COURAGE uses extensive communication between the involved faculties for the development and perfection of its various program elements. Our program components are flexible, member-driven and also unprecedented and require substantial brain storming among all of us. COURAGE uses the advanced communication and information technology and particularly the infrastructure provided by emerging Research and Education Networks (RENS). COURAGE optimally applies the technology for the ultimate goal of enhancing the quality of higher education. Institutions with various levels of technology preparedness can join COURAGE programs. COURAGE also pools together the technical expertise of the member institutions to help each other for technology preparedness.
Technology Guidelines for Joining COURAGE
If your institution has internet video conferencing facility this is the time to put it into real use. We suggest after joining COURAGE you test out the following audio/video communication capabilities. The first step is the most urgent to join. Plan to attain the other capabilities gradually. After these stages your institution will be full capability member of COURAGE World Campus- a virtual campus conglomeration of world universities.
LEVEL-1: COURAGE Meeting Room:
The immediate capability to checkout is that you can join other COURAGE institutions for short audio visual meetings. Get a COURAGE Meeting Room. Select some convenient place preferably close to your department. If you already have the facility- then the first step will be to check out that you can connect to KSU Moulton Hall facility. Let us know the time slot. In the second phase talk to your IT department, so that COURAGE meeting room can also connect to multi-site meetings. Eventually we would like to acquire a meeting management/ calendar system for these meetings- where any COURAGE faculty can set up and call meeting easily from web.
LEVEL-2: COURAGE World Classroom & Desktop/Mobile Communicator:
In the next step, we also request that each university prepares at least one class room to hold the remote modules of COURAGE exchange courses. Let your IT engineers know. We would like to call an IT engineering meeting to decide how best to do it.
We also request the universities to arrange a 1-2 portable mobile communication centers which can be used by the faculty who are offering remote courses to project their modules from relatively hassle-free environment.
LEVEL-3: COURAGE Campus Window:
In the next step, we also request each institution to acquire two interactive video displays for supporting campus interaction- Campus Window in 2008. These are LCD displays, a cam and microphone with some good resolution. One of the systems is for a public space (such as faculty lounge, hallway) in your department and another to be placed in a laboratory. You can even rotate the Windows between different departments and locations over the months. We want to place a network of 10 displays placed around the COURAGE institutions around the globe. The Displays will show other campus cams with the capability to talk. This will allow graduate students and faculty to virtually see and if needed interact with others. Expect a whole new level of educational interaction.
LEVEL-4: COURAGE Seminary:
By the end of the year, if it not already there- plan to equip one of your seminar rooms with remote conference system (such as Access Grid) where seminar rooms from other COURAGE institutions can remotely connect into. It will require video-casting, projection walls, etc. We expect in 2008-2009 you will cast 2-5 top events from your institution with faculty and students of other COURAGE universities. The events can be graduate seminar, thesis/dissertation defense, sessions from a workshop, orchestra, or any other special programs. A web-calendar will be made available where any COURAGE faculty can enter upcoming seminar announcements so that any interested student or faculty can remotely participate.
How to get the Resources?
Most of these audio visual capabilities are probably already in your institution. This is the time to talk to IT department and schedule their use. Even if all are not yet available- these are fairly inexpensive systems. Most institutions would like to get them anyway. COURAGE will provide a wonderful opportunity to make real use of all these technologies and promote your department/university to a world of audience.
Technology Help Desk
If you need technological help we will be glad to arrange it by pooling the technical expertise of the engineers of COURAGE institutions and setting up a COURAGE ENGINEERING HELPDESK. After we together institute the first set of our activities/programs we plan to promote COURAGE as a group to world- as you can imagine some of these activities will be first of a kind and we all will be proud pioneers there.
Most of the things will be left to be acquired by individual member institutions. However, in some cases it will make more sense to use collective purchasing power rather than going individually For example, to make the activities manageable and growing- such as complex coordination of meetings, scheduling of seminars, organization of multi-site conferences we should acquire a collaboration management systems. For these components we will require contribution by participating institutions in some equitable fashion to be charted out by our CEOs.