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Video in Nursing Education and Child Development Studies

Mount Royal University (MRU) in Calgary, Canada, provides an exceptional undergraduate educational experience to 12,000 students, with a belief that talented and committed educators are the driving force behind student success. To support their faculty in delivering a collaborative learning experience, MRU installed the VALT application in its child development lab – a “living classroom” for research and education – and its nursing simulation lab.

IVS partnered with a local IT integration company, Microserve, to implement 23 cameras, 14 shotgun microphones and four array mics in seven rooms of the child development lab, followed by additional cameras and microphones in the nursing lab.

“We believe IVS to be one of the best training solutions there is on the market today,” says Yang Wu from Microserve, who helped facilitate the IVS installation at MRU.

Easy to Use

First and foremost, MRU needed a system that would be easy to use for a variety of novice users, including students, faculty, community members and parents. The VALT system delivered that and so much more.

“I can train somebody to use this system probably in 10 minutes. It’s such a user-friendly, intuitive system,” says Terry Pasychny, who serves in the electronic service group of the MRU ITS department.

With the excellent audio and visual quality, students can review and better understand even the smallest interactions. Professors can capture what happens in the lab space, then zero in on specific areas depending on course content and individual students’ study areas. The system allows them to digitally zoom in during live observation or when reviewing a video recording.

“The ease of use and the clarity of the pictures are amazing. To be able to see some of the fine details in the video is wonderful,” says Shelley Jeske, simulation learning manager at MRU School of Nursing and Midwifery. 

IVS-Video-Thumbnail Video Recording System for Child Studies & Development
Nursing Simulation

Experiential Learning

VALT allows students to easily record interactive sessions, then create clips with the easy-to-use editing tool to share with instructors and peers for collaborative review.

“Our students can use the technology in a way that really helps them reflect on the development of their skills and the teachings they’re learning with the children,” says Heather Pollard, MRU child development lab coordinator. “They’re able to really understand the theory behind the practical application. It’s been amazing for the students to capture that learning and go beyond.”

In the nursing lab, staff record interactions and play them back for students to learn from their successes and mistakes. “It’s incredible to see the light bulbs go on when they can really delve into the learning that has occurred through offering a system such as this,” Jeske says.

A Business Differentiator

As with any capital expenditure, cost was a factor in determining which video system MRU chose. VALT requires no additional infrastructure beyond the data network, cameras and microphones.

MRU can access all of VALT’s functionality through a browser interface and no required client licensing makes the system far less expensive than other options. Plus, MRU predicts that total cost of ownership will be much less because VALT eliminates the need for extra equipment and dedicated personnel to run it.

“With this tool, the support costs are way lower than traditional systems,” says MRU CIO Michael Barr, “so the supervisor in a particular area can run the system. We don’t have to have a dedicated person in nursing and a dedicated person in the child development lab.”

However, this cost structure goes far beyond dollars and cents. “As budgets are squeezed and as universities want to compete and stand out for the best learning opportunity possible for a student, tools like this are going to become a differentiator. And it is a differentiator,” says Barr

Jeske says the solution is proving to potential students, professors and the entire industry that MRU is an innovative university, setting a new
standard in nursing instruction. “It’s showing healthcare itself that we are state-of-the-art. I think now the expectation for all healthcare students is
that they are able to have experiences such as we offer here,” says Jeske.

Safe and Sound

Despite the easy access to files, Barr notes that IVS has a strong security platform. “Security is top of mind now. VALT is a disciplined enterprise-class tool. It fits, it works, it’s secure. From freedom of information, data security, and personally identifiable information aspects, there’s no problem at all. It’s been great,” he says. 

Empowering the Curriculum

VALT was such a success in the child development and nursing labs that MRU is soon planning to add the system the athletics therapy labs. Barr
expects IVS and VALT to play a larger part of MRU’s educational offering, with the potential to transform how education is delivered by educators and synthesized by students.

“The Intelligent Video Management Solution is becoming a bigger part of our teaching methodology and our curriculum,” he says. “Having students operate in a simulated environment, then giving them a chance to get feedback is becoming a bigger part of our delivery.”


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