McMaster University – Michael DeGroote School of Medicine

Audio visual integration to facilitate distance learning for medical school

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Applied Electronics recently completed the third campus project for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University’s Niagara Regional Campus. Previously, Applied Electronics completed projects of similar scope at the Hamilton and Waterloo Regional Campuses. The University’s goal was to create an integrated and interactive learning atmosphere where students and educators could share and utilize information from any of the three campuses. The Niagara project in particular also included advanced audio visual learning technologies in nine different rooms.

Among these nine rooms, the largest was a 50-seat lecture hall which Applied Electronics integrated 27 push-to-talk student microphones, three large projection displays, a custom request-to-speak system, three 60-inch preview monitors, HD student and instructor capture cameras, and a height-adjustable lectern. The system encompasses an automation system to receive remote content and RTS requests from the local campus as well as the Hamilton and Waterloo Regional Campuses.
Three 14-seat Multi-Purpose Tutorial rooms were each equipped with interactive electronic whiteboards, HD cameras, and ceiling mounted microphones.

The newly integrated Anatomy Lab and the 30-seat Computer Training room will enhance students’ learning experience with multiple projection systems, HD instructor and specimen cameras, and ceiling mounted microphones.

A building-wide Crestron Digital Media Matrix and Signal Distribution System enables all audio, video and computer signals generated in the learning areas to be transported to and from the Central Equipment room for the purposes of lecture capture and video conferencing. These signals may be monitored in the Control Room via large Sharp LCD screen monitors and multi-image processors, recorded and archived via Polycom Lecture Capture Recorders or sent to one or both of the other Regional Campuses via Polycom High Definition Video Conference Codecs. The Control Room operator can monitor and control all of the audio video systems from one central location.

With the integration of the new audio visual technologies, students can now better equip themselves for testing in the two Examination Simulation rooms, which also include HD cameras and ceiling microphones, as well as video and audio capture capabilities. The Continuous Presence room has 24-hour video capabilities, which enables students and educators to communicate and collaborate any time they want in a relaxed setting.

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