King's College in Pennsylvania pursues excellence in teaching and learning through a rigorous core curriculum with nationally accredited professional programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In 2020, they implemented a Barco weConnect hybrid classroom that enables high-quality, flexible, digitalized and student-centered learning experiences for their students.
King’s College is a university that enrolls full-time, part-time and graduate students from over 17 states and 14 different countries. Founded in 1946 by the Congregation of Holy Cross Priests and Brothers from the University of Notre Dame, it has been dedicated to transforming both the minds and hearts of its students through the College's commitment to academic excellence, creative pedagogy, engaged mentorship, co-curricular participation, and a collaborative spirit.
The William G. McGowan School of Business is part of that commitment. Established in 1990, the AACSB International Accredited School of Business offers innovation in program development and a forward-thinking approach using cutting-edge technology.
Innovation is what helps the School remain ahead of the curve, differentiate itself in a highly competitive environment and attract students in a fast-paced, digital world.
To keep its competitive edge the decision-makers at King´s College picked a flexible virtual and hybrid Barco weConnect solution.
King’s College implemented a weConnect hybrid virtual classroom that welcomes 48 virtual students displayed by a Barco UniSee high-definition LCD video wall in the physical classroom.
A camera is strategically placed in the center of the video wall, capturing the instructor and the 24 onsite students split into 4 pods.
This way, remote students and onsite participants can see each other and enjoy a shared, common experience, no matter their location. The setup gives online students in particular the feeling of being in the physical classroom together with their peers.
It´s also convenient for instructors, who do not have to switch between online and offline audiences and can see all students, in life size, face-to-face or on screen. ´It’s as if every student is in the front row of the classroom. ´ said Raymond Pryor (Managing Director of User Services, King’s College).
In addition to the large video wall displaying remote participants, there is also a screen installed in each pod. This way, remote and onsite participants are perfectly able to engage in in-depth discussion and quality group work.
The hybrid classroom technology creates a real-time collaborative environment that’s designed for sharing ideas, while active participation is encouraged with polls and quizzes.
Pryor states: 'Students can raise their hands or participate in real-time polling as if they’re in a face-to-face classroom.'
Tara Shawver (Chair, Kearney & Company Department of Accounting) adds 'As a professor, the technology that's most important to me is one that increases student interest in my course. So using the collaboration modes in the classroom allows my students to talk out problems. It builds teambuilding, critical thinking. It allows us to explore topics more deeply.'
Robert Pryor concurs: ´The great thing is, four or five faculty members are using the room and they’re all using it a little differently,´ Pryor says. ´They have the flexibility to be creative and deliver their content in a unique way to the students.´
And what are the students saying? They are just as content with the solution. Hannah Marvin, (Accounting & Finance major) shares her experience:
´It was really seamless when we went virtual with this room because you didn't miss a beat. You saw your professor. You saw your PowerPoints and you saw everybody else and then the breakout rooms on top of it. You really had a normal class setting and then when we jumped back into going in-class, it was like nothing changed. ´