a photo of the Classroom of the Future

College of Business unveils classroom of the future

CSU’s College of Business unveiled its newest classroom, designed to connect on-campus and online students in a whole new way

Equipped with a wall of 27 high-definition video screens as well as five high-end cameras, the newest classroom in Colorado State University’s College of Business is designed to connect on-campus and online students in a whole new way.

The College of Business unveiled on March 29 the “Room of the Future,” featuring Mosaic, an innovative technology–powered by mashme.io–that creates a blended classroom experience, connecting on-campus and online students in real time.

The launch marks a milestone for CSU. The College of Business is the first business school in the nation to provide this type of blended classroom experience, with three learning options:  on-campus, on-demand, and online.

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Whether students are online around the globe or in Room 118 in Rockwell Hall–West in Fort Collins, they all can share their perspectives and collaborate on projects and coursework in the classroom.

College of Business Dean Beth Walker unveiled the name of the platform with Victor Sanchez, the CEO and co-founder of mashme.io who provided a live demonstration of Mosaic.

“We chose the name Mosaic, not only to represent the tiled appearance of these 27 screens, but also our values as a community that welcomes new and varied perspectives,” Walker said. “We are all part of a beautiful Mosaic. We believe what makes us different also makes us great.”

How Mosaic works

Mosaic uses mashme.io’s video collaboration technology to mirror a live classroom by creating an immersive learning experience for both online and on-campus students.

During lectures, Mosaic enables simultaneous interactions through polls, group discussions and engagement tools for up to 88 remote students and 37 in-classroom students.

With five strategically placed cameras, online students see exactly what is going on in the classroom. The 27 video screens allow the instructor and on-campus students to have face-to-face interactions with online students.

As an instructor, “there is something really different and compelling in having your students in front of you, in ultra-high definition,” said Sanchez, adding that instructors can pick up on nonverbal cues from online students, such as facial expressions, to better meet their needs.

Sanchez said the key to Mosaic is not just its exceptional video quality, but also its low video latency, allowing for real-time interactions between online and on-campus students.

He said Mosaic is easy for instructors and students to use, offering a “frictionless experience,” adding that no software is required, only a web browser. All the instructor has to do is clip on a microphone and enter a launch code to start the class. Students open a web browser and connect to the class through a computer with a camera and microphone.

Sanchez said mashme.io developed the Room of the Future to meet the growing needs in education and improve student engagements. Mosaic’s ability to effectively connect remote participants in an immersive experience with live content makes classroom management and in-class communication possible for any size group.

During his demonstration, Sanchez moved between interacting with attendees in the classroom and users on Mosaic. Online users had the ability to virtually raise their hands by pressing a button and could even take control of the classroom visuals to make presentations and contribute to the conversation.

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“We are in the business of transforming lives, and Mosaic helps us continue that tradition,” Walker said. “Online students can collaborate, share ideas, and move concepts forward in real time. That’s the true power of Mosaic—its ability to create connection and deepen learning for students from all walks of life to make the CSU College of Business’ top-ranked business degrees attainable no matter where they may live or work.”

Legacy of innovation

CSU’s College of Business, a top-ranked accredited business school from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, has been a leader in distance learning since the 1970s.

The college pioneered video classrooms, using television cameras to broadcast courses across the state in the 1990s.

Most recently, the college has been at the forefront of online education, capturing lectures on video, which allows students to watch them online. Walker said the College of Business will continue to offer this model of online education.

As for Mosaic, Walker said the college will run a pilot program with 2019 graduate courses to perfect the student experience and ensure the technology is used with maximum impact. They anticipate making Mosaic more broadly available in 2020 and are evaluating the potential to extend access to the CSU community and beyond.

“We’ve always been a leader in the online and distance education space,” Walker said. “We’ve always been known for delivering an exceptional quality program. Mosaic invites students from all walks of life to have access to our top-ranked distance programs. Mosaic represents the future of business education. We are excited to take this next step in online learning.”

[Editor’s Note: This article was first published on the CSU College of Business website.]

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