Client: Edge Hill University
Location: Ormskirk, UK
ChallengeHow does a University create flexible study spaces, suitable for both lecture capture and large events without changing out the technology?
SolutionBy utilising the Panasonic AW-UE70 alongside laser projection technology it’s possible to capture lectures in bandwidth friendly HD, while filming events in crystal clear 4K.
"The students can focus more on what the lecturer is saying and they can use this as a revision tool afterwards. "
Competition among universities has rarely been as fierce as it is at present. According to the UCAS clearing house, while an increasing proportion of English 18-year-olds accepted places on undergraduate courses, the overall number of acceptances to British universities has declined after sharp falls among applicants aged 19 and older.
This places a much greater emphasis among many higher education providers on enhancing the student experience.
At Edge Hill University, this has seen a huge investment in improving facilities. It has invested more than £250m in its 160-acre campus at Ormskirk, which has helped the university to reach the top three for its facilities and campus environment in the Times Higher Education magazine's 2016 survey.
It seems to be working, as the University's been named University of the Year for Student Retention by the Good University Guide 2018, enabling a greater proportion of students to successfully complete their courses than anyone else.
In addition, the University has achieved Gold, the highest rating in the nationalTeaching Excellence Framework (TEF), for delivering ‘consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students'.
Flexible lecture spaces
In the health and social care faculty, an AV upgrade has seen the creation of a flexible learning space. Three separate lecture theatres, each equipped with Panasonic PT-RZ670 laser projectors, have been designed with complete flexibility.
Each has a lecture capture system which combines Panasonic AW-UE70 4K remote cameras, alongside the laser projectors, 65 inch Panasonic repeater panels (TH-65LFE8) and Panopto's all-in-one video platform.
It allows students to log on to the Panopto platform and re-visit any aspects of the lecture that they need clarification on.
“We were concerned we'd see a drop in lecture attendance,” said Don Moffatt, Media Technology Development Manager at Edge Hill University. “The reality is that the opposite is true. We have seen more students attending the lectures, we think that's because they can concentrate fully on the teaching without having to slavishly take notes.
“The students can focus more on what the lecturer is saying and they can use the lecture capture platform as a revision tool afterwards. The Panopto system allows them to search specific topics, and will pick these up in powerpoint text, image tags or even the words spoken by the lecturer.”
The three lecture theatres can also be combined into a single 900 seat auditorium which is used for large events, including the University's graduation ceremony.
This makes use of the AV infrastructure within the lecture theatres and a separate control desk equipped with an AW-RP50 – compact PTZ controller in order to live stream the ceremony.
“Graduations are a really important event, they are the pinnacle of a student's life here,” said Mark Allanson, Pro Vice-Chancellor. “With the new technology we are able to beam this out across the globe and into the home of someone's grandma who couldn't make it on the day.”
“We are constantly investing in new technology because the students expect to have the latest kit. We also want our students to not only be familiar with the technology you would usually find in Universities but also that in use in industry, because that's where they'll end up. We want them to gain that experience at Edge Hill, to better prepare them for the working world.”
Elsewhere within the Health and Social Care faculty, Panasonic remote cameras are used to capture practical elements of the University's Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) course. Students are required to carry out team demonstrations on everything from routine procedures to life saving CPR exercises.
These are captured using Panasonic AW-HE2 remote cameras and stored on the cloud based Panopto system.
Kevin Henshaw, Senior Lecturer, in Operating Department Practice(ODP), said, “A classic example is an exercise that I run with every student group, whereby I will attempt to touch the body of a ‘patient' who is about to be shocked during CPR. It's imperative from a safety aspect that the group is aware of who is within close proximity of the patient, yet often the group is too focused on their individual roles to notice. It's far more powerful to have a video demonstration of what they did wrong, so that we can eliminate potentially life-threatening mistakes in the future.”
Amina Salem, Third Year ODP Student, was one of the students within Kevin's exercise. “When you get the opportunity to look back, you have the opportunity to appraise what we did well and what we need to work on. In addition, we have to write up the processes that we go through, and from memory this may be only 10 or 15 things, whereas with the ability to watch back the video I'd probably be able to double or triple that. We all learned a lot from it and were able to discuss it afterwards as a group.”
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