Audiovisual team updates 21 classrooms this summer

For some, summer might be a time to ease up on the accelerator, but for information technology services' audiovisual experience team (AVXT) manager Mike Pedersen, it is the busy season. This summer a team of seven employees updated technology in 21 of the 209 general university classrooms.

Need help?

Instructors with questions about learning technology or who would like an individualized training session can contact the audiovisual experience team at 4-9063 or email

Each room received a new audio video switcher with built-in control processors and amplifiers, new projector and touch panel to control equipment. Some rooms were updated to Level 1 equipment while others received Level 2. The biggest differences are Level 1 service offers a pan/tilt/zoom camera and microphone and the ability to record lectures while Level 2 rooms have web cameras. The updates ensure instructors are familiar with technology and can connect to it in a timely manner even if they teach in different buildings across campus.

"We focused on mostly smaller projects in general university classrooms," Pedersen said. "They were a lot of rooms that had not been updated in some time."

In addition to the 21 rooms updated by the AVXT, five others were updated by a contractor and adjusted by the team to the university standard. Four of the 26 updates occurred in larger lecture rooms: 1002 and 1352 Gilman, 0118 Horticulture and 0171 Durham.

Staying on schedule

The AVXT had to work efficiently because summer is the only time besides winter break it can get into rooms without disrupting classes.

"I keep a running list of all of the general university classrooms and the last time we knew they were updated. It's something that is never complete, but we try to update the technology, " said Pederson, who noted at least 21 rooms must be updated each year to ensure it occurs in each general classroom once every 10 years.

AVXT member Dan Brauer said to update the 21 classrooms before fall semester begins the team had to complete had to complete either two Level 2 classrooms or one Level 1 each week. It gave it about a week's worth of wiggle room. One of the reasons the team could work so efficiently is because supply chain issues are finally easing since the heights of the pandemic, Pederson said.

Always be planning

Pedersen maintains a spreadsheet of all general classrooms and will begin planning for the next round of updates as soon as the academic year begins. During the first few weeks of the semester, AVXT will shift from technology installation to troubleshooting with instructors -- in all general university classrooms. 

When classes are in session, the AVXT does a significant amount of fee-for-service work. That includes updating audiovisual components in conference rooms and other spaces.