You may have been thinking that there hasn’t been much going on regarding our Teaching & Learning Facilities on campus during the lock-down. In fact there has been a great deal of work going into researching, identifying and providing facilities to help our academic staff deliver content for the autumn term, whether that is done remotely or in-person.
As part of this work you will have seen advertised this week the Assisted Recording Rooms in Palmer available until 11th September. These have been set-up as the result of an enormous amount of cross-team working within Digital Technology Services, and cross-functional working with other services including Campus Services and CQSD-TEL. In particular, we are very grateful for the efforts of building officers, cleaners and porters in helping us to ensure the rooms are clean and safe for you to use.
We have put in place a simple to use booking system – just complete the form – Assisted Recording Room Booking Form – and your request will be processed. When you arrive in Palmer you will be greeted at the Welcome Desk by our ARR Administrators who will take you through the Health & Safety procedures to ensure your well-being while using the facilities. You will have access to your own room with recording facilities and guides to show you how to use the available equipment. Some of you may not have used a Document Camera before – you may be surprised to see what can be achieved with this simple to use tool. Throughout your session our AV Support Technicians (pictured below) will be close by to assist with any problems you may have in using the equipment and recording your content. For more information on using the rooms see Assisted Recording Rooms.
AV Technicians in Palmer
When you have finished your session – and followed simple instructions for cleaning the equipment ready for the next customer – we would welcome your feedback on your experience and will ask you to complete a short form. In this way we can try to ensure that you have the facilities you need to prepare teaching content for the autumn term.
Whether you have already prepared your teaching content, or would just like to try out the rooms, we invite you to make a booking.
We hope you enjoy the experience.
Keep safe and well,
Head of Teaching & Learning Technology
Digital Technology Services
We have completed the upgrade of the AV equipment in Hopkins 101. In addition to replacing the legacy equipment, the following facilities are now available:
- Repeater screen on wall for easier viewing at the rear of the room. NOTE: This screen can be used independently for group working by using connection shown.
- Document camera
- Working microphone
- Speakers installed the full length of the room (previously these were only available at the teaching end)
- Additional cable for connecting to MACs, iPads, iPhones (user to provide adapter). Image below shows: clockwise from top-left: audio, VGA, HDMI, USB-C.
We have published the schedule for this year’s AV equipment upgrades: https://blogs.reading.ac.uk/teaching-learning-facilities/av-upgrades/.
We have a full schedule for the autumn term and hope to include additional rooms for the spring and summer terms. However, the funding for this programme of works has been reduced for the current academic year which will mean that the overall upgrades that can be achieved is likely to be reduced compared to previous years.
Head of Teaching & Learning Technology
Work to carry out AV upgrades in centrally managed teaching spaces is ongoing. Our latest schedule of completed/scheduled/proposed rooms for the current academic year is published here: AV Upgrades. Most recently the equipment in Polly Vacher G39 was refreshed providing a much improved experience for teaching staff:
Video-conferencing has become a part of working life for many staff. Although portable systems are available on request, the best experience is achieved when a room has a dedicated video-conferencing facility installed. Carrington 203 now has a system installed through which you can connect using Skype for Business on the PC provided.
Unsure how to setup a Skype Meeting? We have an easy-to-follow interactive guide for you: Setting up a Skype Meeting
We are very pleased to report that the AV upgrade of the Meteorology Lecture Theatre in GU01 has been completed. The equipment consists of a larger screen with laser projector, one of our new standard tech tables with control panel, adjustable interactive monitor, lapel microphone, document camera, and cable tidy comprising HDMI/VGA/audio. We hope you will agree that this provides a much improved audio and video experience in this teaching space.
TEL & AV Manager
As some staff will be aware, we have been experiencing problems with the AV equipment in the lecture theatre, Meteorology GU01. This theatre had been scheduled for an upgrade over the Christmas break by the TEL & AV Team. However we realise that the deterioration in the performance of the AV equipment has accelerated and have now put new plans in place as follows:
- The in-house upgrade has been brought forward and will now take place during the week commencing 5th November, 2018. Our thanks to Room Bookings, Events and Venue Reading for rescheduling sessions that were due to take place in the theatre during that week.
- A new projector has been installed as a temporary measure to improve the image. It has not been possible to reprogram the control panel on the lectern so this will need to be controlled via a remote device that has been left in the room.
- We are checking the room daily and monitoring calls to the Service Desk for any issues.
We want to reassure you that we are continuing with our schedule of AV Upgrades across campus. Although we have a prioritised plan, we will respond as quickly as possible where a teaching space becomes unfit for purpose.
TEL & AV Manager
The TEL & AV Team would firstly like to express thanks to those members of staff who completed our survey last year. Your feedback has been extremely useful and has provided input for the improvements we have made this year – see the highlights below. As we continue to make improvements to the AV facilities in our teaching spaces, it is important that we again obtain your feedback to ensure that what we are providing is meeting your needs. We would be grateful if you would take a few minutes to complete our Teaching & Learning Facilities Survey 2018. The survey will be open until 31st July, 2018.
Below are a few highlights of the work carried out since last year’s survey. If you would like to see a summary of the feedback from staff please see: Teaching & Learning Facilities Survey 2017 – Results.
- In-house AV upgrades continue to be carried out by the team. These are receiving positive feedback from staff although they do highlight the poor quality of legacy equipment in rooms that have not yet been upgraded. The ongoing schedule of complete and scheduled upgrades is available here: AV Upgrades. The most significant changes to teaching spaces this year have been in Miller G05 and Allen Lab G09 (carried out as part of an E&F project to provide more flexible teaching spaces). Ongoing funding continues to be sought in order that teaching spaces are refreshed on a regular basis.
- We have carried out a number of departmental AV installations in the following areas:
- London Road
- Polly Vacher G35
- Graduate School
- Harry Nursten
- We have provided an online interactive guide for staff who would like to set up an online meeting using Skype for Business.
- VoIP phones are being installed in all centrally managed teaching spaces. So far these have been rolled out in Chancellor’s, Edith Morley and Agriculture.
If you should need a demonstration of our AV equipment, please book a session using this form: Equipment Demo/Training
For any questions about this survey, please contact Helena Bampton.
The TEL & AV Team have updated the AV equipment in the newly refurbished Allen Lab G09. Additional repeater screens, an interactive monitor and microphone have been installed to provide an enhanced teaching experience. The overall room refurbishment was managed by Heather Silk-Jones, Building Support Services Manager in Campus Services and is part of a schedule of works being carried out by E&F to provide more flexible teaching spaces for staff and students. The new layout – seen below – provides an increased capacity of 60 seats.
Allen Lab G09 Room Refurbishment – Before and After
Allen Lab G09 Panoramic View
We have received additional funding for the current financial year that has allowed us to accelerate our programme of works. Please see our AV Upgrades page for the latest schedule. We will provide further news as soon as possible regarding our AV Upgrade plans for the next financial year.