Next-Level Learning in Geffen Hall
Photo credit: Sam Payne
The beautiful new medical education facility, Geffen Hall, opened in January and offers state-of-the-art educational technologies. The Teaching Lab (pictured above) was designed through a collaboration between curriculum designers, teaching faculty and Neil Bornn-Gilman, Manager of DGIT Audiovisual Services. In addition to problem-based learning, lectures and labs, team-based learning, and other small group-based teaching modalities are being used in curriculum delivery. The Teaching Lab was designed with these needs in mind, and the final product represents a significant leap forward for digital collaboration capabilities available to DGSOM faculty and trainees.
The room consists of 26 individual tables, which can each accommodate up to seven learners. Every table features a touch panel control system, a desktop PC, two high-definition displays, seven laptop inputs, directional speakers, and discussion microphones. When there is no facilitated session taking place, tables may be used as individual learning pods. Learners at each pod may select what they would like to view on their screens. When a facilitated session begins, one of the displays at each table remains under control of the learners at each table, while the second display shows content selected by the speaker. The content from any of the individual tables may also be selected as the main source for the room, allowing any group to share their content with the larger audience.
The audio capabilities of the lab are impressive, as well. Each table is equipped with seven highly directional speakers integrated directly into the edges of the tables. The manufacturer of the speakers developed the product specifically for the teaching lab, and the installation at Geffen Hall was the very first time these speakers were installed anywhere in the world. The directional nature of the speakers allows each of the 26 tables to playback separate audio simultaneously, while still allowing a learner seated at a given table to hear their local audio source clearly. In addition, each table has multiple push-to-talk microphones that enable any individual learner at a table to converse with the room at large. The Teaching Lab has been getting heavy usage since opening, as depicted in the photo above of a Synapse lab from Block 5.
In addition to the audiovisual capabilities, the Teaching Lab and other spaces, such as the Lecture Hall and Learning Studio, are equipped with an audience response system called Poll Everywhere – software which allows faculty to create live, real-time audience polling. Through Poll Everywhere, faculty can increase learner engagement and promote active learning.
Photo credits: Laura Schreiber