Video-connected learning spaces are becoming a prerequisite for teaching and learning success in many educational institutions. Whether courses are 100% remote, hybrid, hyflex, or in person, seamless video and audio connectivity allow instructors to share content with ease, connect in real time with students and guest speakers, and create a dynamic educational experience.
Zoom Rooms, our software-based room system, helps schools and universities create an intuitive hybrid classroom experience. With integrated audio, video, and wireless screen sharing, Zoom Rooms paves the way for educational institutions to build innovative spaces that connect students with learning in new ways.
CS50, also known as Introduction to Computer Science, is frequently the largest course on Harvard University’s campus. The course is also freely available as OpenCourseWare to anyone online at cs50.edx.org. Taught by David J. Malan, Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science at Harvard, the course is known for its interactivity and high level of production so students learning online feel as much a part of the classroom as those in person.
Malan and his colleagues built their first virtual classroom with Zoom to teach synchronous online classes in 2018. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they improved upon their initial design and implemented Zoom Rooms to create a multi-screen setup in order to see more students on Gallery View, with a camera set above the middle screen. During class, when a student raises their hand to speak, Malan’s colleague pins that student to the middle screen and Malan focuses on speaking to the camera, meeting the student’s eyeline and recreating the feeling of a one-on-one conversation. Check out Malan’s virtual classroom tour on YouTube for a deeper dive into the setup.
Adopting a hybrid approach at Portland State University
When students at Portland State University (PSU) registered for the Fall 2021 semester, several courses offered a new hybrid learning model, in which students could choose to attend their classes in person or remotely on any given day, giving them greater flexibility over their schedule.
Federal COVID-19 relief grants provided funding for PSU to deploy what the university calls Zoom Classrooms — teaching spaces powered by Zoom Rooms and outfitted with an external microphone, document camera, and room controller. With more than 130 Zoom Classrooms at PSU, faculty can easily start a video class session and share content with students. PSU also created video tutorials and guides to help faculty with using the new technology.
Designing Smart Classrooms at La Salle-Ramon Llull University Campus Barcelona
During the pandemic, La Salle-Ramon Llull University Campus Barcelona introduced Smart Learning, a flexible educational model that incorporates face-to-face, hybrid, and online learning options depending on the needs of students and faculty.
La Salle deployed 60 Smart Classrooms on campus, using Zoom Rooms to create an integrated and dynamic teaching and learning experience. Each Smart Classroom includes a sound system with advanced microphone arrays for clear classroom sound; cameras with auto-framing capabilities to track faculty members’ movements; and a digital whiteboard with the ability to co-annotate, save, and send content.
“[With Zoom,] you can have presence on campus or presence off campus. Students can decide what they prefer, and the experience is almost the same being here as being at home,” said Josep Maria Ribes, director of academic affairs at La Salle. “We feel that everybody is part of the same group and can interact easily.”