Installation Profile: AV Rx
Dec 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By John W. DeWitt
Two labs exemplify the latest technology-driven transformations in the world of healthcare education.
RE-ARCHITECTING TWO LABS
This simplicity-of-use philosophy provided one guiding principle for NEOUCOM's latest and most complex AV project: the design and implementation of two flexible, reconfigurable instructional laboratories. One is a multi-disciplinary lab and the other is a pharmacy lab, both of which share an AV equipment closet. The project began in early 2007, with the goal of completion prior to the school's first incoming class of pharmacy students in the fall.
After multiple needs-assessment meetings with NEOUCOM faculty and staff, it became clear that flexibility was a top priority for the renovation of the laboratory spaces. These spaces had previously been a collection of small individual rooms used for small-group study. Now they were no longer conducive to the school's typical class sizes and instructional approaches.
“The faculty needed to have the capability to do presentations to 75 to 100 students all at once, as well as being able to break up the students into separate areas for smaller presentations,” McGrady says. “So when they designed the multidisciplinary medical lab, they designed it with foldable, flexible walls that could divide into halves or quads. Then the faculty came to understand that if they wanted to do presentations, they would have to have multiple projection units and flexible audio capabilities. Ultimately, they concluded that in the main space, they needed to have up to 14 presentation areas.”
At this point, as with several other AV implementations in previous years, the university turned to AVI-SPL's Broadview Heights office in Cleveland to handle the project. The integrator's team — including sales engineer Nick Santoro, senior engineer and programmer Eric Hanley, and production manager Chad Elliot — started its engagement with several planning meetings to assess needs and evaluate technology options.
“The biggest key was to get an understanding of how the pharmacy and medical instructors would use the labs, what technologies different departments would need at their disposal, how they would interact with students, and how we needed to accommodate their teaching methods,” says Santoro, who worked with McGrady and his staff on AVI-SPL's previous projects at NEOUCOM, which included installing AV systems with touchpanel interfaces in several lecture halls. “They wanted to be able to teach in large groups, smaller groups, and breakout sessions, and to make these changes on the fly to create a dynamic instructional environment. Moreover, both rooms were really labs, not traditional classrooms, so there were higher tables with chemical-resistant tops for experiments, test cultures, dissecting, and so forth.”
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