidth options. A third goal is to make the content easily accessible to the student and easy to generate for the instructor, again while minimizing costs. Unless methods can be developed to lower the cost of producing and distributing quality e-learning and distance courses, institutions will be forced to treat them as expensive additions rather than essential and innovative learning opportunities for students. Finally, a fourth goal is to create and maintain a suitable training and reference service to enable students and faculty to use the information technology tools and access the information resources essential to success in harnessing the enormous potential of e-learning and distance education. Many students and some faculty have significant skills in the use of information technology; but experience and skill in the development, access and use of information resources is much less broadly held. The identical infrastructure that will be used to develop degree-credit e-learning and distance courses for students will also be used to deliver a broad portfolio of instructional modules that address Internet knowledge and skills in areas such as free speech, privacy, and locating and evaluating online information resources. In exploring its future direction for e-learning, the TEL committee also examined two models, which have widely differing cost implications. The traditional technological approach, also known as a 10 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  11. 11. broadcast model, requires expensive efforts to create learning materials, simulations, video and involves FORM 7: VISION STATEMENT & INTRODUCTION TO NARRATIVE staff-intensive efforts to operate technology classrooms and studios. These efforts not only result in courses that may cost in the range of $100,000 per course, but incur additional costs each time the course is offered. Broadcast courses, whether delivered over broadband, satellite or other broadcast delivery systems are place and time bound for faculty and students. Even with Internet delivery, which can reduce the dependence on place, the synchronous nature of the learning experience continues. For these reasons, this solution does not hold significant promise for UT Austin. The model identified as most applicable for the UT Austin e-learning goals uses asynchronous access and the Internet to create an innovative, highly interactive learning experience focused on easy access to content and computer facilitated communication among students and faculty. Further, this model allows for large-scale implementation, a critical factor when the student population is already sizeable, at low cost, a necessary threshold for achieving anything more than boutique implementations of e-learning. The key elements in this model are a standard Web-based template, streaming media of the instructor, digitized learning materials, and online communication with the other students and the instructor in the class via group conferencing software. UT Austin envisions an active e-learning environment that includes audio files, digital images or animations used in class, questions answered by professor via a course chat room or e-mail, links to Web sites that contain information discussed in lecture, lecture notes, an original archive of materials/documents referred to in lectures, and exercises designed to test understanding of course content. One challenge we face in the large-scale use of e-learning is achieving scalable customer support for faculty and student use of technologically enhanced Web environments. Thus a key element for successful implementation will be standardizing on straightforward user interfaces as well as the standardization and design of equipment used to produce and deliver educational content. The future of scalable, affordable, effective e-learning incorporates a standard format for developing and delivering asynchronous learning in conjunction with ongoing traditional classes. The first component captures and records the instructor’s teaching in a classroom through the use of tracking video equipment similar to what is used in some video conferencing facilities. A second component lets the faculty member easily incorporate supplemental instructional materials such as animations, movies, visual and sound files into classroom teaching. The video and supplemental materials are automatically archived in a central server accessible through a special Web application that has slide synchronization (e.g., PowerPoint) and interactive chat capability. The approximate cost of producing this type of course using commercial software is $10,000 per course, and UT Austin proposes to create technology enhanced classrooms in which to present and capture the content for about $20,000 per 11 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  12. 12. installation. FORM 7: VISION STATEMENT & INTRODUCTION TO NARRATIVE Further, once courses are produced, the instructor can use the video course content multiple times without incurring additional production and delivery charges. The courses will be delivered to learners in two modes: high bandwidth for on-campus students and low bandwidth for off-campus students (normally the majority of a class) at UT Austin. In either case, media-rich presentation will be accomplished by various bandwidth compression strategies. The UT Austin e-learning project will create a model infrastructure that leverages faculty members’ instructional strengths, enhances institutional academic productivity, supports highly interactive faculty-student interaction, is scalable for large populations, achieves significant cost efficiencies, and integrates critical information resource skill development necessary for success in the online world. Faculty will more quickly be able to expand traditional classroom instruction to include e- learning, both locally and at a distance. Students will be able to advance their learning at any time, on campus or off campus accessing a solid foundation of technology-enhanced courses that reflects the academic standards of the University and at the same time addresses its goals of expanding distance education opportunities. Texas and its citizens will benefit from the powerful integration of e-learning into the fabric of excellence that has long characterized the academic experience, student learning, and fostering of knowledge at The University of Texas at Austin. 12 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  13. 13. FORM 8: NEEDS ASSESSMENT Explain the needs and/or problems that the proposed project will address. Focus on conditions in the lives of constituents that need to be changed; specify services that are unavailable without deploying advanced technology; identify disparity in access and financial need. e-Learning through Enhanced Access to Distance Education Resources (e-LEADER) The University of Texas at Austin faces a complex and growing set of challenges in meeting its higher education mission to the citizens of the state of Texas today and in the future. These challenges are rooted in the large and growing number of students seeking a degree from UT Austin, the inadequacy of the state appropriations per student to meet the needs for a quality educational experience, and the demand by students for increased access to e-learning experiences that may not be dependent on physical access to a university campus. With a current enrollment of about 50,000 students, UT Austin has the largest student population located on a single campus in the United States. Over 75 percent of these students are undergraduates, and the number of faculty and staff and the physical classroom and laboratory resources are inadequate to meet their needs. The current ratio of students to faculty at UT-Austin is the fifth highest among its peer members of the American Association of Universities. The resulting excessively large classes often reduce the quality of collaboration and interaction among faculty and students, which impacts the quality of the learning experience. The current state appropriation per student, even when combined with the allocation from the Permanent University Fund, is significantly less than appropriations per student at any of UT Austin’s five peer institutions – UCLA, Berkeley, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan. While the University of Texas at Austin has done an exemplary job of building outstanding academic programs that have contributed to the state’s positive economic well being, it must compete for students and the faculty talent critical for their learning against the very best universities in the United States with less than 70 percent of their comparative resources. In just nine years (1990-1999) the number of Texas public high school graduates increased by 88.5 percent, from 107,883 to 203,393 per year. More than 80 percent of the students at UT Austin students come from Texas. As the state's population continues to grow, the number of in-state high school graduates increases, and pressure to increase UT Austin's enrollment grows as well. It is neither feasible nor practical to expect that the physical resources for delivering education (land, buildings, faculty and staff) can or will increase sufficiently to meet the demands of this growth. Increased academic productivity is an imperative for UT-Austin. 13 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  14. 14. FORM 8: NEEDS ASSESSMENT The Gartner Group estimates that by 2003, more than 50 percent of all traditional students enrolled in degree programs will utilize technology-enhanced education to take one or more courses at a distance. Students increasingly arrive on the UT Austin campus expecting to have educational materials presented using information technologies, and most of them rely on technology in order to access educational materials at anytime and from anywhere. The University has taken steps in recent years to identify and assess (through surveys and focus groups) the manner in which students use and rely on technology to meet their needs in education and daily life. A recent survey shows that 90 percent of the students had access to a computer in their place of residence. Focus groups in May 2000, which explored student expectations in classroom and campus use of technology, revealed an assumption by students that information technology and e-learning must be an integrated and normal part of the current and future academic experience. The vast majority (about 88 percent) of the 50,000 students resides off campus and comprises the largest segment of the undergraduate population. Many of these students, as well as their faculty, will be geographically remote from the main campus for much of the time during which they are doing academic work. Degree requirements for internship participation and the need to find summer employment to help pay for tuition create additional extended periods when students are remote from the physical facilities of the main campus and thus unable to continue with significant academic work. The University of Texas at Austin already faces a built-in demand for establishing a solid distance learning infrastructure and delivery methods in order to serve today's students in the environment in which they live and work. The University of Texas at Austin has a long and significant technological heritage and has been at the forefront in applying information technology to extend and enhance the academic activities of students and faculty. The institution has been consistently ranked in the top 20 of most national measures of information technology use and accessibility for students. In a 1998 survey, over 98 percent of the faculty reported that they use computers and information technology resources in their teaching and research. Programs such as the UT Austin Computer Writing and Research Lab have revolutionized writing instruction for undergraduate students and served as models for similar efforts across the state and around the country. Over the past three years, the University has invested more than $5 million annually to develop technology-enhanced course materials produced by teams of faculty and students. Some of these materials, as well as the FAST-Tex (Faculty and Student Teams for Technology) program through which they are produced, have received national recognition for quality and innovation. 14 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  15. 15. FORM 8: NEEDS ASSESSMENT As the University of Texas at Austin looks to the future, however, one picture becomes compellingly clear: Only by finding more efficient methods of expanding e-learning opportunities, through utilizing existing facilities, systems and resources can the University realistically maintain the quality of a UT Austin educational experience, increase academic productivity, and meet the growth in numbers of students with their rising expectations of technologically enhanced learning. While this complex challenge is particularly acute today at The University of Texas at Austin, other institutions in the state of Texas will soon face similar situations, if not already. Part of the responsibility of a flagship institution like the University of Texas at Austin is to provide leadership in multiple ways to the state. Implementing a resource-efficient e-learning infrastructure that is capable of delivering effective active learning experiences for large numbers of students, that leverages faculty classroom time and materials and that is accessible at any time and any place through the Internet would offer others a tested, replicable model for use at their institution. This solution proposes, for about $10,000 per course, to develop content and to produce, for less than $20,000 per installation, a complete production facility built from off-the-shelf components, assembled and installed into an existing classroom facility. The result of this infrastructure will mean that students can access a video version of the faculty member’s presentation, complete with materials, participate in interactive chat with the instructor, and use a searchable index to each session’s content at any time and at any place through a Web browser and the Internet. Higher education in Texas must find innovative ways to provide quality education to an increased population at little to no increase in cost or the future economic growth and well being of all Texas citizens is in doubt. The University of Texas at Austin has always played a strong and vigorous role in using its resources to enrich the future of Texas. With this proposed project, UT Austin will be able to continue to attract, retain and educate the minds needed to support improvements for the people of Texas in the 21st century and provide an innovative model for others to follow. 15 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  16. 16. FORM 9: STATEMENT OF EXISTING CONDITIONS Focus on the current situation regarding technology by describing current equipment, technology funding levels, and the skill levels of project-related personnel. Describe the applicant organization’s long range technology plan and status of any technology task force or committee. e-Learning through Enhanced Access to Distance Education Resources (e-LEADER) UT Austin has a large infrastructure and expert staff to support information technology functions and services, most of which is operated by ACITS (see for details). Existing groups within ACITS are responsible for networking, instructional technology, training, and help desk, as well as multimedia facilities in Liberal Arts and Pharmacy. ACITS has a staff of about 300 and an annual budget of $15 million. UT Austin and the individual colleges and departments provide ready electronic access to networked data services and personal communication in offices, student computer labs, networked residence halls, dial-up service, and classrooms. ACITS has connected all University-owned student residence halls to the campus network. For off-campus access to UTnet, ACITS provides a dial-up service (Telesys) with over 3,000 lines to service approximately 29,000 subscribers. UT Austin’s main campus is connected to Austin’s public schools and Austin Community College by fiber optic cable. In addition, UT Austin participates in a number of networked partnerships that offer long term added value for distribution and delivery of e-learning courses, which will extend the future, positive impact of this proposal far beyond the boundaries of its initial implementation. Key among these relationships is the positioning of UT Austin's Texas Higher Education Network, (THEnet), which serves as the nexus for a large partnership of education facilities, including the entire UT System, Texas A&M System, and many school districts and libraries. The University is also a partner in the Greater Austin Area Telecommunications Network (GAATN), which includes the Austin Independent School District, Austin Community College, Travis County, the City of Austin, the Texas General Services Commission and the Lower Colorado River Authority. The University operates a central facility, the Center for Instructional Technologies (CIT) that supports faculty who work with e-learning and multimedia technologies. The 18 CIT staff members offer faculty expert-level consulting on a wide variety of multimedia and e-learning related topics. CIT collaborates with instructional media laboratories in various colleges in cooperative Web-based projects, to train students to work with faculty in college laboratories, and in developing technology-enhanced learning materials, ranging from teaching modules to full on-line courses. The six-person ACITS training group provides a high quality, widely available curriculum of 75 16 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  17. 17. free short courses to faculty, staff and students, covering such topics as Internet access, using e-mail, and FORM 9: STATEMENT OF EXISTING CONDITIONS Web publishing. In addition, in a partnership arrangement, ACITS operates the Microcomputer Teaching Facility in the Joe C. Thompson Conference Center for hands-on instruction in 24 workshops. UT Austin has appointed a campus-wide coordinator for computer training to coordinate courses offered by Administrative Computing Services, ACITS, the General Libraries, and the Texas Union. ACITS also offers help desk services for walk-in, telephone and e-mail consulting. Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services (LAITS) employs 15 people to produce media- rich, network-based course materials to faculty to supplement their traditional classroom instruction. These materials, which this plan has targeted for distribution in e-learning courses, include modular applications using text, images, videos, audio clips, and animations. Many are interactive, most have testing components, and nearly all are delivered with open-standard Internet technologies. Liberal Arts has invested heavily in developing this unit and supporting its activities (~ $1 million in equipment). Recently, the college renovated its production studio, acquired new multimedia workstations and servers, and converted the audio tape-based language lab into a nine-station computer lab and classroom that classes and individual students can use to access streaming media and develop multimedia materials. The College of Pharmacy Learning Resource Center supports multimedia production and technology classroom operations with a staff of five. Technology equipment is valued at $0.75 million. The College operates a full-time distance learning program which includes live, two-way interactive video conferencing and videotaping of Pharmacy core curriculum classes, a computer and audio/visual support program for classes, a student computer laboratory, a computer graphics laboratory, a student media library, and a computer-aided instruction (CAI) classroom. Additionally, the LRC coordinates the College Web site homepage and offers training and consulting in a variety of technical areas. UT Austin has assembled a strong interdisciplinary team to carry out this project. Key personnel and their credentials are listed below (resumes are included in the Appendix): Thomas Edgar, PhD., is Associate Vice President of ACITS at UT Austin. He has been involved in leading several major IT projects, including the Intel Education 2000 project ($6 million) and he was Project Director of the previous TIF grant ($1.65 million). Dr. Edgar is on the Advisory Board for the UT Telecampus. Bill Bard has been with Academic Computing since 1966 and is now Deputy Director of Academic Computing and Instructional Technology Services and also Director of the UT System Office of Telecommunication Services. In these roles, he oversees computer networking at UT Austin and the UT System-wide voice, video, and computer network. These responsibilities include operating the statewide Texas Higher Education network (THEnet). 17 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  18. 18. FORM 9: STATEMENT OF EXISTING CONDITIONS Daniel Benner is a veteran of both film and television production, both industry and at UT Austin. He worked in distance education production for the School of Nursing at UT Austin and was also the Webmaster for the school. Benner currently works for the Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services. He produced the Liberal Arts video that was compressed as a QuickTime movie and included in the CDROM, UTCD 2000. Eric Eubank, a senior systems analyst at UT Austin, has 20 years' experience in audio, video, and multimedia production; Web site design, development, and management; computer programming, and systems management. Eubank's Website and CD-ROM, produced for First Year French at UT Austin, won first prize in UT's Innovative Instructional Technology competition in 1997. David Fudell, Manager of the College of Pharmacy Learning Resource Center, has worked in media production and delivery for 25 years. He began his career in television broadcasting and video production. His distance education and multimedia engineering experience includes serving as Production Manager at the UT Austin School of Nursing and the Center for Instructional Technologies, video-for-multimedia production unit. Gail Lewis, Manager of Training Services in ACITS, is charged with coordinating and improving computer training across campus in her role as Chair of the UT Computer Training Council. The Council has the mission of developing a comprehensive strategic plan that ensures practical, accessible, computer technology education for the entire UT community. Pam McQuesten, PhD, is Associate Director of ACITS and also chair of the UT Austin Technology Enhanced Learning/Distance Education committee, which reports to the Provost. Dr. McQuesten was previously Assistant Dean for Technology in the College of Communication and was employed in several other IT related jobs for over 15 years prior to coming to UT Austin. Sue Phillips, Associate Director for Technical and Networked Services, UT Austin General Libraries, is a recognized leader in statewide digital library programs for her work with TexShare program administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and UT System Digital Library. She is currently active in developing metrics for digital libraries in concert with the International Coalition of Library Consortia and the E-Metrics Initiative of the Association of Research Libraries. 18 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  19. 19. FORM 10: PROJECT OBJECTIVES & METHODS Identify project objectives and the methods or activities that will occur to meet the stated objectives. Objectives should be specific, identify what needs to be done, and be directly related to solving the needs defined in Form 8. Clearly describe project activities, state reasons for selection of activities, describe sequence of activities, describe staffing selections. e-Learning through Enhanced Access to Distance Education Resources (e-LEADER) There are ten objectives that have been identified for this project. 1. Develop prototype e-learning courses in Pharmacy, Spanish, and Texas Politics using significant amounts of streaming media to replace videotapes and videoconferencing, delivered for fall 2001. 2. Develop a range of information technology and information resources training courses, using streaming media, to make available for just-in-time learning for all UT Austin students and faculty, available for pilot testing in fall 2001. This will be augmented by purchased courses available in an online format. 7. 3. e 10.1 Hardware and Software Issues (Project Manager: Pam McQuesten) As a general rule, the UT Austin classes to be delivered via e-learning will be interactive classes in active learning settings, with students receiving immediate feedback. We believe that recording actual classes in session is more conducive to effective delivery of distance modules than asking students to watch a talking head in front of a camera. Enabling the distance student see other students interacting FORM 10: PROJECT OBJECTIVES & METHODS with an instructor will also enhance the learning experience. To augment this, the distance student can interact directly with instructors, through a chat session. Finally, we plan to include presentation materials, handouts, simulations, etc. as part of each session, that can be electronically downloaded along with the streaming video and audio. Learning specialists have determined that audio and video components, when well-designed and coupled with interactivity, can improve cognition. Several questions must be addressed in the courseware template. Should the majority of e- learning courses include video? If so, what format is best? How can the classroom experience be approximated? We propose a basic system that integrates video and text material on the student’s desktop. That system includes three elements (see Figure 1). Figure 1: Courseware Template 19 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  20. 20. (1) Video and slides: A split-screen window takes up the top half of the screen, displaying slides on the right and video of the lecturer on the left. It also has buttons at the bottom, linking to content such as 0homework assignments or library materials located on the Web. (2) Lecture outline: On the lower left-hand portion of the screen, a table of contents allows the student to see an outline of a lecture and to move to different points in it. The table of contents is synchronized with the video, slides, and other elements, so when the student clicks on different sections of the lecture, the table of contents refreshes to correspond to them. FORM 10: PROJECT OBJECTIVES & METHODS (3) Questions: This window contains frequently asked questions by students who have already taken the course. These questions also are synchronized with the index and pop up as the topic to which they correspond is accessed. The system allows the student to send e-mail to the professor; and the professor to make those questions available for other students to read. While it is feasible to develop such courseware using internal expertise, we also intend to evaluate a commercial software solution called HorizonLive. Key advantages to HorizonLive include a student user interface that is browser-based and supported by Windows and Macintosh. The instructor can easily manage live class sessions with a Web browser. A mouse-click starts a live audio/video class session, and “pushing” a slide to students is as simple as clicking a hyperlink. Complete archives are available immediately after each live session, thus making “asynchronous” participation a reality. Finally, HorizonLive is linkable within a course Web site and products like WebCT and Blackboard’s CourseInfo, which are already licensed at UT Austin. 20 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  21. 21. The HorizonLive Wizard is well designed, giving first-time users a chance to ensure proper computer configuration and experience product features. Instructors and students at other universities have found HorizonLive easy to use. Class sessions are delivered to students in a browser window that provides slide presentation, streamed audio/video, live text chat, and two-way audio conferencing. The slide presentation area supports standard Web media types and includes a mouse-driven e-board that allows instructors to write, type, and draw, or import and modify images and desktop application windows with the “LiveApp” feature. The client and server computer requirements are fairly minimal and inexpensive: Windows ’98 or better), Mac OS 8.x, Netscape 4.08+ or Internet Explorer 5.0+, and 64MB of RAM to effectively participate in live class sessions with video streaming. Instructors need a Windows ’98 or NT machine with at least 64MB or RAM. Students and instructors need a sound card and speakers to receive streaming audio, and a microphone to participate in real-time audio conferencing. A video capture card, camera (if using video), microphone, and RealEncoder 5.1 software (available free), are required to produce streaming video. UT Austin intends to conduct the e-learning classes described above in an actual technology classroom. This will utilize standard equipment and a user interface recently developed by the College of Natural Sciences at UT Austin, which is “self-service” in nature (no auxiliary staff in the classroom or control room beyond the instructor) and includes the following features: (1) projection system capable of displaying high-resolution computer and video images; (2) audio system capable of both speech reinforcement and theater quality ‘surround sound’; (3) dedicated computer systems consisting of both ‘Wintel’ and Macintosh platforms; (4) high speed network connections; (5) high quality document camera FORM 10: PROJECT OBJECTIVES & METHODS capable of handling 3-D objects as well as paper documents; (6) VCR, DVD player, 35mm slide projects and audio tape decks; (7) touch screen remote control system; and (8) appropriate security equipment. Most equipment (except speakers) is located within a fixed or mobile console at the front of the classroom. Unlike traditional large-scale presentation settings that typically require the assistance of a media person, control of the media equipment within these facilities is designed to be entirely operated by the presenter through a touch-screen control. The touch panel “user friendly” graphical interface developed by UT Austin staff gives faculty access to computers, the Internet, VCRs, a document camera, CD audio, and a variety of other media, all at the touch of a button. The system is extremely intuitive — easy for non-technical faculty and staff to operate – and permits faculty to control equipment during class without interrupting their lecture. Because UT Austin is standardizing this interface in a growing number of classrooms, faculty can lecture in any one of these classrooms without needing special preparation or new training about the equipment or its operation. 21 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  22. 22. One critical technology component essential to these automated technology classrooms is “Camera Man” (Presenter Camera System). This patented auto-tracking system releases distance learning and video conferencing presenters from the limitations of stationary cameras and allows them the freedom to get up from the conference room table and move to other places (such as lab tables or visual aid displays) in the room. Presenters wear the tracking ring (lavalier) around their neck and Camera Man follows and focuses on the presenter as he/she moves around the room (up to 60 feet away). The built-in wireless microphone captures audio at the source. The cost of $7,000 is highly attractive compared to the annual labor costs of manual camera operation. This automated classroom environment will be deployed in three classrooms to support e- learning pilot programs in the following areas: 1) Pharmacy, 2) Spanish Language 3) Texas Politics, and 4) Information Resources and Information Technology training. These programmatic aspects of the proposed project are discussed in sections 10.2, 10.3, and 10.4. 10.2 Application of Technology-Integrated Lectures in Liberal Arts (Daniel Benner, Project Manger) The College of Liberal Arts is the largest academic unit at UT Austin, with over 600 faculty, 13,000 students, and nearly 400,000 hours of course credit awarded each year. Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services (LAITS) was created in 1998 to produce and deliver media-rich, network based course materials that supplement traditional classroom instruction and will provide course content for future e-learning offerings. These materials typically include modular applications using text, images, videos, audio clips, and animations. Many are interactive, most have testing components, and nearly all incorporate open-standard Internet technologies. Students use them in class, in labs, and at home. FORM 10: PROJECT OBJECTIVES & METHODS Projects completed to date range from a full, Web-based French grammar textbook (Tex’s French Grammar) , which includes streaming audio examples of pronunciation and usage, to a site for home study of Spanish cultural material, Liberal Arts has invested heavily in developing this unit and supporting its activities. Recently, the College renovated its production studio, acquired new multimedia workstations and servers, and converted its audiotape-based language lab into a 90-station computer lab and classroom that classes and individual student can use to accessing streaming media and develop multimedia materials. A long term plan is being developed to construct a complete new home for LAITS, including recording studios, video studios, and classrooms designed for recording lectures and presentations for anticipated delivery over the internet. In this proposal, LAITS is responsible for the two projects described below: (1) Texas Government A course in Texas Government is required of all students at public universities in Texas. With 50,000 students, the demand for these courses at UT Austin is overwhelming. To enrich these courses, we 22 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  23. 23. propose to develop a series of e-learning modules. The core elements in each module will be a set of produced video clips describing governmental functions through illustrated case studies, interviews with governmental actors, and lectures by academic experts on Texas politics and history. Modules will also include textual content, images, audio materials, and database driven, online testing. The modular design will permit instructors to choose the parts they wish to use and their order. This flexibility will allow the material to be used as supplemental materials at UT and other universities and in high schools without requiring complete redesign of courses. Individual, stand-alone modules will also be more convenient for casual use by the people of Texas in general. LAITS is particularly well suited to undertake this project. With a location only a few blocks from the Capitol, combined with status as one of the state’s flagship universities, UT Austin enjoys unparalleled access to current and archived subject material. And, perhaps more importantly, the LAITS staff is trained in video and audio recording, video editing, and Web compression techniques, and has significant experience in the delivery of audio and video course material over the Internet. LAITS will hire a full-time Content Specialist, a political science post-graduate (Ph.D.), to provide content and coordinate the contribution of Government Department faculty. This content team of faculty and specialists will do research, compose textual materials, and work with LAITS developers to design the web layouts and plan the media for each module. The LAITS developers will manage the video and audio recording, editing, and processing, image collection and processing, Web page programming, server-side scripting and programming and server setup and administration. The first modules will be piloted during fall 2001 and spring 2002, and be fully implemented for the fall 2002 FORM 10: PROJECT OBJECTIVES & METHODS semester. Development will continue indefinitely as new technologies and greater bandwidth make media more accessible, and changes in Texas Government make updates of content necessary. (2) Spanish Language Audio and video materials are essential in language instruction. Videotapes and audiotapes have been the media of choice at UT Austin, but physical distribution of such materials for e-learning has been quite limited. By building on the traditional technology-based lab component in language courses, new digital technologies can smoothly and naturally convert existing course materials and presentations into e- learning language instruction modules. Recent advances in network technologies make network delivered streaming media particularly compelling. The UT Austin lower-division Spanish language program is the largest language program of its type in the U.S. with about 3,500 students enrolled each semester. This project will replicate previous extensive effort in French language instruction to serve this large pool of students through an e-learning process (see Tex’s French Grammar, 23 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  24. 24. Elements will include an online grammar text, network based audio exercises, extensive use of streaming video to provide examples of natural usage, an interactive ‘chat’ application for structured practice, and standard, Web-based, grammar drills. 10.3 College of Pharmacy Technology Applications (David Fudell, Project Manager) The UT Austin College of Pharmacy has been actively involved in broadcast distance education since the early ‘80s. In cooperation with the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, UT Austin Pharmacy students have been receiving instruction via two-way video for more than two decades. Initially, the two-way video path was an analog microwave network. With the advent of compressed video conferencing, the program made a transition to T1-based videoconferencing. The College also uses videoconferencing to deliver curriculum and coordinate administration to affiliated students at the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Texas at Pan American, the MD Anderson Smithville Science Park research facility, and other sites on an ad-hoc basis. At this time, fall 2000, the College is preparing to add students on a regular basis at UTEP and UT-Pan American as part of its goals to place pharmacy students in underserved practicum sites such as West Texas, South Texas, and rural North Texas. Because the College has been so actively involved in using two-way video, an excellent infrastructure exists to support it. One distance education classroom is equipped with three-chip cameras and a high level of automation and remote control. A second distance education classroom is being refitted to convert human-operated cameras to remotely controlled ones, along with appropriate equipment for IP-based conferencing. Both classrooms have excellent connectivity to the College’s videocontrol room, and from there to the UT System’s Network Operations Center. The Network FORM 10: PROJECT OBJECTIVES & METHODS Operations Center is able to provide either T1- or ISDN-based connectivity from the College to, literally, the world. College of Pharmacy PharmD Program Although the College has successfully used T1-based two-way video, this plan proposes to use the more cost-effective of technologies to deliver this curriculum, transforming more traditional distance education into an e-learning format. The key steps are to: • Install two streaming video servers, one in Austin and the other in San Antonio. Servers would be added at UTEP (within 18 months) and UT Pan Am as planned expansion occurs. • Begin delivering classes that are currently videotaped by streaming video in MPEG-1 and QuickTime Sorenson formats for high- and low-bandwidth connections respectively. It is anticipated that the MPEG-1 content will chiefly be accessed through computer labs located in Pharmacy classroom buildings in each city and by students with DSL or cable modem connections. The low- 24 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  25. 25. bandwidth versions would be viewable by students with 56k dial-up connections. A very capable network at each location would be required as well as ample Web bandwidth. • Shift course-related videoconferencing from T1- to IP-based systems. The College is scheduled to receive a high-quality IP-based teleconferencing unit in December 2000. Increased bandwidth from the College to the campus backbone, as well as caching servers at each instructional site (in order to conserve bandwidth), will be required in order to fully utilize the system. • Produce e-learning course content that is more graphics-based, but that includes an audio/video component. Faculty consistently use PowerPoint software to reinforce lectures in two-way video. Therefore, adapting the content to a form that enables both a small video window (or audio only) as well as graphically rendered (rather than embedded scan-converted video) synchronized slide presentation of course materials within a Web browser will be relatively easy. 10.4 Information Resources/Info Technology Training (Sue Phillips/Gail Lewis, Project Managers) For UT Austin's vision of e-learning to succeed, the institution's environment must offer widely available and easily accessible ongoing training programs to enhance the both the information and technical literacy needs of students and faculty. Information literacy is defined by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as "the ability to locate, evaluate, and use information to become independent life- long learners" ( Technical literacy includes not only the skills and knowledge required to use any particular computer application, but also the understanding necessary to re-conceptualize communication, scholarly work, teaching and learning as they incorporate various technologies. FORM 10: PROJECT OBJECTIVES & METHODS The Digital Information Literacy Office ( developed the Texas Information Literacy Tutorial ( as an interactive digital course on basic information literacy for the UT System Digital Library. Building on this base, the General Libraries is prepared to develop the following instructional modules in the e-learning format proposed in this project and make them available to students, faculty and staff: (1) Introduction to UTNetCAT, the Online Catalog of the UT Austin General Libraries; (2) Using E-Journals and Full-Text Articles; (3) Using Bibliography-Building Software (Endnotes, Procite, and Reference Manager); (4) The Basics of Using SCIFINDER; (5)How to Find Information About Pharmaceuticals; (6) Orientation to the General Libraries Collections and Services; (7) Detecting and Avoiding Plagiarism; (8) Providing Fundamental Research Skills to Students Using TILT; and (9) Patent and Trademark Searching on the Web. The Training Services group in ACITS offers numerous classes, workshops, and other training opportunities focused on technical literacy topics, descriptions of which can be seen at 25 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  26. 26. These include sessions on working with various computer systems, using desktop and multimedia applications, as well as e-mail and the Internet, developing Web pages and using statistical software. Highly focused and specially designed technology seminars are offered to faculty twice per year. For this project, the Training Group will develop a series of these training sessions in the identical e-learning format proposed for academic credit classes and make these available to faculty, students and staff. 10.5 Content Development and Faculty Support UT Austin has developed a comprehensive process to convert existing course presentations and materials into distance education offerings. The process begins with the faculty member participating in appropriate e-learning training or consultation. The faculty member then initially evaluates the existing course content for electronic delivery and creates an inventory of existing course materials, including syllabus, lecture notes, handouts, tests, videos, and overheads. The faculty member then meets with an e-learning content development team (CDT) comprised of staff from the Center of Instructional Technologies as well as other units. The CDT provides expertise in instructional design and media production for e-learning coursework, while faculty members provide content expertise. The faculty member and CDT reach an agreement regarding the possible, desired and recommended features and content to include in the course. Once course features and content have been determined, the faculty member and CDT work cooperatively to create a detailed design for the course. The CDT creates a production timeline and cost/effort estimate to determine whether the proposed design is reasonable based on time and budget FORM 10: PROJECT OBJECTIVES & METHODS availability. After the detailed design is complete and approved, content should be developed, digitized, and incorporated into the course, and then tested in a pilot setting. Quality assurance and assessment will be a component of the pilot testing. A primary goal of the UT Austin project is to lower the cost of producing e-learning, whether it is used locally or at a distance. For example, a typical instructor might deliver a 50-minute classroom presentation with supporting PowerPoint slides that can easily be adapted as an e-learning module. The recorded lecture will be electronically integrated with the slides to yield a Web-based version of the presentation. This involves videotaping, digitization and compression of all media, editing, and conversion to the Web-based format with a table of contents and insertion of frequently asked questions and other links. However, very little of the instructor's time is required to do this. The majority of the time spent on technical elements is by a media specialist working from templates, for which no 26 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  27. 27. programming skills are necessary. Equipment costs in this approach are similarly minimal. A complete facility for producing distance education modules, with camera, tracking system, lights, backdrops, computer, storage, and software, can be assembled from off-the-shelf components for less than $20,000. To provide ongoing faculty support for e-learning, UT Austin will create a central Web location for e-learning information that can be accessed at any time by faculty as well as students and staff. The site's organization will allow users to easily locate available resources by key word subject search, and other browsing and search options. One model of this type of service can be seen at the University of Washington’s Catalyst project page: 10.6 Project Management and Technical Support UT Austin plans to create an e-learning Project Management Team that will develop, implement, track the progress and evaluate this project. Members of the team will include representation from various units in ACITS, Telecommunications, Liberal Arts, Pharmacy, Center for Instructional Technology, and General Libraries. A steering committee, with oversight responsibility for the entire project, will be formed with Directors or Associate Deans from each unit. This group will meet monthly to access progress and deal with technical issues that cut across the various groups. The e-learning Project Management Team will create a timeline for completing benchmark stages of the overall plan and will regularly report on its progress to the steering committee. Executive responsibility for the entire e-learning thrust at UT Austin, as well as this plan, is with the Office of the Provost. As can be seen in section 10.5 and other portions of this proposal, UT Austin has already defined a working model for a key element of the plan's project management needs by creating a process for converting existing course offerings into distance education modules. UT Austin is FORM 10: PROJECT OBJECTIVES & METHODS confident that it has the management infrastructure and technical resources in place to assure timely completion of the plan as well as its success. Documentation of information developed during this project will be by ACITS' Communications Services staff. This staff consists of eight professionals, who have backgrounds in technical writing, editing, documentation development, and Web design. To assure that there is reliable technical support for UT Austin to successfully address the plan and its goals, all networking equipment proposed for this project will be maintained, supported, and upgraded as a central element of UTnet. This type of system has been maintained and supported by UT Austin personnel for the past decade, and is compatible with the equipment being proposed for the project. The server equipment and software proposed for this project has been planned to accommodate currently available digital resources and to provide capacity for growth and failure redundancy to 27 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  28. 28. accommodate needs as they occur in the near future. Maintenance, upgrades and repairs will be handled as necessary by ACITS, or by contract with vendors. Other hardware and software proposed for this project will be maintained, upgraded and repaired either by technical support staff in ACITS or by contract with the vendor. 28 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  29. 29. FORM 11: SYSTEM, INFRASTRUCTURE AND NETWORK Establish guidelines for technical installation, determine what hardware and software is needed and how the system can accommodate growth (scalability). Briefly describe project network with regard to placement and intended use of resources; show how the network integrates with the applicant organization’s long range technology plan. Explain how software and hardware acquired as part of the proposed project will be upgraded, repaired, maintained, and supported in the future. e-Learning through Enhanced Access to Distance Education Resources (e-LEADER) Fortunately, UT Austin is among a select number of higher education institutions that is at the cutting edge of IT for its constituents. UT Austin has been ranked in the top 20 for the past several years on Yahoo’s list of the 100 “most-wired” colleges, and its Web site ranks among the top five U.S. universities in usability and number of visits. The telecommunications and IT infrastructure at UT Austin currently meets most of the expressed IT needs of its students, faculty and staff of 70,000. However, given the rapid developments in technology and concomitant expectations of the UT Austin community for increased integration of IT into daily operations, those needs are constantly expanding. Experimental and exploratory uses of information technology continue to grow, while at the same time, ordinary operational uses are now widespread and growing in complexity to include elements such as instant messaging, IP-based video conferencing and ubiquitous networking. Designing a server infrastructure for e-learning includes, as a key requirement, addressing the needs of content providers. Content providers need the equipment to produce their content, as well as the equipment and infrastructure to provide it to their consumers. There are multiple models and toolsets to accomplish this goal. Some models allow content providers to operate their own digital streaming servers, to give them maximum server control and performance for their specific project. This approach has the disadvantage of requiring dedicated staff resources to run the server, and due to cost, the amount of available storage is likely to be somewhat limited. Other models allow content providers to concentrate on media production alone, storing and serving their data on a centralized service that is configured to offer a reliable and standardized level of performance and a large amount of storage space. The trade-off is a larger pool of storage and lowered staff requirements, rather than competition for space and server streams. Both models have their place in an e-learning infrastructure. For this project, UT Austin has selected a centralized approach in offering the best combination of cost-effectiveness and efficiency. Below we propose a core multimedia storage and streaming service facility for the UT Austin campus. 29 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  30. 30. FORM 11: SYSTEM, INFRASTRUCTURE AND NETWORK When considering architecture for a central service, we can point to UT Austin’s Web Central server system that serves as a successful model of an IT infrastructure resource for storing and distributing data in the form of Web pages. UT’s Web Central is composed of a heterogeneous set of four servers of various capacities and responsibilities (Web, ftp, virtual hosting, Webmail). Publisher access to the shared file storage is provided by two timesharing server systems ( that provide the user authorization database for the Web Central servers. These server systems share a common file server from Network Appliance. Individual servers use storage as is needed from the shared server, and multiple servers can operate on the same data files. This many-server, shared-storage approach offers the prospect of scalability, which helps ensure reliable services during instances for unpredictable server loads in the future. The advantages of a file server appliance (“filer”) are many. Filers use a RAID file system both for performance and to guard against data loss should a disk drive fail. Filers can often deliver data over the network as fast as a local disk drive can. Failed disk drives on the filer can be replaced without system downtime, and system software upgrades take only two minutes. Problems on individual server systems do not affect core file storage access. For maximum reliability, software is available to mirror the data on one filer from another, for only the cost of a server and a license for mirroring software. One interesting model for archiving recorded lectures is the Berkeley Lecture Browser developed by Berkeley Multimedia Research Center: The lecture browser (LB) is designed to support viewing of the stored lectures. LB begins by opening a pair of windows and providing a stream of the video and a synchronized display of the lecture slides. The LB allows syncing the slides to the speaker, or vice versa. For example, an index of the slides appears, the user clicks on a particular slide, and the video automatically fast forwards to the point at which the lecturer was speaking. LB has a search tool, which will locate keywords in the slides. The user can click on the results and the slide and video will both sync to the location identified in the search. UT Austin plans to evaluate this tool as well as similar models and tools. 11.1 Telecommunications Infrastructure at UT Austin The campus telecommunications infrastructure consists of a complex system of copper wire, fiber-optic cable, and sophisticated electronics, and conveys the various types of information -- routine to critical -- that supports essential components of daily academic life at the University. The IT infrastructure at UT Austin supports the communications needs of the campus computer network (UTnet), telephone service, campus security, instructional and administrative video, and building environmental controls. Clearly, the campus telecommunications infrastructure has become an essential utility for the entire community. 30 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  31. 31. FORM 11: SYSTEM, INFRASTRUCTURE AND NETWORK Below is a brief description of the major elements of the UT Austin telecommunications infrastructure. 11.1.1 UTnet UTnet, the UT Austin campus computer network, is a comprehensive metropolitan-area network that connects 35,000 computer systems on the main campus and at the Pickle Research Campus (PRC). The premier characteristic of UTnet’s architecture is its ability to scale well. The network is designed to gracefully accommodate ever-increasing numbers of end systems, traffic, and types of services. This is accomplished via a hierarchical design that consists of three levels. The general structure/function of each level is as follows: The access layer is closest to the user and provides connectivity for user clients, servers, and other end systems. This layer functions intra-building and is transitioning from 10Base-T connectivity via shared-channel hubs to 100Base-TX connectivity via duplex, dedicated channel, switches. The distribution layer provides inter-building connectivity and bandwidth aggregation. This layer is also in transition from routers, which served to connect multiple proximate buildings in a hub-and- spoke configuration. Each building is connected, in a star arrangement, to a central core via a high-speed switch and a dedicated single mode optical fiber connection operating in the gigabit-per-second regime. The core layer implements connectivity between the inter-building distribution switches and provides routed connectivity to external networks. Over 700 Internet Protocol subnets are in place to support the network addressing for the 35,000 computers on UTnet. The switches, routers and other networking gear that make up the entire UTnet system are located in 122 buildings throughout the two major campuses and at sites around Austin. Currently, 83 buildings on the main campus are connected to the core switches in the network operations center (NOC). Another 32 buildings on the PRC campus, and seven remote sites are connected via serial lines. The current UTnet system includes more than 350 Cisco switches supporting over 10,000 switched ports. Still more Ethernet hubs are connected to these switches that support the remaining 25,000 computers. Add to that another 60 or so stand-alone Cisco routers, for a total of over 410 network switches and routers, and hundreds of Ethernet hubs in UTnet. To make UTnet function, an extensive campus-wide fiber optic cable plant has been deployed. New single-mode fiber optic cables are currently being added to this cable plant to support laser-based Gigabit Ethernet interfaces. The fiber optic cables move network signals 31 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  32. 32. FORM 11: SYSTEM, INFRASTRUCTURE AND NETWORK between buildings on campus, and across the citywide Greater Austin Area Telecommunications Network (GAATN) network to the PRC campus. Within buildings, network signals are moved over twisted-pair copper cabling based on structured cabling standards. These technical standards support schools and departments in the design and installation of twisted-pair cabling systems in campus buildings. The fiber optic and copper cabling systems alone represent a major investment of university resources for networking. New or renovated buildings and the ongoing departmental network upgrades serve to continually increase the size of the network and the number of its network switches and routers. UTnet provides continually active network connectivity to the entire UT Austin community, including students, faculty, researchers and staff. To support its users, the network is managed on a 24-7 basis, and includes a system of redundant equipment in the UTnet core to help minimize outages. On-call staff are available to respond no matter when problems may occur. In terms of expenditures, number of users, or volume of data carried, UTnet represents the largest information technology project in the history of the university. The constant and rapid growth of UTnet reflects the vital importance of this resource to the entire university community. Equipment for the latest backbone upgrade arrived late in 1999. Deployment of the new switches has been in several stages, as the many links that make up the current network system have been moved from the old switches to the new ones. The deployment of the new system was completed during the spring of 2000 with the full cutover of all campus routing to the new switches. The new system is based on the latest generation of large Cisco switches and routers, the Catalyst 6500 series. The two new core switches each provide 32 Gigabit/sec switch engines, for a total of 64 Gigabits/sec of core switching capability. Each switch is also equipped with Layer 3 routing that can operate at up to 15 million packets per second (Mpps), for a total of 30 Mpps of routing (see Figure 2). The core switches are connected to external networks via an array of three Cisco 7513 routers. Therefore, the new backbone system provides a switching rate that is roughly 10 times faster than the previous generation, with routing that operates at roughly 15 times faster. The new system also supports many more Gigabit Ethernet links. 32 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  33. 33. FORM 11: SYSTEM, INFRASTRUCTURE AND NETWORK Figure 2: UTnet Architecture 1924 2926 5500 5000 4000 2924 Access 6500 Distribution 7513 Core WAN To help distribute the current heavy load, a third 6509 switch has been obtained and will soon be added to the core, providing another 32 Gigabits/sec of switching and 15 Mpps of routing. A fourth switch is planned, at which point there will be 128 Gigabits/sec of switching and 60 Mpps of routing capability in the core. The next generation of switching engine for the 6509 series will double the individual routing performance, and the long-term strategy is to seek funds to acquire this equipment when it becomes available. Cisco has also announced a future generation of switching module for the 6509 that will provide an additional 256 Gigabits/sec of switching capability per switch. As equipment has become available, the UTnet core has been implemented as a dual redundant system with multiple core switches each operating independently. There are two backbone networks currently supported by these switches. Those sites on campus that require the highest level of network reliability must provide routing and switching equipment in their building that can connect to both backbone networks on separate switches in the core. A site is protected from single core switch failure when connected over dual redundant links. Should the connection to either of the core switches fail for any reason, whether due to link failure or core switch failure, automatic cutover to the redundant link and core switch takes place. At a minimum, all buildings on campus are connected to the core switches with 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet links operated in full-duplex mode. A number of buildings on campus are connected to the new 33 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  34. 34. core switches with fiber optic Gigabit Ethernet, which uses laser signaling over single-mode fiber optic FORM 11: SYSTEM, INFRASTRUCTURE AND NETWORK cables. Each of these links is operated in full-duplex mode, delivering an aggregate bandwidth of 2 billion bits/sec per link. The plan at UT Austin is for all new connections to the core switches to be made with Gigabit Ethernet links for maximum link performance. Future links will operate even faster; the next generation of Ethernet is currently under development, and a 10 Gigabit/sec Ethernet standard is expected to be finalized in 2002. Currently there are 10 major sites on campus linked to both switches in the core with dual redundant Gigabit Ethernet links, providing a total of 4 Gbps of link bandwidth to each site. These sites include the Colleges of Business, Communications, and Fine Arts along with other high usage departments including Astronomy, Physics, Mathematics, and Electrical Engineering. 11.1.2 Internet-2 UTnet provides all members of the UT Austin community with access to Internet-2. The Internet-2 project of the University Consortium for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID), with its national scope and broad subscription, operates at the apex of today’s hierarchy of research networks. The Internet-2 architecture advocates the efficient interconnection of multiple high performance physical networks provided by national carriers, and its development plan emphasizes the creation of applications that can exploit the capabilities of this high capacity communications infrastructure. The hierarchy extends via regional and/or metropolitan networks to institutional networks such as UT Austin’s UTnet. Within Texas, two partnerships are emerging that provide Internet-2 connectivity. The first, termed the GigaPOP and initially located in Houston, concentrates Internet-2 connectivity for multiple organizations at a single physical point-of-presence. UT Austin has used this arrangement for its connection to the National Science Foundation’s Very High Speed Backbone Network Service (vBNS). The second, or distributed GigaPOP, recognizes that multiple carriers are providing Internet-2 services, e.g., Qwest’s Abilene, Broadwing’s Gemini 200, and MCI’s vBNS+, and promotes the cost efficient connection of subscribers to their nearest Internet-2 carrier. UT Austin employs this new arrangement for Internet-2 connectivity in the implementation of its OC-3 (155 Mb/s) connection to the Abilene network. 11.1.3 Greater Austin Area Telecommunications Network (GAATN) Within the Austin metropolitan area, UT Austin employs the Greater Austin Area Telecommunications Network (GAATN) for high capacity communication between its campuses and with national communication carriers. UT Austin is one of seven public-sector participants that own and operate the unique optical fiber network that serves all areas of the city. 34 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  35. 35. FORM 11: SYSTEM, INFRASTRUCTURE AND NETWORK GAATN is a joint partnership between the Austin Independent School District (AISD), Austin Community College (ACC), City of Austin (CoA), Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), Travis County, the State of Texas represented by the State General Services Commission (GSC) and UT Austin that constructed a metropolitan-wide information super-highway. The network, owned and managed by the participants, consists of strands of fiber optic cable connecting the sites of the GAATN participants. The network is intended to: 1. meet anticipated communication requirements well into the next century, 2. reduce the ongoing support costs, 3. insure service for governmental entities such as libraries and social service agencies which might not be able to afford the bandwidth and types of access necessary for their mission, 4. promote common telecommunications standards for sharing voice, video and data, 5. dovetail with federal initiatives for similar networks at the national level, and provide unique opportunities for participants to obtain grant funds. The network can be expanded to include additional GAATN participant sites. The network is designed in physical ring configurations, rather than a tree and branch scheme. The system consists of ten rings, each employing the Synchronous Optical Networking (SONET) transmission protocol. There are a North and a South Super Ring emanating form AISD Treaty Oak Square. The North Super Ring connects to five sub rings where participants’ sites are connected. The South Super Ring connects to three sub rings where participants’ sites are connected. Altogether, there are more than 450 participant sites on the GAATN rings. Each GAATN participant deploys its own equipment on its own strands of fiber. Participants have implemented services including telephone systems, Internet access, computer network extensions, and video delivery between sites. The emergency notification system for a multi-county area utilizes GAATN, via CoA fiber, for high-speed bandwidth in order to transmit geographical information to expedite emergency service delivery. GAATN provides UT Austin with access to external communication services, including commodity Internet, Internet-2, and the public-switched telephone network, via single mode optical fiber operating at the OC-3 (155 Mb/s) and OC-12 (600 Mb/s) transmission rates 35 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  36. 36. FORM 11: SYSTEM, INFRASTRUCTURE AND NETWORK. 11.1.4 Telesys The Telesys service provides the UT community with the ability to access the Internet via a modem and the public switched telephone network. Telesys was initiated in 1993 and has maintained a heavy subscription. Currently, 25,000 users subscribe to Telesys. At present, 3,100 lines are installed and they all support the International Telecommunication Union V.90 modem standard that permits data rates of 56 Kb/s. In addition to the standard analog service provided by Telesys, UT Austin has evaluated and tested the equipment and transmission facilities necessary to provide Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) service. ISDN provides a three-fold increase in data rate beyond analog telephone connections. In the past, equipment and service costs have been barriers to providing ISDN service. Recently, however, the cost of the equipment used to provide the service has been significantly reduced as all-digital systems have been introduced. In addition to analog and digital telephone connectivity, Telesys provides UT Austin users with asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) access. UT Austin has registered with the incumbent local exchange carrier, Southwestern Bell Telephone Company (SWBT), as an Internet service provider. In this capacity, members of the UT Austin community can obtain ADSL connections from their residences to the campus via SWBT, effectively providing direct broadband connections to UTnet. ADSL connections typically support transmission capacities of 1.5 Mb/s toward the user and 384 Kb/s from the user. 11.1.5 Video Services Both broadcast and interactive television programming is available throughout the UT campus. A campus-wide community antenna television (CATV) cable system, with a presence in every building on both the Main Campus and PRC, is employed to carry the television signals. The cable system is connected to the Satellite Operations Facility located immediately north of Disch-Falk field on the frontage road of Interstate 35. The Satellite Operations Facility houses an array of satellite antennae and supporting equipment, including a Simulsat multi-channel receiver, two single channel receivers, and a Vertex Ku-band uplink. This equipment is configured so that broadcast television programming can be received from any satellite and sent to any building on campus, or alternatively, distance education programming can originate from any building on campus and be transmitted to any satellite for distribution to locations across the continent. 36 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  37. 37. FORM 11: SYSTEM, INFRASTRUCTURE AND NETWORK. The campus cable system is also connected to the Network Operations Center. The NOC additionally serves as the nexus for a partnership of several interactive compressed digital video networks that includes those operated by UT System, Texas A&M System, Texas Tech University, and Sprint. This connection enables interactive video programming to be exchanged between any campus building with the necessary production facilities and any of the sites connected via the various networks. The NOC additionally provides the hardware necessary to participate in multi-site conferencing. Approximately 1,000 hours of instructional programming are delivered via these facilities each month. In aggregate, these facilities provide departments with both up and downlinking services for teleconferences, regularly scheduled programming, and special events originating on campus. Similarly, the facilities, in conjunction with the Center for Instructional Technology, can provide departments with access to interactive video services in support of instructional, research, or administrative programs. 11.1.6 UT System Network/THEnet Operating under a service contract with UT System Administration, UT Austin provides the services of the UT System Office of Telecommunication Services (UT System OTS). UT System OTS is responsible for providing inter-institutional telecommunication services to all the component institutions of The University of Texas System in direct support of their missions in instruction, research, and health care. These telecommunication services include research and instructional computer networking, administrative computer networking, interactive video, and telephony. In addition, UT System OTS provides the component institutions with technical networking and telecommunication consulting services and access to remote information services. UT System OTS also provides operational management of the Texas Higher Education network, THEnet. From a functional perspective, the telecommunication services that UT System OTS provides to its partner institutions serve as a primary means of resource sharing and cost reduction. Several types of resources and services are routinely shared via inter-institutional telecommunication partnerships, including classroom instruction, library materials, administrative applications, unique scientific instrumentation, and student records. The technology for providing inter-institutional telecommunication services to the component institutions of The University of Texas System can be summarized as follows (see Figure 3): 37 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  38. 38. FORM 11: SYSTEM, INFRASTRUCTURE AND NETWORK. (1) Voice, video, and computer generated information are carried between institutions via common digital transmission facilities and a common integrated communication architecture (ICA) is employed for the communication equipment at each component institution campus. (2) Open communication and networking standards are strictly followed throughout the UT System network so that interoperability between component institutions, other state agencies and universities, and relevant national and international organizations can be maintained at least cost and maximum effectiveness. The Texas Higher Education network, THEnet, is a tributary network partner in the UT System network that employs the 15 component institutions as concentration points for connection of geographically proximate entities including public schools, community/junior colleges, colleges/universities, libraries, hospitals, state agencies, and city/municipal governments. Currently, THEnet provides direct Internet connectivity to approximately 450 public sector organizations that span Texas. Using THEnet, UT Austin can implement direct efficient Internet-based distance education connectivity with any of these entities. UT Austin employs the UT System network and THEnet infrastructures for commodity Internet and interactive digital video connectivity. UT Austin has access, via the UT System network, to more than 350 video sites at universities, hospitals, and clinics across Texas. Similarly, UT Austin obtains approximately 200 Mb/s of commodity Internet access via THEnet and its connections to various Internet service providers. The THEnet architecture also provides UT Austin with an efficient mechanism for Internet-based communication with members of its community who obtain Internet access from commercial service providers in the Austin metropolitan area. Peering points have been established at carriers’ points-of- presence, neutral sites, and the UT Austin campus, to permit the exchange of routing advertisements and mutual network traffic. These peering points eliminate the need for network traffic to transit national Internet backbones during sessions carried by Austin-based Internet service providers that are destined for UT Austin. As a result, response times are improved and commercial wide-area bandwidth is conserved. 38 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  39. 39. FORM 11: SYSTEM, INFRASTRUCTURE AND NETWORK. Figure 3. The UT System Network 39 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)
  40. 40. FORM 11: SYSTEM, INFRASTRUCTURE AND NETWORK. 11.1.7 Incorporating New Network Equipment This proposal is designed to provide UT Austin with both the content and delivery system for e- learning, locally and at a distance. An essential element of this project is the telecommunications infrastructure that will deliver the e-learning course materials. Assessing the UT Austin telecommunications infrastructure, as described above, the component that will incur the largest load increase differential when the plan is implemented is the core of UTnet. The UTnet core serves as the nexus between major network subcomponents, e.g., RESnet, the residence hall network, Telesys, and all external connectivity. As described earlier, the core currently consists of Cisco Systems 6500 series switches and 7500 series routers. Projecting that as many as 100 simultaneous e-learning video flows may be transiting the core during peak loads and that each flow will carry an average of one mega- bit/second of video information, the load differential is estimated to be on the order of 100 Mb/s. While the recently upgraded 6500 series switches can accommodate this differential increase in traffic, the 7500 series routers are currently within 15% of their capacity and they could not accommodate the projected differential load increase. Therefore, this plan proposes that two Juniper M10 routers and associated spares be acquired to supplant the existing 7500 series routers. While the capacity ratio of the Juniper M10 to the 7500 is complex to summarize in brief, the ratio is easily calculated to be between five and 10 for most common performance metrics, e.g., packet rate, bit rate, individual interface throughput, etc. With the acquisition of the proposed Juniper M10 equipment, the capacity of the UTnet core to serve video information to external sources, including other UT component institutions, THEnet subscribers, or the Internet at large, would advance from its current capacity limit of approximately 200 Mb/s to in excess of 1 Gb/s. This increment will accommodate the video streaming loads associated with this e-learning proposal and the growth that can be expected after it has achieved maturity. 40 TIFB Form/ Project Timeline (1/98)