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University of Western Australia: Scalable collaboration space

By: 
UB Custom Publishing
The University of Western Australia won a 2014 AMX Innovation Award in the Simulation and Medical Learning category
Honoree: 
University of Western Australia
The University of Western Australia created three collabrative teaching spaces that can also be opened up by using folding glass walls to form one large collabrative space.
The University of Western Australia created three collabrative teaching spaces that can also be opened up by using folding glass walls to form one large collabrative space.

The “M” block project at the University of Western Australia sought to replace traditional show-and-tell methods of teaching students about cell pathology with practical sessions that would provide and demand a collaborative learning environment to analyze data on real patient blood samples. A 24/7 facility, the project serves as a group study location as well.

After renovating a number of outdated offices and teaching facilities by knocking down walls and opening up the ground floor area, the university created three separate collaborative teaching spaces, which could also be opened up using folding glass walls to form one very large collaborative teaching space. A mixture of collaboration and traditional wet lab environments are blended together within the renovated space, providing 174 students with 29 collaborative pods serving six students each.

The collaborative pods are comprised of a work surface for six people and two local LCD displays with full-screen capabilities for BYOD. The BYOD strategy deployed supports connect, select and display capability at the pod location. Finally, each pod has two local Mac mini computers with wireless keyboard and mouse—all run by an individual DVX 3155 all-in-one presentation switcher.

“Allowing for all kinds of input resolutions could have been a huge nightmare,” says Terry Coe, manager of Teaching Infrastructure Services at the university. “But the inbuilt scaling on the DVX-3155 handles anything we throw at it and still produces a great picture on the monitor.”

The rooms also have an additional layer of control with the ability to share a student’s image with any individual pod, the room, or a combination of all three rooms. From dedicated teaching stations with BYOD capability, the lecturer controls the room through a dedicated panel and iPad TP control allowing mobile interaction and collaboration with one or all pods.