In an effort to expand its distance learning programs, Indiana University has deployed Pexip video conferencing solution, Infinity Virtual Auditorium. The scalable video conferencing technology is part of Pexip's Infinity meeting platform. It is an entirely software-based solution that allows campuses to provide virtual classrooms where instructors and students can meet without the need to add any custom hardware to existing IT infrastructures.
"The Pexip Infinity platform provides videoconferencing capabilities to over 135,000 students, faculty, and staff across our university's eight campuses," said James McGookey, manager of collaboration technologies at Indiana University. "As a result, [Indiana University] now hosts one of the largest real-time collaboration installations in the United States, connecting people around the world to over 175 live courses. Reliable, flexible, and easy to use, the solution is an important part of our learning strategy as we prepare for the future of education."
Designed to engage students in large remote learning sessions, the virtualized platform gives learners full control over the user experience while providing instructors and administrators with simple operation and management tools. Using Pexip Infinity, the new education-based solution allows virtual meeting rooms (VMRs) via video, voice, and data collaboration — so students, teachers, or any other higher education participant can simply meet anywhere, anytime.
"Pexip Infinity's Virtual Auditorium was designed to bring simplicity to the rapidly growing distance learning higher education sector," said Håkon Dahle, Pexip CTO. "The Pexip Infinity scalable meeting platform enables borderless classrooms to engage in remote sessions using standard endpoints such as Microsoft Lync or WebRTC compatible web browsers. With multiple viewing modes and HD resolution, Virtual Auditorium enriches the learning experience, allowing participants to share presentations and meet face-to-face in real time."
Providing unprecedented ease-of-use to online lecturers, Infinity Virtual Auditorium automatically toggles between speakers, shows students raising questions, and allows participants to share content easily. Students simply open their Web browser or use any SIP/H.323 video client software, enter the address of the Virtual Auditorium, and gain immediate access to the lecture. Sessions are also viewed in high definition to provide immersive, high-quality experiences to participants unable to be present within the classroom.
Entirely software-based, Infinity Virtual Auditorium delivers scalability, interoperability, simplicity, and cost effectiveness to higher education administrators looking to make the most of their videoconferencing and unified communications infrastructures. With the ability to transcode between nearly any codec and standard, the platform allows lecturers and students to connect without the need for any support-staff interventions — lowering both maintenance costs and lecture interruptions. Institutions can also use their existing endpoint infrastructures, install new software versions as they become available, and eliminate costs related to hardware and lengthy installation processes. Using a subscription-based model, Pexip Infinity requires no up-front investment.