Facilities in centrally bookable teaching rooms as regards furniture and technology score slightly higher than last year.
Teaching room technology usage:
- Staff tend towards use of the provided PC over a laptop
- Two-thirds make use of the data projector
- Whiteboards are still in demand by over two-thirds of staff
- Over half never use the document camera
- Smartboards are used by approximately one-third of staff
- About one quarter of staff use Flip Charts frequently
- VHS video tape player is used infrequently by a small percentage of staff
- A small percentage of staff use the DVD
Where staff are bringing their own device, approximately one-third of these are MACs.
Staff make use of a variety of options for accessing their presentations: Laptop, Data stick, Blackboard, Browser, ‘N’ drive or other shared drive.
When presenting approximately half of staff would like to use true dual projection (displaying different input sources on each screen) and use interactive monitors to add notes to the projected image.
Over half of staff consider there should be a centralised system for the recording and playback of live lectures (lecture capture) with a similar number wanting a system to enable personal capture to enhance their teaching.
More than half of staff would like to use voting systems. Among those already used are Poll Everywhere, Kahoot, Mentimeter and Socrative.
Of those technologies not currently provided, staff would like to use:
- Voting System
- Learning Capture (both for lecture and personal recordings)
- BYOD (bring your own device)
Among the items listed as ‘not provided’ are the following that are now being included as standard on new AV installations:
- Document Camera/Visualiser
- HDMI connection
- Interactive Monitors that allow live annotation
- Skype for Business is now installed on all lecterns
- High quality audio and video
Three-quarters of staff consider it is important to have access to a telephone in the room for reporting faults.
NOTE: IT have been rolling out VoIP (voice over IP) telephones in all centrally managed teaching spaces. The buildings completed so far are: Chancellors, Edith Morley, and Agriculture.
Staff would like to see the following:
- More flexible teaching spaces, i.e. cabaret-style tables.
- More and larger whiteboards.
- Some commented on inadequate lighting and lack of blinds.
- Staff would like height adjustable chairs for lecterns.
Support for AV
Several staff made comments relating to the provision of AV support. Changes have been made to the support model and there is now first, second and third line support available to provide a more robust service across campus. Students have also been employed as AV Assistants to carry out daily morning checks of centrally managed teaching spaces.
Over two-thirds of Staff would be interested in attending either a brief classroom teaching technology session or a drop-in open event. The AV team have provided a link to Using AV Equipment that provides useful information for staff on the use of AV equipment and how to request a one-to-one session. AV are also attending the Staff Induction Marketplace and handing out our ‘USING AV EQUIPMENT IN TEACHING SPACES’ postcards.
Centrally Managed Teaching Spaces
Teaching Room Furniture and Fixings
- There is a demand for more whiteboards by the majority (over 90%) of the responders.
- Décor is considered bland and out-of-date – although new areas are appreciated, e.g. Van Emden.
- Control of heating, lighting and blinds and lack of instructions relating to these
- Furniture (old, heavy) and lack of flexibility in room layout
- Location of projector screens
- Redundant cupboards (London Road)
- Lack of clocks
Staff were asked to comment on locations where they considered there were particular issues. Most centrally managed areas were mentioned. Provided we can continue with the rolling AV upgrades, matters will improve over time. For example, Miller G05 was mentioned and has now had both an AV refresh and redecoration by E&F.
In some cases we feel a one-to-one session with the academic would be beneficial to work through their issues and we will be arranging these. More general AV issues that arose in the survey for which there are workarounds/solutions that staff may be unaware of are listed below:
|How to operate equipment||One-to-one training from IT Self Service, instructions available from link on desktop to T&L Facilities blog.|
|Slow PC login/logout||Infrastructure Services Team have been working on improvements|
|Lack of disk space on lectern PC||Larger drives are being installed|
|Poor quality audio/video||AV upgrades include high quality audio/video as standard|
|Suitability of rooms for particular types of teaching||Project underway to up-to-date information of availability of AV equipment in teaching spaces|
|Whiteboards obscured by projector screen||Where possible new AV screens are placed so as not to obstruct whiteboard space. In smaller teaching rooms this is not always possible.|
|Equipment being unplugged, settings being changed||New installations use locked cupboards for AV equipment – reduces likelihood of cables being pulled out or settings being moved from their default|
|Lack of reliability – rooms not being checked||Centrally managed rooms are checked daily between 8-9 in the morning|
|No AV Support available at the weekends||If important events are taking place at the weekend, please ensure a technician is booked|
|Speed of repair||Many centrally managed rooms are in a poor state. We are working on a rolling upgrade of rooms and overtime things will improve as equipment is replaced before it is no longer fit for purpose|
|Screens too small||Larger screens are being installed as standard where wall space allows.|
|Lack of instructions||Instructions should be available, otherwise use link on PC desktop to online guides|
|Lack of connectors for personal devices||New lecterns provide in-built connectors for VGA, HDMI, Audio|
|Speed of response to AV call-outs||New support model in place in IT to provide 1st, 2nd and 3rd-line support. New phone system planned to better manage call queue and prioritise calls related to teaching.|
|No telephone available to report fault in teaching room||Voice-over-IP (VoIP) phones are being installed in all centrally managed teaching spaces. So far Chancellors, Edith Morley and Agriculture have been completed.|
|Lack of consistency in teaching rooms||New installations are standardised|
|No clickers available in room||Unfortunately these frequently go missing if we supply them. We would recommend that departments purchase a number for their own use.|
|Unable to annotate on slides||Interactive monitors are being installed as standard and allow the lecturer to annotate slides|
|Concerns over the recording of lectures||Any solution provided would allow the lecturer in the room to control the recording and select start/stop/pause|
|Projector lamps failing||New laser projectors do not use lamps so this problem will reduce|
On a positive note
Here is a selection of the more positive feedback that we received from staff:
“Thank you for on campus support at LR which is now excellent”
“I do like the new screens installed into L22 – these are good.”
“The technology appears to be more reliable”
“From what I’ve seen the upgrades are excellent in terms of AV”
“Sounds good to me: keep it up!” (In response to feedback on AV upgrades)
“Generally happy with current provision: it has got better!”
“Van Emden used to be my least favourite lecture theatre on campus and now is one of my favourites”
“Thank you for the help and support you provide”
One member of staff put “Don’t make it new, just make it work”. Unfortunately one does not come without the other. The older the equipment, the more likely it is that it will fail. We certainly hope that ongoing funding will be approved so that we can continue the AV plan to roll out upgrades in our teaching spaces in conjunction with Estates & Facilities.
TEL & AV Manager