AV Community of Practice hosts certification training for audiovisual specialists

John “JJ” Jahn, a project engineer lead with LSA Technology Services, firmly believes in continuing education for audiovisual (AV) people on campus. That’s why he asked the Michigan IT AV Technology Community of Practice in May if there was interest in a course to prepare for the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA) Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) professional certification exam. When their response was positive, he organized the event and invited the AVIXA instructor. LSA paid the training costs and Michigan Medicine paid for meals, and the three-day course was held at the Michigan League’s Henderson Room the last week in September.

The Henderson Room at the Michigan League, set as a classroom with cloth-covered 2-person tables in a 3x5 grid. Each table has its two students facing the instructor at the front of the room, just visible to the left of frame. A snack table with dispensers and cups for coffee, orange juice, and water is at the back of the room.
Photo by John “JJ” Jahn, LSA Technology Services

Twenty-eight AV specialists from across U-M, representing Dentistry Informatics, HITS, ITS Infrastructure, LSA, Rackham, and SPH attended the course. The course itself has six modules with the following learning outcomes:

  • Audio — Identify the different types of audio systems. Discuss the key elements of audio system quality. Learn what decibels are and how they are calculated.
  • Creating AV Solutions — Gather customer project information. Interpret key project drawings. Conduct an initial site survey. Develop an AV project scope. Build and submit the program report. Gain signoff to begin the design and development process.
  • Implementing AV Solutions — Identify the components and steps needed to properly install an AV system. List the safety considerations for installing an AV system.
  • Servicing AV Solutions — Provide strategies to calmly, quickly, and systematically diagnose and solve technical problems as well as address the other aspects of maintaining AV operations.
  • Video — Calculate how to create an AV space that provides an optimal viewing experience for its audience.
  • Networking — Explore networks by looking at how they’re laid out to monitor, control, and troubleshoot devices. Learn the language to communicate better with IT professionals.
A table with a white fabric tablecloth on which several pieces of AV equipment rests, including a microphone, speakers, and various light and sound measuring devices
Photo by John “JJ” Jahn, LSA Technology Services

Participants were surveyed after the course. Over half responded within two business days and their responses were overwhelmingly positive:

  • 94% of all respondents said that they would take another course from the instructor.
  • 88% of respondents said that they would definitely, and 12% said they might, take the CTS exam.
  • 88% said they were highly likely to, and the other 12% might, take another AVIXA course:
    • 48% were most interested in their design course (CTS-D).
    • 24% were most interested in their installation course (CTS-I).
    • 28% were most interested in their project management course.
  • On a 10-point scale, the mean rating for the class was 9.47.

Participants said they learned the most about the ANSI standards, commissioning AV systems, integrating project management with AV technologies, the visual elements on a screen, the math and science behind transporting AV content through a medium to an audience, how to measure it to make the AV experience better, and how simple it is to correct common AV issues one you understand that there is a science behind it.

I am very grateful to [JJ] for helping the campus AV community knowledge grow and paving the way for AV professionals to improve with solid credentials.

Faye Ogasawara, IT manager

Faye Ogasawara, IT manager in the Climate and Space Sciences (CLaSP) department in the College of Engineering, wrote “I wish I had known about and taken this course 15–20 years ago… it could have saved a lot of time and money! I am very grateful to [JJ] for helping the campus AV community knowledge grow and paving the way for AV professionals to improve with solid credentials.”

For more information please reach out to the facilitators listed on the AV Technology Community of Practice page.

Who is AVIXA?

The Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA) is the industry leader when it comes to professional collaboration, information, and community, leading the world with all the necessary resources: AV standards, certification, training, market intelligence, and thought leadership. Part association and part society, they are a mix of audiovisual professionals from all over the globe who help drive the market for audiovisual solutions and who create cool experiences in meetings, classes, and events.

What is CTS?

Individuals, companies, and customers have always recognized AVIXA’s Certified Technology Specialist™ (CTS®) certification for its credibility and integrity. In professional AV the CTS program is the leading professional credential with more than 13,000 CTS holders worldwide. It is ANSI-accredited to the ISO 17024 standard and it meets the highest standards for demonstrating and verifying a professional’s skill set. Certification demonstrates commitment to professional growth in the audiovisual industry.

The CTS Prep course is intended for audiovisual professionals who want their CTS certification, which is required before taking the examinations for the CTS-D (design) and CTS-I (installation) certifications.