Driven by a variety of market forces, distance learning is becoming more and more of a mainstay at institutions of higher education around the world, including Taif University in Saudi Arabia, which recently completed a major upgrade of its audio capabilities in partnership with Smart Cities Technologies (SCT) and ClearOne.
"When it comes to distance learning at a Taif, instructors use video conferencing in the lecture halls to collaborate with the undergraduate and graduate student population of Taif University's women's campus," explained Moath M Yousef, Sr. AV Pre-Sales & Product Manager of SCT. "And university staff members were facing many problems with the audio, mainly echo and disconnection issues."
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In addition, according to Yousef, classes with many students found it very difficult to constantly move the microphone between participants for the far end of the room to clearly hear questions and discussions. In fact, these video collaboration classes often required dedicated supervisors to be present to move the microphones between participants to ensure that classes would run smoothly.
Designing a Collaboration Solution Featuring ClearOne
After evaluating the situation, Yousef introduced ClearOne to Anas AIQudsi, head of the Infrastructure Department at the university, and together they built the full design for a complete state-of-the-art collaboration solution featuring ClearOne Converge Pro 2 DSP mixers and Beamforming Mic Array 2 combinations across 27 classrooms of the campus.
Working with 2 Beamforming Mic Arrays attached to each Converge Pro 2 mixer, combined with new audio-absorbing materials in the classrooms, AIQudsi was certain there would be no future needs for dedicated classroom supervisors present for all the microphone transferring between students. The entire installation was completed in less than a month and without a hitch.
ClearOne, Durable and Reliable, Meets the Challenge
"Taif University and SCT chose ClearOne solutions based on the company's history in the audio industry and the quality and reliability of its solutions," Yousef emphasized. "ClearOne's market reputation and extended warranty further cemented our decision to partner with them.”
According to AIQudsi, instructors are using the new ClearOne solution daily. Often the instructors connect to two or three classes simultaneously, as many students are studying the same subjects. The solutions are in use at least 10 to 12 hours per day.
Taif University continually invites professionals from around the world to share knowledge with students and all of them have found that the ClearOne solution made this easy to manage. Anas said the university plans to expand the solutions across more classrooms in the future.