The School of Pharmacy at Griffith University’s innovative virtual learning environment introduce students to a whole new way of learning.
Instead of the usual teaching tools, the facility’s classroom has now been fully equipped with six seamlessly edge-blended Epson high brightness projectors, ultra-short throw interactive projectors and the very latest Moverio BT-300 augmented reality smart glasses.
Gary Grant, Griffith University deputy head says, “This cutting-edge facility is the future of technology-driven education and provides students with a truly immersive virtual environment.
The new teaching tool offers students a totally immersive and interactive experience enabling them to work in different environments including hospital and community pharmacy from anywhere in the world without ever having to leave the classroom.
Grant continues, “Students are able to completely control the pace of their learning and interact with virtual patients in more or less any environment that is relevant to their work-integrated learning needs.
“One big advantage of the new technology is to facilitate better student preparation for placements which gives both the student and their supervisor a better on-site experience.”
To get to this point Grant and his team undertook a great deal of research into the latest in AR and projection technology and how it could best serve their needs.
Grant saying, “Our research team in the School of Pharmacy was looking for a solution to easily develop and research augmented reality counselling for pharmacy students and healthcare professionals.
“The application was originally developed for the Epson Moverio BT-200, but has since moved to the BT-300 and this is now currently a part of our Master of Medical Research project.”
Grant and his team use the Moverio smartglasses linked to the Epson projectors for research and educational purposes.
Medicine containers, or “markers”, are identified using Wikitude and counselling information is augmented in the Moverio’s heads-up display.
Participants are introduced to the product and then work through a session of counselling using the augmented counselling guide that’s presented to whoever is wearing the smart glasses and those watching the edge-blended projection.
Participants then complete a technology acceptance survey to inform the re-design and refinement of the counselling guide.
The six Epson G-Series projectors in the classroom are all connected via HDMI with a single remote controller managing the entire network.
Each projector has its own dongle, LAN and WiFi transmitter so teachers can easily multi-demonstrate.
The monitors used in the teaching room are all touchscreen and the ability to switch between screens and inputs is seamless.
Grant concluded, “It really is an incredibly efficient and effective way to teach and learn.
“We can easily plug in the students’ laptops and iPads and that gives us an instant team-based learning approach."
“By using Epson’s Easy Interactive software we can annotate as we go and create a real crowd-sourcing environment."