The University of Central Florida (UCF) is home to more than 66,000 students, and is a thriving preeminent research institution located on multiple campuses throughout the region. UCF prides itself on providing its students with the highest quality education through a diverse faculty and access to the most current and innovative technology. For more than 16 years, and as educational institutions have become more reliant on advanced presentation systems and new ways of teaching are introduced, the university has become more reliant on Crestron for solutions across a variety of spaces.
At UCF, Don Merritt, Director of the Office of Instructional Resources (OIR), and his team are responsible for managing more than 750 spaces including lecture halls, event spaces, labs, active learning classrooms, and more. For this to be doable, they needed to streamline the integration process and eliminate the learning curve for users. The AV system in each room needed to be flexible, easy-to-use, and provide everyone who enters a room a consistent and familiar user experience.
As OIR continues to transform standard classrooms into active learning environments, the ability to scale and deploy additional technology is imperative. DM® NVX provides the perfect solution. It distributes secure 4K video over standard 1Gb Ethernet with maximum flexibility and scalability. “I’m excited about our adoption of DM NVX,” says Merritt. “It allows me and my team to deploy more technology across campus using our existing infrastructure.” DM NVX ensures that OIR can perform a fast and seamless deployment every time.
The ability to stream content more easily than ever before has opened doors to new ways of communicating with students and faculty. OIR is planning to design an emergency broadcasting system that will use DM NVX to share and distribute messaging to displays campus-wide.
With DM NVX, Don and his team have been able to move to a centralized approach to deploying and managing technology, while providing students and faculty with a consistent user experience in every room and space.
To get a detailed picture of how rooms and technology are used across the campus, Don and his team use Crestron occupancy sensors in each room in combination with Crestron Fusion® enterprise management software. This provides actionable data that enables the team to optimize room and technology usage, and help minimize energy consumption.
To provide faculty members the ability to collaborate effortlessly using Skype® for Business, OIR will be deploying Crestron Mercury® in every meeting space on campus. Crestron Mercury is an all-in-one UC and AV tabletop solution that enables users to simply plug in their laptop and take advantage of all the benefits of any video conferencing service immediately. In addition, each meeting space will feature a Crestron room scheduling touch screen. Mounted just outside the door, the touch screens give staff the ability to quickly check availability and book rooms on the spot.
The touch screens natively support a broad set of third-party partners in the industry, so OIR can choose the scheduling provider that best meets their operational needs. By developing a standard built on Crestron technology, Don and his team are able to easily introduce new AV solutions throughout the university. Additionally, Crestron provides the flexibility needed to easily fulfill requests from professors to customize the technology and accommodate a specific course or teaching style. “We would not be able to complete as many rooms as we did without switching to DM NVX. It truly lightened the load of equipment in a single room by simplifying our designs.” Don Merritt Director of the Office of Instructional Resources University of Central Florida.
"Our faculty should not have to think about how to work the technology in the room,” says Merritt. “They should have the ability to come into the room, immediately connect their Device, and begin their meeting or presentation.”
By standardizing on Crestron, faculty and students enjoy a consistent user experience in all types of rooms across every UCF campus, thereby reducing the learning curve and maximizing learning time.
Inside the UCF Global Computer Lab, there are multiple huddle spaces where students can efficiently collaborate with one another. The university is also building multiple active learning classrooms where students can experience a traditional lecture and easily break off into small groups with access to their own displays. The university’s Teaching Academy features multiple breakout rooms where faculty can record the students while they’re teaching a class and then work one-on-one with them.
“One of the things that really makes me comfortable with Crestron is the level of support, cooperation, and exploration we’ve gotten from their staff. When we come up with crazy ideas, the Crestron folks have been willing to help us figure out how to make crazy work. Knowing that we have someone that can be that partner and meet the ever-changing needs that get thrown at us puts us at ease,” adds Merritt.
“Standardizing on Crestron allowed us to establish and maintain the level of consistency we were looking to achieve as we continuously integrate custom AV solutions throughout all of our campuses." says Merritt. UCF is committed to making sure their students and faculty have the resources they need to achieve their academic and professional goals.