Modesto Junior College

AV Installation for Medical Simulation Classrooms - Modesto, CA


Modesto Junior College, one of the oldest community colleges in the state of California, serves more than 18,000 students and more than 8,000 community participants who take advantage of the Community Education Program.

In the nursing program students get a chance to try out new techniques on high-fidelity human patient simulators rather than live patients. That’s why, at Glacier Hall, the new allied health building for Modesto Junior College in California, and at the Redbud building at Columbia College in Sonora, the simulation center is at the core of nursing education.

Because patient simulation is so important to this nursing program, the SIM center at Modesto, includes four simulated hospital rooms. Each has a single bed and a human patient simulator. There’s also an observation/control room and a debriefing room.

In addition to the human patient simulators, the patient rooms each include: three pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) cameras and a ceiling-mounted microphone to record the exercises; a simulator microphone and speaker so that the instructor, acting as the patient, can speak to the nurse; an LED monitor to display vital signs; and an intercom system that allows instructors and students to interact.

Normally student nurses work in teams of four, practicing the various responsibilities of patient care and reacting quickly should an emergency occur. “It’s important to understand, however, that as interesting as the simulation exercises may be, it’s the debriefing where the real learning takes place,” explains Scotty Gonser, Instructional Suppor tSpecialist for the district’s Allied Health Department.

Because the debriefings are so critical, they are recorded on video, along with the corresponding exercises. Later on, the appropriate students will be able to review the instructor’s advice and their own reactions, and that, too, can reinforce learning.

Similarly, the support staff records all of the lectures students attend, whether they attend in person or via video. “The Sonora cohorts receive pretty much all of their classroom instruction via teleconferencing,” Gonser explains. “It saves them 113 miles of roundtrip travel, making it possible for many to attend who otherwise couldn’t. And of course all of the students have the benefit of reviewing the recorded material.”

Design Goal

There were a number of people involved in the planning of Glacier Hall; the architect, TBP Architecture of Newport Beach, the technology consultant, Charles M. Salter Associates of San Francisco, and CompView, who supplied the AV equipment and handled the engineering, installation and programming.


CompView’s Systems Integration Manager, recommended the Cisco C60 codec for use in two 100-seat lecture halls and two video conferencing classrooms in Modesto. Mark Jones of KBZ, a leading Cisco distributor who worked with CompView to supply the Cisco products, says the C60 includes a multisite bridge to make it possible to bring in guest lecturers or groups in addition to the ones at Sonora. A year later CompView’s technology team in Beaverton recommended the Cisco C40 codec for two video conferencing classrooms in Sonora. In addition, the district’s technology staff installed two servers with the Cisco Show and Share webcasting and video sharing application. These devices record the teleconferenced classes and make them available online.

“Our use of Cisco systems is all about reliability and support,” Gonser explains. “If one of my technicians calls with a problem he can’t solve, I can fix it from anywhere, whether I’m at my desk, online at Starbucks or attending a trade show.”

Dusold says the use of Extron IPL 250 control systems is also crucial to the success of the program. Instructors can operate the presentation systems from 3.5” Extron TLP 350MV touchpanels mounted in the front of each classroom or lecture hall, while technicians handle the video conferencing and recording systems using 7” TLP 700MV panels in the back.

In the classrooms, Extron DXP HDMI-series matrix switchers provide all of the presentation source switching plus camera switching. In the lecture halls, sources include a ceiling-mounted PTZ camera used to capture demonstrations on a human patient simulator. Of course all of these images are included in a video conference and captured with the recording system.

“We’re a huge Extron house,” Gonser adds. A big reason is the district’s use of the Extron Global Viewer to remotely monitor and, if necessary, control classroom and SIM center systems as well as keeping track of maintenance items such as lamp life. “It’s just amazing that, wherever I may be, I can login to a classroom system and help the instructor if he has any kind of problem.”

Strong support

The budget was not unlimited, so Gonser decided to design and install the SIM center systems in Sonora using his in-house technology team. One change he made was to use Vaddio OneLINK controllers with Cisco Precision HD PTZ cameras in the classrooms and lecture halls. OneLINK simplifies installation by using a single Cat 5e cable to carry high-definition video, AC power and control.

In the SIM labs, he used Vaddio PTZ cameras with their ProductionVIEW HD controller, Vaddio Quick-Connect and Cat 5e wiring. Gonser says he saw no loss of quality or operational speed compared with the cameras and controllers used in the older setups.

Gonser said the support he received from Compview was a major factor in making the in-house installation possible. “For example, the day before we had our grand opening at Sonora, I had an issue with a microphone. I called the CompView project manager and he had a technician waiting for me outside the building at 5 a.m.

“Another time, we had our DNS server go down and the CompView programmer walked me through how I could use the Extron switcher manually so our classes could run.”

Based on these experiences, Gonser continues to use CompView for all of his AV technology needs. When the district opened a new Science Community Center at Modesto Junior College, which includes labs, lecture halls and a science museum, CompView was the technology integrator.

Project Summary


3-PTZ cameras, ceiling-mounted microphone, simulator microphone and speaker, record and streaming – 4 hospital simulation rooms; LED monitor; intercom system – observation control room;debriefing room


Classrooms, Meeting Rooms


Education, Healthcare
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