This spring, the Eberhardt School of Business unveiled a major multimedia upgrade in Weber Hall, room 107. The upgrade, designed to enhance classroom-based education as well as distance learning, was the culmination of months of careful planning, testing and implementation by the Eberhardt School, Pacific Technology and Physical Plant. Major funding for the project was provided by a generous infrastructure gift from the Bank of Stockton and CEO Douglass Eberhardt. Partial funding also came from a 2015 Pacific Technology in Education Committee grant. The room was modeled after similar classrooms on Pacific’s Sacramento and San Francisco campuses.
Weber 107 improvements include lecture-recording equipment; a high brightness, solid state laser projector; front and rear cameras; and overhead ultra-sensitive microphones. A new university-standard touch panel on the podium allows for the efficient control and remote management of the various electronics in the room. It includes the ability to automate routine tasks, which should decrease energy consumption and increase the life of the equipment. Multiple electrical outlets were added along the classroom walls to provide power for student devices.
With the touch of a button, faculty can now record, upload and publish video directly to the university’s learning management system, where streaming on multiple platforms and devices is available for all students registered in the course. The finished product includes live video as well as the associated instructional material.
The videos are organized and stored in a central, secure location accessible by the individual instructors. These video libraries add to the value of Pacific’s face-to-face instruction as students can now review the lectures at their convenience. This can be extremely valuable for remediation of a subject, exam review and to gain a better understanding of a difficult concept. Student in-class presentations can be easily recorded for self-assessment. Faculty lectures can be readily available for online teaching, flipped classroom models, marketing and for the promotion and tenure process.
The system seamlessly integrates with conferencing software such as WebEx, Skype, and Google Hangouts. Students can now have full audio and visual interaction with lecturers from around the world. Additionally, faculty members can utilize this as a backup instead of canceling class when they cannot be physically present.
Future enhancements for this room include the installation of sound dampening wall paneling, light-reducing motorized shades, a room scheduling panel outside the classroom and increased whiteboard space.
The Eberhardt School of Business hopes to use Weber 107 as an example that can be duplicated in all of its classrooms as the use of digital media in education grows across the university.