Seattle University Exploits Cameras for Training

Seattle University employs 11 Canon VC-C1 communication cameras for viewing and recording counseling/teaching sessions between teachers and students in its counselor training program.

According to School of Education Professor Hutch Haney, response to the training facility has been overwhelmingly positive in light of the flexibility it affords faculty and students.

 "We've built a new clinic and will soon have three times as many cameras installed in the facility," reported Haney. "They've enabled much greater flexibility for our staff. Teachers can watch any number of counseling sessions at the same time. They don't have to be in each room to participate in the sessions."

The Facility

The Counseling Center has eight clinical rooms: three larger-sized rooms and five smaller rooms. Two Canon VC-C1 communication cameras are in smoked-glass domes on the larger rooms' ceilings, with the smaller rooms configured the same way, but with only one VC-C1 camera.

A main viewing center for instructors has a station to view each room. Instructors can thus watch any of the clinical rooms from a central location. A 42-inch video monitor, LCD touchpanel system, and two VCRs are installed in the instructor's viewing station. The instructor can press the touchscreen to view and/or talk to anyone in any of the eight rooms.

Counseling students monitor sessions from eight student viewing stations and observe the coaching from instructors. The touchpanel controls audio volume, movement of the VC-C1, and VCR functions.
Each of the eight student viewing stations has a 27-inch video monitor, two VCRs, an LCD touchpanel control system and three audio headsets. VCRs tape sessions in progress. Two tapes are generated after counseling sessions, one for the student "counselor" and one for the instructor.

Why the VC-1

The system was installed by Electronic Image Systems (EIS), a systems integration company, in Bellevue, Wash.. According to Ted Doyle, EIS Education Systems Manager, the VC-C1's built-in ability to pan, tilt, zoom and focus put it far ahead of competing products considered for this system.

"Most cameras of this type require separate pan/tilt/zoom mechanisms. Three separate pieces creates too much bulk for an installation of this type. The VC-C1 is easily hidden within the ceiling dome, and its pan/tilt mechanism is very quiet and unobtrusive. The camera is also very cost effective. Purchasing a separate pan/tilt/zoom mechanism and a separate camera doubles the cost.

"Now they [instructors and students] can view, hear, have conversations with, and tape session participants. The level of communication has been elevated to an entirely new, interactive level."

For more on the VC-C1, call Canon Visual Communication Systems Division at (516) 328-5960.
(condensed, from Canon Visual Communications' case history)

This article originally appeared in the 08/01/1997 issue of THE Journal.