Brandeis classrooms are continuously upgraded with new technology to accommodate various modes of teaching and learning for both local and remote students.
MTS will be offering a series of HyFlex Classroom Technology demonstrations from August 17-24.
What is HyFlex learning?
HyFlex (or Hybrid Flexible) learning allows for a combination of participants, some of whom are in the physical space and others who have joined remotely via an online platform, such as Zoom.
Recent upgrades have been applied to allow for HyFlex teaching and learning, allowing students or faculty to fully participate in classes, regardless of their physical location.
What makes a classroom HyFlex?
Select classrooms have been outfitted with pan, tilt, zoom (PTZ) cameras to provide clear and precise camera shots of the class sessions. These cameras are controllable from the system touch panel, and can focus on a specific area such as the boards, get a wide shot of the room, or enable auto-tracking to automatically follow the presenter around the front of the room with a close-up shot. Basic USB webcams are installed at the lectern in many classrooms to provide an alternative camera angle that can view the students.
Microphones have been installed throughout the room to get clear audio of everyone in the classroom. While it is still suggested that instructors utilize wearable lavalier microphones in large classrooms or auditoriums, these new ambient microphones will pickup clear audio and feed it directly to Zoom for instances of video conferencing or Echo360 for automated lecture capture. There are a few types of microphones that have been installed in classrooms; you may see a ceiling bar style, ceiling puck style, or a ceiling tile that is actually a microphone.
HyFlex classrooms are designed so that the camera and microphones feeds can be routed to Zoom, so that remote participants can view the classroom in real-time with clear audio and video. Note: Users should check these settings and test prior to starting a class.
Select classrooms have been outfitted with Echo360 automated lecture capture appliances, allowing for faculty to request an automated recording schedule of their class for students to review course content. Echo360 recordings capture the camera, projector content, and audio. Echo360 schedule requests must be made directly by the instructor from this automated lecture capture request form.
Zoom vs. Echo360: Which one should I use?
Zoom is critical for synchronous communication between local and remote participants. If you intend to include remote participants in discussion or allow for remote presentations, then Zoom is a great tool for this.
Echo360 is a lecture capture and 1-way streaming/broadcast solution. Echo360 automated recordings are great for recording lectures automatically. Echo360 DOES NOT allow for synchronous communication between remote and local participants beyond a simple chat/comment feature.