University of Minnesota Office of Classroom Management
Office of Undergraduate Education

Classroom Glossary of Terms

Common Terms

The following are commonly used terms in the Office of Classroom Management.

Active Learning Classroom (ALC)

Technology‐intensive room with small‐group seating to encourage teamwork and interactive learning. For more information on this topic, see the Active Learning Classroom instructions.


Equipment used to connect your device to the projection system if your device cannot be connected directly. Mini DisplayPort adapters are installed in general purpose classrooms to connect to HDMI laptop connection cables or, in the absence of HDMI, VGA connection cables.

ADA accessible

Refers to a classroom that has an accessible path and at least one accessible seating location for students. See also “Designated ADA seating.”

After hours support

Support offered after normally staffed hours. The Hotline is staffed Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All other times are staffed by an on-call manager who will respond to messages left on the Hotline voicemail and respond as needed.

Apple TV

A digital media receiver, Apple TV enables users to display presentations from an iPad or Apple computer using a wireless network. See also the Apple TV instruction for more information.

Astra Schedule

Astra Schedule is the software used to reserve general purpose and departmental classroom space for events and courses throughout the University of Minnesota campus system. It can also be used to view classroom schedules.

Audio Mute

When pressed, the audio being played through the technology system will be muted. Audio mute does not affect microphones, which usually have their own mute button.

Audio-visual (AV or A/V)

Refers to work with both a sound and a visual component, or the equipment used to create and present such works.  In a typical presentation, the presenter provides the audio by speaking and supplements it with a series of images projected onto a screen.

Auditorium Seating

Fixed theater‐style seat with retractable writing surface attached on one side


The system is designed and programmed to automatically shut itself off after four hours of inactivity. Auto shutdown typically occurs when a user arrives at a classroom in which the system is already powered up and the projector is on. If a user does not touch any of the source buttons on the control panel (at the instructor station), the system will register this as inactivity. In order to avoid an automatic shut-down during class, press any source button on the control panel (such as the laptop or the DVD buttons). See also the FAQ on Auto-shutdown.

Auxiliary Video

The capability of displaying audio and video from a variety of user-provided external devices (including portable DVD players, iPods, and more) using user-provided cables and either the VHS player or jacks on the equipment rack. All general purpose classroom projectors (except those with installed laptop projection carts) have this capability. For more information see the Auxiliary Video instructions.

Bench Tables/Attached or Movable Chairs

Continuous table for multiple students, mounted to the floor, with separate movable chairs or fixed/attached chairs.

Campus phone/Hotline telephone

A telephone located in the classroom (either on the wall or in the instructor station drawer) for calling the Classroom Support Hotline. For more information about this topic, see the Classroom Support Hotline website.


The maximum amount of occupants allowed in a classroom, set by construction and safety standards. See the OCM projects website for more information.

Card Access

Access to a space is allowed via a programmed U Card. For more information about this topic, see the card access website.


A hard, smooth, and usually dark surface used in a classroom for writing or drawing on with chalk

Class capture

Technology available if you are teaching in a General Purpose Classroom that is equipped with a microphone. You may use the classroom audio system to record your voice on a class capture system (such as Camtasia Relay). See the class capture instructions.

Class schedule

Lists all classes scheduled under one subject during a term (includes past terms). In searchable form at: Class Schedule.

Class search

Customized class listing, according to your interests, schedule, and other personal criteria. In searchable form at: Course Information.

Classroom instructions

Technology instruction web pages that give directions on how to use the equipment in each classroom. In addition, printed classroom guides are provided in each classroom. See the classroom instructions page for more information and video tutorials.

Classroom support hotline

Call center that provides assistance with any and all classroom concerns or questions. The Hotline is staffed after hours by an on-call manager. See the Classroom Support Hotline website for more information.

Clone mode

This mode displays an exact copy of the primary display on your secondary display. For example, the same display that is on your laptop will be displayed on the projection screen when this mode is selected. See also “mirror display.”

Closed captioning

Text that appears on the screen to describe any audible sounds, including what is being said, for people who do not hear well. See also the FAQ on hearing assistance.

Conference Call

Conference calls using classroom telephones, including a multi-number bridge, can be set up with University operators. You can contact University operators at 612-625-2003, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Control panel

Operates the projection system by powering it on or off, allows selection of which source to display via the LCD projector, and controls the volume levels of the room audio system. The control panel may be either hard button or touch screen controls. For more information, see the video.

Classroom Technical Services (CTS)

Classroom Technical Services, the unit of the Office of Classroom Management responsible for equipment installation, repair, and maintenance. For more information about CTS, go here.

Demo bench

Fixed work surface with integrated sink or other services. Generally used for scientific demonstration and experimentation. A/V may be integrated.

Departmental classroom

A room for scheduled classes, departmentally controlled, may or may not require special equipment for student use. HEGIS (Higher Education General Information Survey) use code 120.

Designated ADA seating

Refers to a room that has a specific area designated for accessible student seating. The seating is indicated on the room layout and with labels on furniture inside the classroom. See also “ADA accessible."

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)

DHCP registration should be done in advance of when you need to use the wired network in a classroom. The registration confirmation can take 5 to 15 minutes to process. For more information on this topic, see the DHCP FAQ.

Document Camera

Used to display three-dimensional objects, opaque items, transparencies, and slides. For more information on this topic, see the instruction or the video.

Dual Projection

The ability to simultaneously project material from two separate input sources, such as from a laptop and document camera. This feature is only available in select rooms. Not to be confused with rooms that have multiple displays of the same source.

DVD Player

Machine capable of playing standard region 1 (US) digital video discs and compact discs.

Electronic Course Authorization System (ECAS)

The system for authorizing additions or changes to courses and course topic titles utilized by the academic subject’s department. Downloads to PeopleSoft, which downloads to the Class Schedule.

Collaborative Class Scheduling (CCS)

A customized University PeopleSoft component that allows staff with access to schedule new and existing class sections, set meeting patterns, update enrollment capacities, create new sections, assign facilities, create combined sections, and make other scheduling adjustments to a course.

Collaborative Class Scheduling (CCS) period

The course scheduling production calendar is broken into four time periods.  The time periods in CCS determine what changes are allowed and when they are allowed. Access is controlled by the availability or unavailability of fields for update.

Electronic Markerboard/Smartboard

A device and corresponding software or programming that transmits marks created on a markerboard onto an electronic device such as a computer or LCD projection surface.

Event guidelines

A list of guidelines used to assist with reserving classrooms for events.

Extended desktop mode

Feature that allows a display on a computer to spread over multiple displays (such as a laptop and projection display in a classroom) and lets you drag items between the two screens.

External display

A command to tell your laptop to display the image from its built-in screen onto the projector's screen, usually using a laptop function and appropriate Function key (for example F+F8). For more information on this topic, see the FAQ.


Floor is level in entire room, exclusive of any instructor stage area.


Floor rises in a ramp from front to back of room.


Floor rises in steps from front to back of room.

Facilities Management (FM) office

Visit the FM website for more information.

Function key ("Fn" key)

Usually used to assist in executing a command to change display options between multiple screens. See “External display.”


Google Calendar is the official University calendaring system.

General purpose classroom (GPC)

Classroom centrally managed by OCM. A centrally scheduled room for academic classes not requiring special equipment for student use. HEGIS use code 110.

High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI)

HDMI is a digital connection capable of transmitting high-definition video and high-resolution audio through a single cable. For more information on this topic, see the HDMI instructions.

Hearing Assist

Sound reinforcement equipment devices provided for the hearing impaired. For more information on this topic, see the hearing assist instructions.

Higher Education General Information Survey (HEGIS)

Classification system used to determine room use categories within facilities systems.

Installed computer

A Mac or PC computer installed at the instructor station that is owned and managed through a departmental partnership. For more information on this topic, see the installed computer instructions.

Instructor microphone

There are three types of microphones installed in classrooms: lectern/table, wired, and wireless. In addition, wireless microphones may be battery-operated, handheld, or rechargeable.For more information on this topic, see the instructions or the video.

Laptop Projection Cart

An instructor station equipped with a video monitor or screen, speakers, and laptop projection source. For more information on this topic, see the laptop projection cart instructions.

Room Layout (inventory/features)

The physical arrangement of the classroom. The layout for each room is available through the room inventory search.


Designated time expected for equipment replacement.

Lost and found

A set location for collecting and claiming misplaced items in classrooms. See the FAQ for a list of locations.


Board or painted surface designed to be used with dry-erase markers

Mini-DisplayPort Adapter

The specific type of adapter installed in general purpose classrooms. See also “adapter.”

Mirror display ("mirroring")

To have the same image on multiple screens. See also “clone mode.”

Multi-standard VCR

Machine capable of playing back videotapes recorded in formats that are non-standard to United States broadcast signals (PAL/Secam).

Mobile computing device

Blend between a personal computing device and a mobile device.

OCM on-call manager

Staff designated to monitor messages left after regular operational hours on the Classroom Support Hotline voicemail and coordinate a response as needed.

Overhead projector

Used to display transparencies on acetate film. Projector is located on a cart in the classroom, but generally will not be included in rooms that have a document camera installed. For more information on this topic, see the overhead projector instructions.

Projection Capable Classroom (PCC)

Encompasses an OCM-set criteria for design and installation of technology in UMTC classrooms.  For more information, see the PCC page.

Projection Capable Equivalent (PCE)

A similar set of criteria as that of the PCC but not necessarily matching our specific technology design. Sometimes used to meet the specific and more specialized needs of a given department or program.

Pedagogical style

Characteristics of a classroom that assist in the teaching and learning environment, such as the room layout, technology equipment, and type of room (active learning, lecture hall, etc.)

Power @ Student Station

Electrical outlets are provided for a percentage of coverage in the student tables.

Priority Scheduling

Priority scheduling agreements grant department schedulers access to assign specified general purpose classrooms to their classes during CCS period 1


May refer to the LCD projector or an overhead projector on a cart.

Region 1 DVD or CD

In the International DVD region-coding system, DVDs released in the United States are programmed as “region 1”, and they can only play in DVD players that play region 1 DVDs.

Remote Control

Device that allows use of equipment controls from a distance (such as across the room). For classrooms with touchscreen controls or controls that are built into the equipment, remote controls are not provided in the classroom, but are available for temporary check-out upon request.


See “Capacity”

Rigid door handles

On some classroom doors, the handle does not move and the door needs to be either pushed or pulled to open. These doors may seem locked but likely just have a rigid handle. If a door does not open after pushing, pulling, or turning the handle, it is possible that the door is actually locked. Call the Hotline right away if this situation occurs: 5-1086.

Screen Resolution

Screen resolution refers to the clarity of the text and images displayed on your screen. At higher resolutions, items appear sharper. They also appear smaller so more items can fit on the screen. At lower resolutions, such as 800 x 600 pixels, fewer items fit on the screen, but they appear larger. The data/video projector is designed to operate at a screen resolution of 1024x768 (XGA) or lower. If your laptop display runs at a higher resolution, such as 1600x1200 or 1200x1024, you may need to adjust your laptop display down to 1024x768 or your laptop’s image may appear distorted or may not display at all. See the laptop FAQ for more information.

Slide Projector

Machine capable of projecting 35mm slide film. For more information on this topic, see the slide projector instructions.

Source button

Indicates which input source is currently being displayed through the projection system; examples include “document camera,” “VCR,” “laptop,” or “DVD”

Student Study Space

A centrally managed room or area used by individuals and groups to study at their own convenience, which is not restricted to a particular subject or discipline. See the Student Study Space page for more information.

Student Unions & Activities Office

As a unit of Student Affairs, Student Unions & Activities serves students and the campus community by providing facilities, programs, services, leadership, and involvement opportunities that enhance the social, educational, recreational and cultural environment of the University of Minnesota.


A format that has higher resolution and overall better picture quality than regular VHS.  However, most standard VCRs cannot play back SVHS tapes.

Tablet Arm Chairs

Moveable chairs with an attached writing surface


A conference held among people in different locations by means of telecommunications equipment. General purpose classrooms are not set up for teleconferencing without added equipment. See for more information.

U of M Internet ID (X.500)

An Internet ID (or X.500 ID) account allows access to the University's electronic information, including e-mail and other systems. Every student, faculty member, staff person, and affiliate of the University is given a unique Internet ID. Internet IDs for staff are created immediately after an individual's Human Resources paperwork is signed, and for new students, as part of the registration process. Accounts are set up as needed for affiliates of the University.

U of M Wireless

Provides at least one wireless network connection for each student based on the room capacity. For more information about using wireless on campus, see the Office of Information Technology's website.


Classroom that contains equipment managed and owned by UNITE Distributed Learning. Courses associated with UNITE are given priority scheduling in these rooms. For more information about UNITE, see: the UNITE website.

University holidays

For a list of University holidays, go here.

Use code

A code used the University Space Management System to classify space by its intended use. For example, a general purpose classroom use code is 110; a departmental classroom use code is 120; and a study space use code is 410. See the Use Codes document for more information.

Use lease agreement

A real estate contract between OCM and an event requestor that is required for outside organizations, or with registered student groups that are scheduled in a room with a capacity of 100 or more.

Video Cassette Recorder (VCR)

Video Cassette Recorder capable of playing standard VHS tapes

Video Graphics Array (VGA)

Standard monitor or display interface used in most PCs. A standard VGA connection has 15 pins and is shaped like a trapezoid. The VGA cable connects a laptop to the projection system and allows the laptop image to be displayed. For more information on this topic, see the tutorial FAQ.

Video conference

Video conferencing uses audio and visual communications technology to bring people at different sites together, allowing classes to remotely bring in lecturers from other institutions, researchers to collaborate with distant colleagues, schools with multiple campuses to collaborate and share professors, and faculty members to keep in touch with classes while attending conferences.  In addition, the Office of Information Technology has designated spaces on campus that use a variety of video conferencing called ITV. For more information on this topic, see the class capture instruction or the video conferencing website or the video conferencing instruction.

Video Display Monitor

Displays content from a projection source (such as DVD, document camera, or laptop) on a monitor (rather than a fabric screen or painted projection surface).

Video Mute

When pressed, this button on the room technology control panel will mute both the audio and video of the presentation source.

Weekend buildings

Buildings that are open on Saturdays, per the FM weekend standards. As of 2013, these buildings are: Blegen Hall, Carlson School of Management (CSOM), Folwell Hall, Hanson Hall, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Keller Hall, McNeal Hall, Nicholson Hall, Rapson Hall, Ruttan Hall, and Robert H. Bruininks Hall (BruH). Events and classes scheduled on Saturdays are able to use these buildings without exception; all other buildings require a special exception granted by FM and may incur additional fees.

Weekend standards

See the Weekend Standards FAQ on the FM website.

Widescreen - Aspect Ratio Controls

Adjusts the projected image from 4:3 to 16:10 (widescreen) formats. For more information on this topic, see: the widescreen instruction.

Wired Network Jack

To use the University's wired network simply connect the Ethernet cord (located in the pocket of the instructor station) to the Ethernet jack on your laptop. The wired network connection provides the highest level of performance and reliability and is recommended for presenters. A laptop must have its DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) registered prior to using the classroom’s wired network jack. For more information on this topic, see: the wired network connection FAQ.

Wireless Network (wifi)

See OIT's website for information about the wireless network on campus, including coverage maps.