Hybrid Learning at University of Southern California
The University of Southern California (USC) is one of the world's leading private research universities. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, USC offers a number of undergraduate and graduate programs including business, law, and film.
Hybrid learning is a new requirement for universities around the world and USC had to quickly re-direct students to online learning. However, when it came to planning for how they could effectively engage students in their learning and safely bring them back in some form when appropriate, they found they had already solved the problem thanks to upgrade work taking place in general use classrooms across the campus.
USC’s Director of Learning Environments, Joe Way, Director, USC Learning Environments, was focused on moving the university’s services forward, enhancing the technologies on campus, and improving the overall setup for both students and staff. To achieve this, Joe was given the opportunity to totally transform teaching and learning by completely gutting and reimagining 300 rooms, something that allowed him to consider how to design the perfect system that would work now, and in the future.
Building the new AV system from the ground up, meant the ability to utilize IT- and software-based technologies for content delivery. Check out our in-depth interview with Joe Way here. For the main lecture halls, the MXA710 Linear Array Microphone and IntelliMix® Room software-based audio processing, delivered scalable audio that could be managed remotely, with simple configuration. Instead of keeping a computer in each room, a Crestron Flex UC runs IntelliMix Room and the Zoom platform on it, turning the entire USC classroom and central core into a Dante node. Students in the classroom or dialing in remotely can hear the lectures.
Faculty members were also given a new option to deliver online or hybrid classes, turning smaller spaces which wouldn’t be able to hold socially-distanced classes, into production studios utilizing Shure MXA910 ceiling arrays and a confidence monitor. These rooms have been popular with faculty as they are still able to use the whiteboard and teach like they want to while streaming sessions to students who can safely attend from home.
These solutions enabled flexible, scalable and intuitive classrooms that will be ideal for continued remote learning or return to the classroom.
With ‘invisible tech’ the USC classes have become a safe, seamless, accessible experience for faculty and students. As Joe says:
“In the past, the technologies in use at USC were seen as something that inhibited people’s ability to teach or learn, so we wanted to remove those barriers, empowering the faculty to focus on teaching and the students to focus on learning, and I think we’ve achieved that frictionless experience.”
Joe Way, Director, USC Learning Environments
This shift will create many opportunities, for partnerships between universities or for remote classes to help students who can't get to a campus or who need to save money; being able to take the learning experience anywhere is only going to be more in demand.
|MXA910||10||The new MXA910 with IntelliMix® represents the next evolution in the Microflex® Advance™ Ceiling Array Microphone platform.|
|IntelliMix® Room||1||IntelliMix® Room is digital signal processing (DSP) software designed to optimize the performance of Shure networked microphones with videoconferencing software.|
|MXA710||5||The linear form factor of the MXA710 with IntelliMix® allows for placement virtually anywhere in a meeting space, including on a wall, around a display, ceiling, or into a conference room table.|