For smaller graduate-level and clinical classes, there are two mid-sized ALCs. These have side-by-side Panasonic® projectors and a digital capture/streaming device. Here, however, students work in four groups of eight, and each group has a 55” Sharp® display to share. Shure® push-to-talk boundary mics on the student tables and wireless mics for the instructors make it easy to address the entire class.
Diversified installed a “show me” button next to each table-mounted computer input, which eliminates the need for any kind of control panel for the student groups. It triggers a Crestron DMPS-300-C presentation system – which acts as the table’s local switcher, control, and audio system – to switch that laptop to the Sharp display. They press one button if they want to talk and another if they want to show their computer screen to the group.
From a 24” Crestron touch screen, instructors can choose whether their own or student visuals go to the projection screens and the student screens, and they can annotate over those images. A DM 32×32 switcher allows instructors to route any computer or video source to any combination of projectors and displays in the ALC.
For undergraduate baseline classes, the School of Nursing has replaced its largest lecture halls with two active learning classrooms, each designed to hold a full, 153-member first or second-year nursing class. While working in groups, students simply share one of their laptops and its display or take notes on a 23” marker board.
For larger groups, each table shares a 55” Sharp display. When they’re ready to address the group, students use their “show me” button near their seat to send their laptop image to the 55” display. When, they’re ready to address the entire class, there’s a push-to-talk gooseneck microphone as well.
To handle a class so large, instructors typically work in teams of three, either two professors team-teaching with a graduate teaching assistant, or one professor with two TAs. Each wears a Shure wireless mic for those moments when they want to address the entire class. Room control is accomplished via a 15” Crestron touch screen (with annotation) at the podium, or either of two Apple® iPads equipped with the Crestron app.
Jura says the two rooms can also act as a single classroom accommodating over 300 students. “We’ll use them that way during student orientations, when we address the first and second-year classes together.” Once the doorways are open between the rooms, it’s as simple as pressing one button on a Crestron touch screen, and the video, and control systems combine into one. “When the rooms come together, we actually have the largest active learning classroom in the country,” Jura adds.
“Ironically,” Jura says, “I’ll have someone come in and ask, ‘Is it difficult to teach with all that technology?’ ‘No,’ I’ll answer. ‘It can be challenging to come up with good activities. But using the technology, pushing the right buttons, has never been an issue.’”