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Smart Class & Conference Rooms

One of the great things about teaching and learning at CSU San Marcos is that ALL of the classrooms on campus are "smart" - or as we like to think of them "intelligent" classrooms. We think so because a great deal of time and effort goes into designing and creating learning spaces that work with you. We work with architects and planners from the very beginning to ensure that all the things you'll need end up in the right places, we constantly update our knowledge to stay current in this rapidly changing tech-world, and we refresh classroom systems on a regular basis.

To see details about any class or conference room on campus, use the building links to the left.


The mission of Classroom Technology Services (CTS) is to:

  • Implement and maintain classroom media technology, including data projectors, control systems, video and audio playback devices, instructor's workstations, cabling, etc.;
  • Consult with campus departments regarding the purchase and implementation of classroom technology;
  • Provide support for campus events requiring media technology.

Reporting Problems

Primary rapid response for classroom problems is provided by the Student Technology Help Desk. They can be reached at 6505.

Classroom FAQ

What kind of rooms does CSU San Marcos have?

We have a variety of different rooms for different purposes:

  • Flat-floored rooms - these are the most common type of room, the typical lecture-style room. Student desks are usually moveable for room reconfiguration.
  • Tiered rooms - these have a number of advantages, primary of which is great sightlines to the front of the room. Since the furniture is built in place, this kind of room cannot be reconfigured.
  • Distance Learning Classroooms (DL) - this type of room provides real-time voice and video communications with similar rooms at CSUSM, our satellite campus in Temecula, or other institutions worldwide.
  • Active Learning Classrooms (ALC) - ALC's are set up to foster active learning, problem-based work, and team work. Students work at group stations with other students and share data across the room in real-time.
  • Computer Labs - equipped with a computer for each student, these rooms are for disciplines using computer work as a teaching activity. CSUSM has both Windows and Mac labs.
  • Studios - for teaching and learning around artisitic subjects, studio spaces are available for creating.

What make a classroom "smart"?

While it can vary, all smart rooms provide the following items:

  • An internet-connected computer;
  • A data display system that allows audio amplification and video display of the computer system;
  • Wireless internet access for all participants;
  • Connections for a personal laptop;
  • An instructor's station - this may be a desk, lectern, or wall-mounted unit.

Some rooms have special capabilities, such as:

  • Multiple displays for large rooms;
  • Voice amplification for large rooms;
  • Digital whiteboards;
  • Document cameras;
  • High-definition (HD) displays.

What is a "smart" conference room like?

Smart conference rooms are equipped with the same items as a smart classroom above, but with the main difference being the use of a large-format monitor instead of a projection system; although some larger conference rooms use projection.

What's a document camera?

A document camera is essentially a camera turned to point downward. Items placed in its field of vision can be displayed on the large screen at the front of the room. These could be paper, transparencies, books, photos, physical objects, etc. Also, you can draw or annotate and this will be displayed too. It is our goal to equip all rooms on campus with document camera, but this is not complete yet. Most document cameras are ceiling mounted, so they are out of the way.

What's a high-definition (HD) room?

Some materials, particularly those with high levels of detail, benefit from being displayed in true HD, just like movies you watch at home. Equipping rooms with HD gear is somewhat more expensive than our regular rooms, so there are only a handful of them, but we will be adding more.

What's a digital whiteboard?

For those disciplines that do a lot of whiteboard writing- math, phyics, statistics, anything involving equations and diagrams - there is a way to allow handwriting to be displayed using the room system. This is accomplished using a large tablet display that sits on or near the instructors station. Benefits include: endless writing surface, automatic saving of what's being drawn, the instructor can remain facing the audience.

How can I bring people from around the world into my class or conference room?

CSUSM offers Zoom, a fully-featured web conferencing package. When combined with the rooms' smart system, and a microphone and webcam, you can do real-time collaboration and conferencing with almost anyone in the world with a computer or portable device. Possible uses include:

  • Bringing subject matter experts into the classroom;
  • Collaborating with remote project teams;
  • Expanding a class presentation to other rooms on or off campus.