Representatives from Broward College spoke at UBTech 2016 about integrating Solstice into their new science building. UBTech is an annual that highlights emerging trends in the IT and AV industries and how they are being used on higher education campuses.
Michael Pullin, the Associate Dean of Science, Dave Peters, the Campus Technology offer, and Neil Mulchan, a Professor of Physics, shared the floor for this presentation to cover the full deployment experience from market research through to how the system is used today.
Pullin’s primary goal for the campus’s new science building was to use active learning to increase student success. He pointed out that in general, students struggle with introductory science courses and that 1/3 of students do not pass these gateway courses. While other factors come into play, student engagement is shown to be significant when it comes to success rate and active learning techniques can increase a class’s success rate from 60-70% to 70-85%. Pullin recommended the new classrooms include collaborative technology to better serve their students.
Peters was then tasked with finding the best content collaboration solution. It was important to stakeholders that the technology enable students to use their own devices to stream any kind of content, including videos, website, and the camera on their phone. Moderation was also a necessity for this application, which disqualified several solutions. Solstice’s moderator mode allows the instructor to preview every piece of content shared to a display before it goes live, so Peters recommended Solstice as the ideal content sharing solution.
Mulchan teaches in Solstice-enabled rooms in the new building, and actively uses the collaboration platform to encourage student engagement. He acknowledges that technology is so ubiquitous that students are going to use their phones and laptops in class, so he has decided to use this as a way to keep his students actively immersed and engaged in real time with the lecture. He commonly has the class tackle a problem in small groups then discuss the results with the rest of the class by taking a picture of their work with their phone and sharing the image to the display. Mulchan sees the benefits of a BYOD classroom solution in every lecture.
The video also discusses the way deploying Solstice encouraged true collaboration between the academics and the IT department, and how Solstice is a solution that would be scalable even with budget restrictions once other departments see what a big difference a great BYOD collaboration solution can make in student success.