Melbourne Business School launches new virtual classroom
Our new state-of-the-art learning space is the first of its kind for Australian higher education institutions.
Melbourne Business School is launching a new virtual classroom that will bring the physical classroom experience to online learning and executive education programs this month.
"We're excited to be able to offer next-generation learning technology, giving our learners and our partners additional choices in how, when and where they experience a premium educational experience with the School," says Dr Nora Koslowski, Chief Learning Innovation Officer.
Screens within the new learning space can host up to 84 people in life-size proportions, to allow experts and facilitators to engage with learners the same way they would in person.
"Through the virtual classroom, we can now offer the equivalent engagement and interaction found in physical classrooms, but in a much more immersive and flexible experience," says Sachin Dua, Head of Learning Spaces at Melbourne Business School.
"This new learning space lets experts see every learner, hear where a voice is coming from when a learner speaks, and cameras pivot quickly to ensure that learners can keep up with the expert.
"For learners, the virtual classroom offers a great level of interactivity and engagement, such as in-built quizzes, polling, seamless breakout spaces and collaborative whiteboards."
Benefits for organisational learning
Enabling a more authentic connection between experts, facilitators and learners has major benefits for programs including executive education courses and organisational learning initiatives, says Magnus Gittins, Chief Executive Education Officer at Melbourne Business School.
"The virtual classroom allows us to create communities and deepen connections between the brightest minds in business, adding to our proud history of providing premium, immersive, and engaging business education," Mr Gittins says.
It also helps experts and facilitators bring the energy back to their sessions – something that has been hard to replicate in traditional online and hybrid formats.
"The virtual classroom enables educators to leverage their personal style, charisma, and natural energy to create a learning experience that resonates with their audience," says Mr Dua.
"By providing tools not typically found in video conferencing systems, it fosters social connections among students, engages learners and improves collaboration and productivity."
Cutting-edge technology designed for education
Unlike standard video conferencing systems, Melbourne Business School's virtual classroom is designed specifically for education uses and prioritises the needs of educators and learners through capabilities like multiple breakout rooms, attendance and interaction tracking, teacher dashboards as well as exclusive concierge support service.
The learning space was created in partnership with Belgian technology company Barco, which develops conferencing, video display and collaboration solutions, and runs on Barco's weConnect software.
It also connects seamlessly with Miro, an online whiteboard software that allows participants to create, collaborate on and share visual materials such as diagrams, concept maps, quizzes and games.
The centrepiece of the space is a soundproof, state-of-the-art studio featuring a video wall with 14 interconnected 55-inch 4k displays, a separate 65-inch 4k vertical display, teleprompters, soundbars for directional sound, studio lights and a dedicated audio-visual booth.
To facilitate interaction, 14 full HD cameras enable participants to see the presenter's facial expression and body language in high resolution. Participants can select four different camera angles to view the lecture from.
A separate 65-inch widescreen touch display also allows presenters to write on a virtual board and share them with participants, replicating the experience of a physical whiteboard.
As well as courses and programs, the space can also be used for other learning activities such as peer coaching, brainstorming, networking, workshops and 360 feedback sessions.
For more information about the new virtual classroom, contact our custom solutions team.