Pepperdine University (opens in new tab): Like many colleges and universities, fall 2020 presented a new challenge for Pepperdine: creating a flexible learning environment that supported faculty and students to as similar a degree to in-person instruction as possible. To keep the imperative elements of a successful classroom experience—collaboration, engagement and retention—we sought easy to use, reliable and consistent technologies that would support any combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. Today, these needs still stand as some students and teachers return to class in-person. Thanks to our hyflex solutions, individuals have the autonomy to choose how they want to learn.
With students and faculty coming back to campus in mid-August, there were many complexities we had to tackle on a short timeline in order to best support our community. We knew we didn’t want our faculty to feel like they had to re-learn the technology depending on where they taught, which meant we needed a solution that would be turnkey and completely location agnostic. No matter where they were teaching from, they could walk into the room and it was going to feel the same as every other space. We evaluated various scenarios but with the uncertainty of the new academic year, we knew we needed a unified communications platform and professional video product that could support all types of learning environments with simplicity and ease.
Pepperdine required a flexible learning solution we could remain confident in as this deployment was critical to both the university and the success of our students. With the help of our technology partners, we decided to outfit 166 classrooms across five campuses with ClearTech’s EduFLEX (opens in new tab) solution and Panasonic’s AW-HE38H HD Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras (opens in new tab).
The PTZ’s camera control functionality is truly one of the best parts. Since the PTZ’s camera can be controlled through an easy-to-use desktop shortcut, faculty are able to customize their learning environments to best suit their teaching and learning needs. Whether following the instructor or focusing on a whiteboard, online students can participate with their in-person counterparts to create an engaging experience. Another great perk is that the devices are Powered over Ethernet, which provided easy installation, not to mention great cost savings on energy.
Overall, these solutions were the obvious choice, providing reliability, flexibility and versatility to transform our learning environments. Today, these tools provide our various campuses with the autonomy to decide the learning style that works best for their students, whether that be fully remote, in-person or a mix of both. This flexibility has drawn students from across the globe to Pepperdine, and has allowed us to continue our mission of providing engaging, meaningful education to our international student community.
THE AV/IT TEAM
This project was led by Jared Mukai, senior manager of IT Client Services and Sean Kalaras, manager of AV Technologies at Pepperdine, along with the university’s technology partners: Panasonic Connect and ClearTech.
Date Completed: August 2020
- Panasonic’s AW-HE38H HD Pan-Tilt-Zoom (opens in new tab) (PTZ) camera
- ClearTech’s EduFLEX (opens in new tab) solution