The problem with distance learning spaces

With the advent of the internet, affordable video broadcast is now a reality that can be enjoyed by participants around the globe. For the educational facility, this opens the door to creating distant learning programs by making the curriculum available to students in far-away places. And although setting up a microphone and video camera is not difficult, achieving good sound is often problematic. One merely has to think of someone calling using a desk-top speaker phone or hands-free cell phone in a noisy car to conjure up the challenge and mental strain needed to understand the message. Unlike our ears and brain that are able to discern what is important and what should be discarded, a microphone is not selective. It merely reproduces sound at the same intensity that is in the room. Broadcasters have known this for nearly 100 years. If the transmission site is a room filled with hard surfaces such as windows, desks, tile and gypsum board walls, sound will reflect in all directions creating echo and a long trailing reverb. At the receiving end, the speakers will reproduce the intended message along with all of the unwanted artifacts. For those that are listening, understanding the lecture will be difficult for the average person and near impossible for those whose mother tongue may not be the same as the transmitted language. Intelligibility suffers and the outcome unsatisfactory for all.

How can Primacoustic help you?

Treat the transmission site like a broadcast station by applying 2” (5cm) thick Broadway™ acoustic panels to between 25% and 35% of the wall surface area.  Broadway panels are made from high-density 6lb glass wool for even absorption across the voice range and down into the deeper bass registers. This is important as low frequency resonance caused by sound-waves bouncing across parallel surfaces can generate standing waves that will cause the voice to sound boomy. Placement should be concentrated in the area surrounding the microphone and then panels dispersed wherever possible in the room. Installing the panels using Impalers™ is as easy as hanging a picture. Treating the receive space will provide tremendous benefit as the Broadway panels will remove powerful first order reflections. Once in place, you will immediately enjoy a quieter room with a shorter, more controlled reverberant field. This will vastly improve intelligibility. 

Executive Summary

  • Less ambient noise results in much clearer message being sent

  • Eliminating reverberant field dramatically improves intelligibility

  • Clarifies the message, improving the student comprehension level

  • Provides students with learning disabilities with a greater chance of success

  • Correcting the learning environment improves work flow and efficiency