AlcoholEdu For College®, 2008-2009

Technical Considerations

Since AlcoholEdu® for College is delivered over the Internet, implementation of the course depends on digital networks and computer technology. You don’t need to be a technical expert to conduct a successful implementation for your students; in fact, most students never have technical problems with AlcoholEdu for College. You can reduce the chance of experiencing technical problems by taking a few simple preventive steps. Outside The Classroom provides the following suggestions for your consideration.

It may be necessary to make a few minor adjustments to your network security to ensure that the Flash technology included in the course can be viewed easily. Please have a member of your IT department review the following questions and note the associated support comments below.

  1. What is the bandwidth of your Internet connection (T1, Cable, DSL, etc.)?
  2. Is your network connectivity the same throughout your campus (i.e., will students experience faster connectivity in their dorm rooms or in the campus computer lab)?
  3. Do you have any restrictions on your firewall that may prevent a large number of students from accessing Web sites or viewing Flash (audio, video and applications) at one time?
  4. Do you have content filtering or proxy software in place that might prevent access to or use of the AlcoholEdu for College site?
  5. Do you have bandwidth shaping tools, such as ''packeteers,'' in place that block or restrict priority to certain Web traffic running on your networks? The course uses Flash .swf and .flv format files in both audio and video format. If you have bandwidth shaping tools in place, would you be able to loosen any restrictions or increase priority for http Web traffic using ports 80 and 443 on all formats used in the course?
  6. Do you have filters or access lists in certain locations that might affect access to the course? This includes allowing system email through to invite students back to participate in the final portion of the course.

    Server Names

    We are encouraging the use of our sub-domains of the root alcoholedu.com, college.alcoholedu.com, media.alcoholedu.com.
  7. The past year’s rash of computer viruses has resulted in unusually high levels of traffic on some campus networks. Are you sure that your infrastructure is virus-free?
Limited bandwidth (bandwidth is the capacity of the digital network to transmit information) can be a structural problem (not enough cable or not enough cable capacity) or a functional problem (competition for bandwidth by many users). When students have had problems viewing AlcoholEdu for College (slides out of synch with the audio or long pauses while the audio/video clips load), they are usually due to functional bandwidth limitations – heavy network traffic on their computer's connection to the Internet – or to specific problems with a certain media player. These problems can typically be easily rectified:

Suggest the student choose the “Audio Only” version of the course on the AlcoholEdu Media Settings Page for the College course (note: there are no videos in the High School course).

Suggest that the student try using a different computer (other areas of the ©2008 Outside The Classroom, Inc. Company Confidential 1 campus network may provide improved bandwidth or a particular machine may be infected with a bandwidth-consuming virus)

If using wireless, suggest the student connect directly to the Internet for a faster connection.

Try a different time of day (during non-peak campus network hours)

Always remind students not to run other applications or music in the background while viewing the course.

Do not assign the deadline for completing AlcoholEdu for College during periods of time when you expect the greatest volume on your campus network (such as the week before exams or during online registration week). Check with your IT department to determine if any portion of your network tends to use a higher percentage of its bandwidth. For instance, if the residence halls tend to use 80-90% of available bandwidth every evening, suggest students take the course in the labs or during the day.

The Flash media used in this course uses the http protocol and standard Web ports 80 and 443. There should be no need to open special ports or make any other such adjustments to your network.

Outside The Classroom is available to discuss any of these issues with you to ensure that students have a great experience with AlcoholEdu for College. Your success is very important to us. If your IT department has any questions, please contact your Client Service Representative or email us at services@outsidetheclassroom.com.

*Be sure to always check for our most recent version of these technical considerations on our AlcoholEdu Hub.