Service Summary

Mason has both virtual and physical lab spaces on several campuses for students, faculty, and staff to use for educational purposes. For services and software not listed, please contact the ITS Support Center. A list of software in the labs is on the Lab Software Listing page.

Lab Rules

Lab guests must follow university policies and posted lab rules. Violations of University policies will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct and may prohibit future use of the labs and their resources.

  • Computers are available for educational purposes. With this in mind, we reserve the right to ask guests to leave or restrict access if we feel their usage of the computer is not appropriate.
  • Lab guests are prohibited from installing software on computers.
  • Lab guests may not save files to desktop workspaces as the computers will be routinely wiped to maintain optimum function.

Fall 2020 Updates

THE STAR LAB IS CLOSED FOR COMPUTER USAGE

For the Fall 2020 semester, the STAR Lab will be closed for computer usage. A limited selection of video equipment may still be reserved via the Web Checkout system and picked up at the Collaborative Learning Hub (CLUB). A limited number of video and multimedia computer stations will also be available to reserve and use in the CLUB. Please see the CLUB service page for more information.

THE CLUB MODIFIED HOURS & SERVICES

For the Fall 2020 semester, a limited selection of video equipment may still be reserved via the Web Checkout system and picked up at the Collaborative Learning Hub (CLUB). A limited number of video and multimedia computer stations will also be available to reserve and use.

Support

Walk-in support is available; however, remote support is highly recommended and preferred.

UPDATE: VCL Retirement

In preparation for the 2020-2021 academic year, ITS has launched the Citrix Virtual Lab, an improved method for faculty and students to acquire academic software remotely. This new tool replaces the Virtual Computing Lab (VCL), which ITS will begin retiring on Tuesday, September 8. At that time, academic software on www.vcl.gmu.edu will be removed and users should go to the Citrix Virtual Lab for the latest versions of academic software. For full details, see Replacement of Virtual Computing Lab (VCL) with Citrix Virtual Lab.

Service Offerings: On-Campus Labs

Collaborative Learning Hub (CLUB)

The Collaborative Learning Hub (CLUB) supports effective teaching and learning with technology to enhance learning experiences and the quality of work-life at the university for current students, teaching faculty, instructional support staff, and academic units seeking to improve instruction. The CLUB provides training and support for instructional improvement and technology to enhance student learning, supports the use of technology-based courseware in classrooms, and supports instructional initiatives university-wide. The CLUB walk-in lab features 10 PC workstations, 10 Mac workstations, a walk-up help bar, and collaborative spaces that include Scantron score machine and data compilation software, a sound recording space, VR/AR tech, and 3D printing, scanning, and a host of other software applications. The CLUB offers a schedule of free workshops, walk-in and prearranged consultations, technology showcases, instruction in the effective use of electronic teaching environments, support for course management tools, and resources for learning about technology use.

CLUB: Collaborative Learning Areas

Collaborative learning areas are designed to facilitate group work. Spaces can be modified to best suit your group’s needs.

  • Fly Space: Features roll-about whiteboards, chairs, and desks.
  • Learning Pod: Roll-About circular tables ideal for collaborative group work.
  • Collaborative Workstations: Two six-seat workspaces equipped with large LCD monitors and devices which allow participants to dock laptops for content.

CLUB: Scantron

A Scantron machine is available for use in the Collaborative Learning Hub (CLUB). The Scantron test grading machine examines test forms and marks incorrect responses, corrects answers, and produces a result score. The machine is easily operated and can reduce grading time. The scantron machine is available for walk-in use. However; all users must sign in upon arrival. Should assistance be needed, CLUB lab assistants are available to walk you through the operation of the machine.

Computer Labs

Computer labs offer the university community access to computing resources and a variety of software in support of learning, teaching, and research. Open computer labs are located on each campus and have printers through the pay-for-print (PFP) network available.

If you require software that is not loaded on the computers in the open labs or a specialized lab environment, there are a variety of other lab options, including the STAR Lab, the Collaborative Learning Hub (CLUB), and the Virtual Computing Lab. Faculty members requiring a computer classroom for a class should visit http://registrar.gmu.edu/facultystaff/ for information about ad-hoc scheduling for a class session.

Student Technology Assistance & Resource (STAR) Lab

If you need IT support, please contact the ITS Support Center. STAR is a state-of-the-art multimedia computer and equipment checkout facility that provides the space and resources to complete creative projects. STAR Lab offers Mac and PC stations equipped with specialized video, multimedia, and game design software. This facility also has a variety of video production equipment available for checkout, as well as a video production studio. Student mentors with specialized knowledge of operating systems and applications are on hand to assist with troubleshooting. Video production support and resources are available at the STAR Lab.

Video editing: Edit, create, and export videos using STAR Lab video editing stations available for post-production work.

STAR Lab Studio: A small production studio space is available for students, faculty, and staff to complete a wide range of video, still photography, or other multimedia projects. The studio has two black pull curtains, one green curtain, and full LED lighting grid. Users may bring their own equipment or check out production equipment from the STAR Lab.

STAR: Game Design Lab

The Game Design Lab, located in the Student Technology Assistance and Resource (STAR) Lab, is equipped with five powerful PC and two Mac stations with specialized game design software. Also included in the lab are flat-screen monitors and whiteboard walls to allow students to storyboard, design, and test their projects. Each computer is equipped with a tablet device, as well as top-of-the-line game design software.

STAR: Multimedia Production

The STAR Lab is an excellent resource for working on multimedia and art projects. All multimedia PCs and Macs are equipped with the full Adobe Design Premium Suite (After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Bridge, Contribute, Flash, Acrobat Professional), scanners, and print capabilities. Mentors are on hand to help with troubleshooting needs.

STAR: Sound Space

The sound space contains special equipment and soundproofing to provide an ideal environment to record voice or edit audio.

Key Features
  • Equipment in the room includes a microphone, a special audio adapter, Camtasia Studio, Audacity software, and connection to a software conversion server.
  • Recordings can be created as standalone sound files, combined for a video recording of the screen, or exported to a file format capable of being streamed over the web.
  • System: iMac workstation with both OSX 10.9 and Windows 7, 64 Bit 6.1.

STAR: Video Editing

Editing stations equipped with specialized video and film software are available for post-production work. Edit, create, and export videos using STAR Lab resources. Student mentors with specialized knowledge of video editing software are on hand to assist with troubleshooting.

STAR: Video Production Equipment Checkout

Editing stations equipped with specialized video and film software are available for post-production work. Edit, create, and export videos using STAR Lab resources. Student mentors with specialized knowledge of video editing software are on hand to assist with troubleshooting.

STAR: Video Production Services

STAR Lab offers Mac and PC stations equipped with specialized video and film, multimedia, and game design software. This facility also has a variety of video production equipment available for checkout, as well as a video production studio. Student mentors with specialized knowledge of operating systems and applications are on hand to assist with troubleshooting. High-end video production equipment is available for check out through the STAR Lab. The following tools are available to rent:

  • Video cameras: Canon XA-10, Canon C100 and C100 Mark II, Panasonic GH4, Sony A7s Mii, Sony FS-700 and BlackMagic Cinema Camera 2.5K
  • Audio recorders and field mixers: Zoom F8, Tascam DR-100 and DR-05, Zoom H6n, and Azden FMX-42a
  • Microphones: Wired and wireless lavaliers, dynamic and condenser microphones
  • Tripods, shoulder rigs, sliders
  • Audio kits equipped with headphones, a dynamic or condenser mic and a wired lavalier
  • Light kits: LED and tungsten

STAR: Video Production Studio

A production studio space is available for students, faculty, and staff to be used for a wide range of video, still photography, or other multimedia projects. The space comes with two black pull curtains, one green curtain, and full LED lighting grid

Video Production Services (GMU-TV)

GMU-TV is a professional, full-service video production facility that specializes in creating educational content, research and scholarship communications, and marketing and outreach videos to support the academic and administrative departments of George Mason University.

GMU-TV's state-of-the-art facilities include two HD studios, a portable HD studio to record live events at Mason, a fleet of HD cameras, and full post-production facilities where the polished edit, graphics, animation, and even music can be created for your projects.

Academic Content

GMU-TV develops educational content for both online and on-campus courses. Whether it is an entire course taught via video, a single lecture, or simply supplemental video material to be used in class, GMU-TV can help. Working with the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning, GMU-TV has access to professional instructional designers who can help faculty transition their courses from the classroom to the digital realm. For every discipline, GMU-TV can help develop media-rich teaching tools, from a traditional lecture to visualizations of complex procedures or simulations, instruction on specific software, or interviews with visiting scholars. Through live broadcast, webcast, or fibercast, GMU-TV delivers both synchronous and asynchronous courses.

Promotion of Research and Mason’s Thought Leaders

Many of GMU-TV's original productions highlight the amazing research and developments in higher education at Mason. GMU-TV explores a broad spectrum of subjects to a general audience, including science, technology, engineering, math, health and medicine, public affairs, humanities, arts and music, and education issues; programming that brings to life the tremendous range of knowledge, culture, and dialogue generated on Mason’s diverse campuses. These programs range from short-form documentaries to distinguished guest lecturers and panel discussions, cutting-edge research symposiums and research communications, artistic performances and more. GMU-TV helps produce scripted material as well as recording and broadcasting live events at Mason that appeal to the larger community.

Marketing and Social Media

GMU-TV creates promotional and marketing material for the Mason academic and administrative units. Services GMU-TV provides include:

  • Academic Video Content
  • Broadcasting
  • Editing
  • Field Productions
  • Live Event Production
  • Marketing and Promotional Videos
  • Producing/Directing
  • Research Communications
  • Studio Productions
  • Training Videos
  • Videography
  • Video Production Consultation and Training
  • Webinars
  • Web Streaming

Faculty members/departments interested in developing video material should complete a Production Proposal. All relevant stakeholders should be involved in completing the proposal. See How Do I Get Started for information about GMU-TV's procedures and to download the Production Proposal. Completed proposals along with a brief email summarizing your request may be submitted to gmutv@gmu.edu. Depending on the scope of the project, video proposals may require signatures by both requesting faculty/staff and the department chair or appropriate dean/director. The number of proposals accepted for production varies according to the production resources available. There are costs associated with developing videos. For a more in-depth explanation of these costs, see GMU-TV Fee Overview

Service Offerings: Virtual Labs

Citrix Virtual Lab

The Citrix Virtual Lab provides remote access to academic software. Students and faculty with a VPN connection can access the necessary software needed to support online coursework. The Citrix Virtual Lab is scheduled to replace the Virtual Computing Lab (VCL) in the fall 2020 semester.

VPN Requirement

Users accessing the Citrix Virtual Lab will be required to use Mason’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) before you can log in. See the Getting This Service section for details.

Virtual Computing Lab (VCL)

The Virtual Computing Lab (VCL) is a technological way of remotely delivering software to users, through the Internet, regardless of their physical location or the time of day. The VCL provides access to specialized software, in a safe computing environment, without the need to purchase or install it to one's personal device. Utilizing the VCL is easy and only requires an Internet-enabled computer and Mason credentials. Once logged in and connected, the VCL provides access to specialized software, in a safe computing environment, without the need to purchase or install it to one's personal device.

VPN Requirement

Users accessing the VCL from off-campus will be required to use Mason’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) with Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) before you can log in to the VCL.