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DES Audiovisual Enlivens Duquesne’s New School of Osteopathic Medicine

Explore the AV techniques that create an immersive and experiential learning environment.
Apr 10, 2024

Duquesne University’s newly opened School of Osteopathic Medicine is designed to provide a holistic, patient-centered program for the next generation of physicians. What makes their curriculum stand out is its emphasis on cultivating patient-centered clinical skills – which can only happen in an experiential environment.

The DES Audiovisual Department (AV) was contracted to transform these stationary spaces into immersive and engaging educational environments. Here are some examples of how our AV techs solved learning challenges throughout the new school facility.


Osteopathic and Clinical Skills (OCS) Training Room


A 4,880 sq. ft. training lab where students practice hands-on osteopathic manipulative medicine through guided instruction. Often, their fellow cohort acts as their first "patients".

The Learning Challenge:

Instruction is taught by seeing and doing. The students watch the instructor, and then apply their skills. However, dozens of students cannot comfortably crowd around the instructor, clearly observe the technique, and rush back to their examination tables to apply their newly-learned skills. We’ve all had that experience where our line-of-sight is blocked by someone’s shoulder!


The Audiovisual Solution:

Install a multi-camera design around the instructor’s demonstration area. Position each camera to capture almost all details of the osteopathic technique. Affix 17 large display monitors with split screen capabilities around the room so that every student has full visibility of the livestream. Add controllers to the instructor’s lectern to accommodate a mix of modalities for the display monitors: they can livestream,  present a PowerPoint or demo video, or use the split screen and show both simultaneously. Install 16 speakers throughout the room so everyone can hear crisply, including ADA assistive listening technologies. Go one step further and install 6 ceiling mics so that students can call out from their workstations and be heard by the instructor! Now you have a training room that blends individual hands-on demonstrations with collaborative, engaged learning.


Mixed Reality Virtual Anatomy and Radiology Lab

A state-of-the-art space for students to use mixed reality (MR) software to learn human anatomy. Students wear MR headsets which superimpose hyper-realistic simulations onto the space around them.

The Learning Challenge:

A personalized mixed reality experience still requires group instruction. How do you manage a group of students wearing individual MR headsets while maintaining coordinated instruction? And, in situations where there are students without headsets, how do you make the experience educational while they “wait their turn”? 

Mixed reality experiences require large open spaces for freedom of movement. In buildings where square footage is a premium, it can be difficult to justify a large, single-use space.


The Audiovisual Solution:

Integrate the virtual headset content with the 14 display monitors around the room so that all students are coordinated with the instructor’s curriculum. Students not wearing headsets can still engage with the course instruction.

Additionally, design large rooms to be multi-purpose and divisible. Program the AV to be split or combined depending on if the room is being used for the whole space or two distinct rooms.


Lecture Hall

An auditorium for large groups of students to gain instruction.

The Learning Challenge:   

Teaching in a lecture hall is typically a one-way instruction. Students listen to the instructor, while the instructor typically cannot hear student questions or engage in two-way conversation. This can lead to a disengaged learning environment. 


The Audiovisual Solution:

Facilitate two-way communication through 90 unique microphones built into amphitheater tables. Every student sits on a comfortable swivel chair, with a table for their laptop or notebooks, and a mic to communicate with the instructor. 16 overhead speakers plus a two-column line array flanking the instructor delivers echo-cancelling audio. Three projectors display content on deliberately angled screens to ensure excellent visibility wherever you sit in the auditorium. Each projector can display a unique image or combined display.


Hybrid Classrooms

Classrooms designed for both on-site and remote learners.

The Learning Challenge:   

Simply put, when a hybrid environment is not “done properly”, remote learners are miserable learners. They cannot see, hear, or participate sufficiently and effectively.


The Audiovisual Solution:

Equip the classroom with audiovisual technology that enables a successful hybrid experience. Here’s how:

  • First, install a soundbar so that the remote learners can hear everything in the classroom, no matter where the instructor is standing. The instructor can be facing the whiteboard or walking to the back of the room, yet the audio clarity remains consistent for the remote learners.

  • Next, equip the in-class instructor with user-friendly and dynamic camera control. Program a touch panel on the lectern with camera presets and manual controls that switch the view from the lectern to the whiteboard, or to a wide-room view so the remote learners can always see the action.

  • Lastly, build the instructor’s lectern with robust and dynamic AV capabilities so the professor can easily plug in their laptop or use the resident PC for the classroom screen. Include streaming capabilities so that whatever is being displayed in-class also gets delivered to the remote learner.


Administrative Offices

Tech-friendly offices and conference rooms for faculty to work and collaborate.

The Learning Challenge:   

It’s a timeworn rule that if people have to press too many buttons, they will resort to using their laptops rather than taking advantage of the conferencing system.


The Audiovisual Solution:

Equip the boardroom, conferencing room, and dean’s office with user-friendly touch panels that are programmed with customized presets. Everyone from the dean down can plug-and-play. Include wireless presentation capabilities—making it press-and-play, too!

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