How do you get students to read their emails about college activities and upcoming events?  Maybe you can’t. But the College of Pharmacy has come up with a backup plan, and you can see it for yourself in HPC. hpc-signage-lobbySince 2009, visitors to the Health Professions Center have been greeted by the College’s ePoster digital display prominently installed at the entrance to the HPC lobby. You never know what message may be displayed when you arrive there, but it certainly gets your attention. Ever the past year, the College of Pharmacy has been aggressively promoting the use of digital signage based on the success of its pilot debut in the HPC lobby. Walk around the HPC building now and you will see similar ePosters installed near the Student Commons, inside the College Administration Office, and upstairs in front of the Office of Experiential Education. There is also an ePoster located in the Patient Care Center Pharmacy. Mark Goggin, Director of Operations for the College of Pharmacy, explains why the college is bullish on the transition to digital signage technology. “Digital displays effectively overcome the limitations of physical signage.  They are more eye-catching, easier to update, and lend themselves to using different forms of digital content.” pcc-signage-pharmacyThe ViewSonic ePosters purchased by the college has inputs for multiple video formats (HDMI, VGA, YPbPr, A/V, USB) and dual 5 watt speakers for audio.  The ePosters can display eye-popping graphics, photographic images, and full motion video. (To learn more about the digital display itself, see our post Presenting ViewSonic’s Digital ePoster.) The College of Pharmacy uses the ePosters primarily to announce upcoming events, such as the annual Ray Symposium or Scholarship Golf Classic, or acknowledge special accomplishments by faculty or students. The College’s Office of Experiential Education uses its ePoster to announce upcoming clinical and preceptor training sessions.“We can work up a brief bio for a guest speaker and begin to schedule the announcement well before the lecture date. As the date approaches, we can schedule the announcement to display more frequently.” Digital signage has also been used to post information on elections, grant awards, student honors, and current faculty. “We’ve put together ‘baseball card’ summaries of our faculty, and often use those to fill the gaps between event announcements and other time-sensitive information.” hpc-signage-commonsOne of the secrets to the success of COP’s digital signage program is student participation. Students are encouraged to submit content to the Office of Student Services in the form of PowerPoint slides, Photoshop images, even cell phone photos. According to Goggin, “The resolution demands for our ePosters are easily met by most consumer digital capture devices, enabling us to display a wider range of student submitted content.” Plans are in the works for a more traditional wall-mounted digital display outside of the Dean’s conference room, and on the second floor in the hallway near the Doctoral Fellows suite. “We plan to use the unit mounted in the hallway to display digital versions of our students’ poster presentations. The posters are ultimately digitized as pdf files, which can be easily uploaded to the display unit.” Digital signage is part of a more comprehensive workflow that packages and disseminates essential college messages through a variety of channels. Once they appear on the radar, news and events are quickly worked up for articles in the online and print versions of COP’s RxBound newsletter and other publications, extracted for publication in WesternU This Week, and packaged for scheduled display on the ePosters. “I envision a time when our digital displays are networked campuswide, so general interest announcements and college-specific messages can be routed to any display unit on campus, or even to Lebanon, Oregon. I also see possibilities for kiosks located at strategic points along the Esplanade for general announcements, mapping, and other information of interest to students, employees and visitors.” mgoggin-thumb Mark Goggin, Director of Operations for the College of Pharmacy, can be reached at mgoggin@westernu.edu   If you would like to learn more about digital signage options, contact us at itdl@westernu.edu.       Related Post: Presenting ViewSonic’s Digital ePoster