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Using Mobile Devices to Attend Class
[As transcribed from an AudioBoom, March 6, 2016]
Hello, everybody. This audioboom is to discuss the use of mobile devices when studying CAVI courses. I would like to explain the reasons behind our previous policies and discuss potential reasons for changing them.
First of all, many people have asked us whether or not they are allowed to come to lectures using their iPhone, their Android, their tablet or similar devices. Two primary issues spring to mind when making this decision.
The first issue is that of how users would utilize these devices when attending one of our lectures. Obviously, audio loopback is a significant problem, especially in an academy that deals with people scattered across the planet. Somebody using speakers that loop audio back into the recording can often be a distraction to not only those who suffer from audio processing disorder, but also the rest of the students who are distracted by extraneous noise. Not all of our students speak English as their first language, and any interference to the quality of the lectures would be a significant disadvantage to them.
It is assumed that anybody planning to use a mobile device in one of our lectures would certainly consider the headphones policy which is well documented on the wiki. That is to say that they would use headphones, ear pods, or some other method to prevent audio loopback into the lectures.
The second primary issue dealing with mobile devices is where they would be used. Whilst a mobile device certainly allows you to attend our lectures from anywhere, it is questionable as to whether somebody would find sitting in the middle of a Starbucks and studying our course productive, given the surrounding noise level. Other problems arise when people are in noisy environments, such as living rooms in front of the television, or in other environments that tend to be loud. It is assumed that people using mobile devices would have enough consideration to leave themselves on push-to-talk, rather than a voice activated mode that would leak sound into the lecture environment.
Another reason for not permitting mobile devices in lectures is a philosophical one. Is a person who is washing the dishes, patting the dog, or undertaking some other activity paying full attention to the material that is being delivered? Whilst it is not our responsibility to force people to pay attention to our lectures, we would appreciate people listening carefully to the information that we provide so that they could have the maximum opportunity to pass our courses and do as well as they could. Whether that is done with the recordings or a live lecture is of course up to the individual. But it was a concern that people weren’t going to pay attention, and that having the ability to experience our lectures from anywhere may detract from their ability to study efficiently.
The applications that we use for delivering the courses, such as Ventrilo and Teamtalk, now have mobile counterparts. iOS has a version of TeamTalk, and there is also an application for Ventrilo called Ventriloed, which does allow students to come on from a mobile location. Provided that the student using the mobile device has a reliable data connection and is using headphones, or preventing loopback in whatever means necessary, it is feasibly possible for them to attend using a mobile device. Whether or not they are paying attention to the material that they are delivering is of course up to them.
Any student wishing to use a mobile device to attend a lecture should consider setting the device up correctly before actually attending a live lecture. Too many people decide due to circumstance the day before that they intend to use a mobile device to attend the next lecture. As a result, levels are badly set, audio settings are not correctly configured, and the result can be quite disruptive to the underlying lecture.
Anybody who would like to discuss any of the points raised in this audioboom is certainly welcome to drop us a message to caviinfo at ciscovision.org. [Take out the spaces and replace at with @].
We are not averse to the responsible, sensible use of mobile devices in lectures to attend, provided that they do not interfere with audio quality or the ability of other students to enjoy our material.
Thanks for listening.