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Challenger Institute of Technology is based in the Perth south west metropolitan region of Western Australia. It provides training at seventeen locations along the coastline south of Perth, from Fremantle south to the Peel region and inland to Murdoch. Challenger offers nationally recognised and industry endorsed qualifications, including apprenticeship and traineeship training, as well as customised and short courses for commercial clients. Internationally, the Institute is increasing its service delivery and reputation through commercial and workforce development contracts in countries such as United Arab Emirates, Chile, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

Challenger’s Murdoch Campus is located in a health and education precinct with Murdoch University, the Fiona Stanley Hospital and St John of God Hospital. Challenger has recently completed a new state-of-the-art nursing facility at Murdoch that includes an actual nursing ward complete with three SimMan simulators. Challenger’s Peel campus is located in Mandurah, which is approximately 70 kilometres south of the Murdoch campus. Challenger has partnerships with community learning centres at Boddington, Waroona and Mundijong in the Peel region.

St John of God Hospital Murdoch (SJGHM) is a private health campus with 357 beds, a 24-hour emergency department, palliative care hospice and a wide range of clinical and diagnostic services including medical, surgical, paediatric, oncology, obstetric and critical and coronary care. SJGHM and Challenger have an well-established partnership and jointly deliver health services assistance, enrolled nursing and advanced diploma courses.

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This project trialled innovative programs using high capacity connections.

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The main objective of this project was to implement a delivery model that incorporated a live, remote classroom option for aged care students at Challenger’s Peel Campus and throughout the Peel region.

The basis of the delivery model was live video streaming of simulations, using the high-end clinical simulator (the SimMan) at Murdoch Campus, to aged care students at the Peel Campus. Cameras captured the skill demonstrations at Murdoch and web-conferencing technology streamed these sessions live to the students in Peel. The web-conferencing technology facilitated two-way communication, so that the Peel students were able to participate in real time, asking questions and participating in discussions.

The project also established the technology requirements for an interactive broadcast delivery model, and the skills needed by lecturers, Information Systems support staff and students.



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The project team consisted of staff from Information Systems, Nursing and Aged Care Training Services and Organisational Learning and Development. We also had a representative from St John of God Hospital Murdoch.
Kerry Donovan
Director Hospitality and Human Services
Annelieske Noteboom
Project Manager, Hospitality and Human Services
Jenni Hull & Sharon Stewart
Coordinator/Lecturer Aged Care
Julie Ogle & Julie Manning
Lecturer/Coordinator Nursing
Natasha Ferris
Nurse Educator, St John of God Hospital Murdoch
Damon Wallace
Project Officer Learning Technologies
Glenn Robinson
Director Information Systems
Nick Eoannidis
Technical Infrastructure Architecture
Martin Gillespie
Manager ICT Operations
Andrew Gallop
Computer Systems Analyst

With the knowledge of what we wanted to achieve, the IS Director, together with the Learning Technologies Officer carried out extensive research for the best technical solution. Team members approached the pilot with high expectations that we would achieve our goal of live streaming from Murdoch Campus to Peel Campus.

Live video streaming has been a consideration at Challenger for some time, in part because of the student cohort living in the Peel region. Peel is a fast growing area with many of its population living outside of the City of Mandurah. The choice of project was influenced by several factors; the rollout of NBN in the Peel region, the opening of the new nursing section at Murdoch campus, the recently approved WA State Government funding for a community services building at the Peel Campus, skills shortages in the aged and healthcare sectors and the need to offer Peel students greater flexibility in their learning.

The project team members had no prior experience with this type of delivery model since this is the first time that it has been piloted at Challenger Institute. However, the Information Systems staff have technical expertise with high speed broadband and the lecturing and learning technologies staff have expertise in elearning, including learning management systems and web conferencing. The two nursing lecturers also have extensive expertise in simulations using our wireless SimMan.

Therefore, as a team we had expertise in the range of areas required for this project and, as we progressed through the pilot, we were able to deal with hardware, software and delivery issues as they arose.

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Setting up the project included establishing the team, identification of the student cohort to engage in the pilot and acquiring appropriate hardware and software.

An initial team was established and new members joined as the project progressed. Similarly, individual team members were active at varying stages in the project. The team had representatives from information systems, learning and development and training services.

Identification of the student cohort involved discussions with the Community Services Program Manager, and the Aged Care coordinator and lecturer. Challenger has, for many years, delivered a successful Nursing/Aged Care Career Combo at Peel Campus, in partnership with Murdoch University. In this course the students study Certificates III/IV in Aged Care as well as some university nursing units, which then gives them a pathway to the nursing degree course at Murdoch University’s Peel Campus. Since we planned to stream live demonstrations of simulations from our Murdoch nursing section to Peel, we decided that these Nursing/Aged Care combo students were the most suitable for the pilot. The students and their lecturer were very receptive to the concept.

Since the Institute did not have the streaming and associated technology needed for the project, the initial task for the IS Director and the Learning Technologies Officer was to carry out some research. Challenger has access to a trial of WebEx technology, a web conferencing system, as part of its Cisco phone system contract. Challenger also has access to Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate). However, two of the main advantages of WebEx over Blackboard are ease of managing recorded videos and streaming to mobile devices. Therefore, the IS Director and the Learning Technologies Officer concluded that the best solution was Cisco WebEx.

WebEx allowed us to share the desktop through a web browser, which is how we were able to stream the live demonstration as a video through to remote users. WebEx also allowed us to record the demonstration video and store it in a reusable format, for example in YouTube. Finally, we were able to test the streaming on iPads and other mobile devices.

The SimMan simulator system consists of the wireless manikin, two tablet PCs to remotely control and monitor the simulator, video and audio cameras and the AVS PC, which receives the video signal from the cameras. This video is then streamed to remote participants via WebEx’s desktop sharing. The instructor tablet PC and AVS PC are in the control room, which overlooks the clinical training room containing the SimMan. In February the Laerdal technician installed all of the SimMan technology and trained Nursing and IS staff to use it.

NBN rollout has commenced in several localities in the Peel region, and the rollout for Murdoch is due to start within one year. Challenger’s broadband capacity is 20 Mbps (upload/download) for Murdoch Campus and 50 Mbps (upload/download) for Peel Campus. The broadband connection is through the Government Wideband IP (Telstra). Therefore, the Institute’s Internet connection is via the Department of Training and Workforce Development’s servers.

After initial WebEx training with Cisco’s trainer, our first streaming trial was at the end of March. The trial was a success in that the video of the demonstration played smoothly on desktop computers, laptops and iPads and WebEx itself was easy to use. The video also streamed successfully to the Cisco representative in Sydney. However, the audio from the cameras was not being relayed to the AVS PC.

Ordering, installing and testing the audio equipment delayed the project so that by the time this was done, the Nursing/Aged Combo students were on clinical work placement and weren’t able to participate in the project. This required a change of student group, lecturer and schedule. Our pilot group was now the Certificate III Aged Care students who were also on placement but returned to campus on Tuesdays for classwork.

During our second trial we streamed to the classroom in Peel. The setup in the classroom consists of a television set attached to the wall and the laptop with microphone and separate speakers. The video streamed successfully but the audio still was not working. We also had difficulties with setting up the laptop and speakers.

Our third trial, with the audio technician and the IS staff, was successful. We were now ready to stream live to the Peel Aged Care students.

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Our final live streaming trial to the students occurred when Perth and the South West was experiencing wet, stormy weather. The day before the trial the Peel Campus was closed because of power failure due to storm damage and we had a few anxious moments wondering if the trial would go ahead as planned.

The team at Murdoch Campus included three IS staff and two nursing staff. At Peel, with the Aged Care students, were the Director Hospitality and Human Services, Project Manager, Learning Technologies Officer, three Aged Care Lecturers and an IS technician. We were fully supported by IS and lecturing staff.

After some initial problems connecting the equipment in Peel (TV screen, laptop, microphone and speakers) and getting the audio to work in Murdoch, the streaming went ahead. A graduating Enrolled Nursing student demonstrated the functions of the SimMan and the nursing lecturer responded to questions from the students.

Generally, the video image was clear and smooth, however the audio lacked clarity, which may have been due to the quality of the speakers. The interaction between the demonstrator and the students occurred through the AVS PC, which is in the control room. This is not ideal, as the remote students should have been able to interact with the demonstrator when she is in the clinical laboratory with the SimMan. However, we anticipated that this would be the case because we had not resolved the problem of direct, real time, two-way communication during the demonstration.

The students were fully engaged in the demonstration, were extremely interested in the SimMan, and asked intelligent questions. When asked if they thought that streamed SimMan demonstrations would enhance their learning, their unanimous response was ‘yes’.

This final trial demonstrated to us that streaming live video across Challenger’s campuses is viable, even with our current, pre-NBN broadband speeds.

This delivery model of streaming live demonstrations via video across Challenger’s campuses and to more remotely located students requires ongoing costs for continued research into streaming technologies, the associated hardware and software and staff training requirements. Future cost savings may occur if the model is streamlined to enable sharing of staff expertise and equipment via high speed Internet.
Skills developed by team members in the course of the project were many.
  1. Cooperation and understanding between Information Systems staff, lecturers, elearning specialists and training services managers and coordinators was enhanced.
  2. The Information Systems staff gained a greater understanding of issues relating to delivery using learning technologies. Lecturing and training services managers also improved their understanding of technology and what has to be done to make it function in a training environment. There was a transfer of skills between the lecturers and the technology specialists.
  3. Peel and Murdoch Campuses are approximately 70 km apart and, as often happens because of the distance and busy working lives, the Nursing and Aged Care lecturers struggle to share information about their courses and delivery methods. As a result of their participation in this project communication has increased and the lecturers can see the potential for ongoing sharing through high speed Internet.
  4. The Nursing and Aged Care lecturers knowledge, skills and understanding of clinical simulations, live streaming and student issues when engaging in elearning has increased. They also have greater awareness of ongoing professional development requirements, both for themselves and for their lecturing colleagues.
  5. Participation in this project has been invaluable for the Training Services and Information Systems Directors. They gained a better understanding of the skills, time and costs involved in implementing and managing high-end technologies for this type of delivery.
  6. Challenger has positioned its technology infrastructure to enable a ‘connect with your own device’ culture in which staff and students can bring their own device (smart phone, iPad/android, laptop) to campus and connect to the Institute web and email services. This project has helped developed our understanding of the technology and skills needed to live broadcast to mobile devices.

NBN and high-speed broadband has huge potential benefits to Challenger Institute of Technology. Challenger’s Peel campus has partnerships with community learning centres in Boddington, Waroona and Mundijong in the Peel region. The Mandurah Campus is co-located with John Tonkin College and Murdoch University. One of the goals of the three Institutes is to promote a model of seamless education. There is also a focus on keeping people learning and working in the region, which has resulted in a growing demand at the Peel campus for nursing, community services, aged care, education and hospitality courses.

This project is the first stage in determining and testing technology needed for two-way communication and has prepared the Institute to maximise use of NBN for high speed real-time delivery to students in all of these locations. This delivery model also encourages sharing of facilities, equipment and staff using the high speed Internet connections. Students and lecturers in Peel will gain access to the sophisticated SimMan simulation technology in Murdoch through live demonstrations. The ability to record and store live demonstrations in an accessible video format is an added bonus. Students will be able view the videos in their own time and using their own hardware.

Although based in Fremantle, Challenger is a widely dispersed organisation with campuses north to Applecross, east to Murdoch and south to Mandurah. Whilst this project was a pilot with this cohort of Aged Care/Nursing students at the Mandurah campus, this model of streaming live video is applicable to other disciplines in the Institute.

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Overall, the actual project outcomes matched the proposed outcomes. In this project we:
  1. captured clinical skills demonstrations using the SimMan simulator at Murdoch Campus and streamed it live to Aged Care students at Peel Campus.
  2. identified technology, infrastructure and personnel requirements for implementing this delivery model of interactive live streaming.
  3. identified professional development requirements for managers, lecturers and information systems staff.
  4. identified skills and technology requirements for students engaging in this type of delivery.

These outcomes were identified and measured as we undertook the project and the actual trial with the students. As we progressed through project team members
  1. researched the appropriate technology.
  2. engaged experts to setup and help us learn to use the technology. This included the Laerdahl technician who spent two days setting up the SimMan, the CISCO representative who met with us in several WebEx sessions, and the audio technicians who setup the audio equipment.
  3. trialled the Webex/SimMan scenario several times, which identified issues with the technology that needed fixing.
  4. delivered the pilot to the students and sought their feedback on the usefulness or otherwise of live streaming.

Therefore, through experiment, observation and discussion we identified and addressed issues and made recommendations for ongoing implementation of streaming technologies.

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7.1 What were the key successes and what would you do differently?

One of the key successes of this project is that it illustrated the potential of implementing a reasonably sophisticated delivery model using high speed Internet access. With Challenger’s current system of accessing the Internet via the Western Australian Department of Training and Workforce Development (which uses Telstra’s Wideband IP) the streamed video was of a good enough quality for students to receive effective instruction in the clinical activity.

The project highlighted issues that must be addressed for the successful, ongoing implementation of interactive video streaming at Challenger.

These issues relate to infrastructure, personnel, professional development, student readiness, time and costs.

The project was a pilot and our approach was to plan key stages and then undertake the required tasks to complete each stage. As we progressed we encountered issues, which we addressed, and then moved on to the next task.

7.2 Suggestions for improvement that come from your experience.

The main improvements relate to the streaming application. WebEx has features that make it attractive as a streaming solution. These features include real-time collaboration using interactive whiteboard, chat, VOIP technology that allows video and voice sharing, and desktop sharing. Users can also access WebEx Meeting Center with their mobile devices.

In the SimMan simulator system the instructor tablet PC and AVS PC are in the control room, which overlooks the clinical training room. The AVS PC is also controlled by the WebEx meeting room host. The AVS PC receives the video signal from the cameras, which are on the ceiling in the clinical training room. The video is then streamed to remote participants via WebEx’s desktop sharing on the AVS PC. The student interaction with the clinical demonstrator is therefore through the WebEx Meeting room on the AVS PC, which is in the control room, separate from the demonstrator in the clinical training room. This proved to be a major constraint for live interaction and we need to research ways to overcome it. Possible solutions include using Skype as the ‘voice in the head’ between demonstrator and student, iPads for the demonstrator in the clinical training room, and the AVS PC installed in the training room.

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Recommendations for implementing a similar delivery model, which uses a streaming application to deliver live, interactive demonstrations to remote (off-campus) students include the following.
  1. There must be support for pilots and implementation from higher level managers, especially those in charge of teaching and learning in the organisation.
  2. Information systems staff, lecturers, managers and learning technologies experts must be actively involved in the implementation team. Other staff to be involved at stages during the implementation may include audiovisual experts and library staff.
  3. Lecturers must have expertise in the content areas, for example our lecturers were experts in Nursing and Aged Care.
  4. Lecturers may require professional development in using simulation technology. In our case the Nursing lecturer and the St John of God Hospital Murdoch team member both have the expertise to use the SimMan. This knowledge must be extended to other lecturing staff, including those teaching Aged Care in Peel.
  5. To use the SimMan simulations with groups of students requires two, possibly three staff members; one to facilitate the demonstration and one or two to manage the control room tablet PCs. The addition of the streaming process requires another person to moderate the web conferencing room on the AVS PC. A lecturer must also be with the students in Peel. The delivery method of streaming live video is, therefore, labour intensive, needing up to five staff members.
  6. Lecturing staff will need training to develop their skills in understanding the streaming technology and other technologies such as laptops, speakers, microphones, headsets, and television screens.
  7. Lecturing staff will also require training in applying the streaming delivery model.
  8. Information systems staff require training in the streaming technology to help support lecturing staff. It will also be helpful if they understand the delivery model and its rationale.
  9. Other staff who may need professional development, for both the technology and the delivery model, are learning technology and elearning specialists, course coordinators and managers.
  10. Options for the delivery of the streamed videos could be
  • to the whole class
  • on campus or in a learning centre using a single laptop and screen
  • to a computer laboratory with each student having a computer and headset
  • to an individual student using the Institute library computers
  • to an individual students using their own computer
Therefore, students need skills in using streaming technology (for example, engaging in a web conferencing meeting such as WebEx), and hardware such as headsets, webcams and speakers.

11.One of the useful features of WebEx is that it stores the meeting recordings, which you can then download in a viewable format. Therefore, a consideration for implementation of this delivery model is storage and accessibility of the videos. Options include WebEx (which has a storage facility), learning management system such as Moodle, and YouTube.
12.Challenger Institute needs to do further research on the options for the streaming application including the way in which the students and demonstrator interact. Options include Skype and Blackboard Collaborate. Recording and storage of viewable videos is an essential feature for our students.

Contact Information

For further information regarding this NBN E-Learning project, please contact:
Name: Annelieske Noteboom
Organisation: Challenger Institute of Technology
Phone: 08 9239 8352
Email annelieske.noteboom@challenger.wa.edu.au


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