Halifax, NS and Saint John, NB
The Dalhousie Medical Education Program’s new high definition video conferencing/distance education system links 19 sites at two university campuses and four New Brunswick hospitals. Mandated to provide all students with a comparable learning experience regardless of their location, the program was established in collaboration with the Government of New Brunswick, the University of New Brunswick and the Horizon Health Network.
A tour de force of UX and usability engineering, the Engineering Harmonics design team envisioned a learning environment that was completely unbound by geography. They designed a system where any number of rooms full of students, regardless of size, could join and leave a larger virtual “classroom” completely adhoc at any time, regardless of whether those rooms were down the hall, in another building, or in another campus altogether. The design requirements were such that the assets of each joined room, including every student microphone, the live microphone queue list itself, lighting presets, program sources, automated camera presets etc. would all be available to and managed by the virtual classroom as if it were one single space. Finally, and most important to this utopian design goal was the criteria that this inflatable background complexity not impact the system usability in any perceivable way to the classroom professor.