AV-based training rooms have significantly improved communication between trainees and trainers while encouraging large-scale engagement and knowledge retention. It has been proven in many studies that people learn faster from visual content as compared to voice or text. This means that effective training rooms should be able to engage the attention of attendees visually and by using clear and easy-to-understand audio.
At present, there are numerous AV solutions that can help faculty to deliver precise and engaging training content to their audiences.
Basic Elements of Effective Training Rooms:
As we know training rooms are spaces which need to create an environment for rich two-way communication between trainers and trainees (or faculty and students). From the trainer’s perspective, there is a need for powerful teaching tools that are intuitive enough to be used without interrupting the flow of their teaching process or methodology. From the perspective of the participants, the learning experience needs to have a combination of the right content to make the subject easier to understand and enable interactivity so they can engage the faculty to clarify potential doubts. Therefore, any technology embedded in this space should have a common goal – making two-way communication more effective.
Creating an effective AV-based training room on a budget can be challenging, so we’ll discuss some ways in which you can approach this (for a 30 seat room).
Generally, these audiovisual solutions can involve a hefty cost. However, you can upgrade your premises with a high-tech AV training space (let’s say 30-seater), on a budget. You need to begin by focusing on your ‘needs’ instead of the ‘wants’ while planning it.
1. Install a Large, high-quality Digital Display which ensures content visibility and clarity for every participant:
The room display is probably the most important part of the modern training room, both because of the effectiveness of visual information in the learning process and because it becomes the focal point of the room. In the absence of an effective display, it becomes difficult for some participants to keep up with the session, or to understand what is being said.
In order to make the training room affordable, you can opt for a multimedia projector instead of LED displays. This is a more cost-effective alternative to large LED displays and can easily project images of up to 120” sizes. Choose a high-resolution projector if you have detailed content in your training sessions. Also, look carefully at your projector’s brightness — higher brightness can lead to better performance in rooms with higher ambient lighting. A good wall-mounted projection screen is a worthwhile investment that can enhance image quality.
2. Incorporate powerful and flexible video conferencing with Soft VC codecs:
Over the past few years, there has been a shift in how training sessions are conducted — with sessions increasingly incorporating instructors from remote locations. This is now possible in an affordable way with soft VC codec based systems. These systems require less expensive hardware and offer many useful features that enhance training sessions. High-definition (HD) audio and video are supported, and trainers (and well as trainees can access sessions from a variety of devices.
Video conferencing is a powerful tool because it lets you bring back nonverbal cues into a conversation, to aid in better interpretation and memorization of instructions. Distance learning sessions can also be supported by this kind of video conferencing solution, with remote students participating in a class where another set of participants and the faculty is physically present.
Organizations that require lower upfront costs along with the ability to conduct conferences from anywhere are generally recommended as a soft codec-based solution like Zoom, Webex or Skype for Business. Both faculty and students are able to join learning sessions with different devices, including tablets, smartphones, and laptops. Other benefits of these codecs include compatibility, flexibility and cloud integration.
3. Include Recording and Streaming functionality and Highlighting and annotation tools
The quality of experience in training sessions for remote participants and when remote faculty is involved can be enhanced further with the availability of certain features. Look for features that can help enhance the learning experience for students and make life easier for the faculty. Highlighting and annotation tools are very useful in this regard, as they help bring attention to the content that is more critical to the learning process.
Recording and streaming features are possibly even more useful to learning organizations, as they allow a session to be shared with a larger audience. People who missed a session can view recordings to see what they missed, and streaming is another way to involve participants who cannot be physically present.
3. Enhance room Audio Performance (for both nearside and farside participants):
In a training space, smartly-positioned speakers and microphones can ensure that there is good audibility so that both participants and the instructor are able to converse without strain. If adequate care is not taken to ensure this, there will be a drop in audio quality. This, in turn, will cause listeners to lose their ability to follow instructions and other important information.
For a budget training space, there are various audio solutions available. Audibility of the trainer and participants can be improved with the use of hand-held microphones, which are inexpensive and perform fairly well.
4. Make better connectivity options available
The best way to design a training room is to put the instructor and the imparted knowledge at the heart of everything, from how they attend the session, to the way that they connect to and control the room.
For the budget training room connectivity, you need an audio-video hub, which provides a fast, smart, and cost-effective means of connecting several sources to a single display. These hubs feature a matrix switcher, which can send a video, audio, and control signal to any display. Other than this, they are capable of transmitting 4Kx2K@60Hz 4:2:0 & 1080p 3D with a built-in GUI for TCP/IP control. There are several platforms that have in their store what you’re looking for, i.e. advanced, interactive yet affordable connectivity solutions.
Fitting your needs for training technology into a budget requires a tight focus on identifying the impact areas given the training methodology being applied. The comfort of the trainer in using the tools is another important aspect to consider for the best return on your investment.
While more elaborate training rooms often incorporate additional elements — like a high-tech control system, smart lighting, and high-end microphones —these may not be essential for your institution, organization or enterprise. It’s now quite possible to achieve most of your training goals using more affordable training solutions and on a pretty affordable budget.