Behind the Scenes of a Classroom Refresh - 159 Mulford Hall

October 13, 2022

In the second of our continuing series to give you a peek behind the scenes of technology upgrades in UC Berkeley classrooms, we are taking you to 159 Mulford, which was upgraded over Summer 2022. If you missed our first article, please visit Behind the Scenes of a Classroom Refresh - 100 Lewis Hall and learn what it takes to swap a projector 25 feet up from the floor.

Mulford 159

Good News, Bad News - It's a Historical Building

Many buildings and classrooms on campus are historically significant and our engineering staff take great care to minimize changes to the physical spaces while bringing the technology to modern standards. With a refresh (as oppose to be new install), the good news is that most of the existing cutouts and space used for technology can be reused such as the full sized rack in the closet space housing the core A/V system components and the user control/interface area at the front of the room under the chalk.

The bad news is that we cannot easily leverage the opportunity of a technology refresh to make changes to the physical infrastructure to improve the classroom technology experience. For example, 159 Mulford does not have a permanent podium nor any other enclosed space near the front of the classroom. As such, access to the Blu-Ray external media player and location of the bin holding the wireless microphone + spare batteries for the microphone is in the A/V rack in the closet, which is both non-intuitive and hard to find for an instructor unfamiliar with the room. While our engineers would love to make improvements to bridge this gap, the cost and time needed to make this improvement is simply too high, especially in an old historical building like Mulford.

Final Touches - Adjusted for the Space

For instructors and other presenters in our classrooms, the Touch Panel, Confidence Monitor, and Input Panel are where the magic happens. For our current round of technology refresh, the user interface changes consist of:

  1. Updated programming on the Touch Panel, which includes controls for the camera

  2. Addition of a Confidence Monitor to give instructors a visual to confirm the projection and video camera feeds going to Course Capture

  3. Realigned and clearly labeled A/V inputs

Ideally, in a large classroom like this one, the Touch Panel and Confidence Monitor would be installed at or on the podium, like in 100 Lewis, for the best instructional experience. Unfortunately, this desired improvement is also hampered by the existing space and infrastructure constraints already mentioned and the compromise is to place these interfaces at the front of the classroom near the moveable podium.

We hope this glimpse into the 159 Mulford classroom technology refresh helps you understand the process and considerations involved in transforming our classrooms to support instruction at UC Berkeley. Please feel free to reach out to the Classroom Technology Services team at if you have any questions or feedback.

Mulford 159 Touch Panel and Inputs