Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Learning Spaces update - Summer 2017

Over the Summer we’ve been carrying out works to various rooms to improve the facilities and enhance the teaching and learning experience.

Lecture Theatre V/N/045

This is a 200 seat lecture theatre located in Vanbrugh College, and we’ve given it a major overhaul this summer. After listening to your feedback, the room has new seating, flooring, lighting, AV equipment (including dual data projection), and an upgrade to the ventilation, so the room should no longer be hot & stuffy. A new hearing loop, and powered access door will assist with accessibility.

The room is nearly completed, we’ve just got the lectern to fit, and a few bits of finishing off.
Some additional work is already planned for the Christmas vacation to add extra lighting controls, and different lighting.

Lecture Theatre P/X/001

We’ve updated the AV equipment - the old clunky boards have been replaced with new lightweight column boards. Based on the recent feedback, we’re also providing two options for boards that can be captured with Replay - the Replay+ camera system that’s been installed in P/L/001 & P/L/002, and the digital OHP table that’s in Spring Lane lecture theatre.
Dual screens

Dual data projectors and large screens complement the new lectern. In a behind the scenes technological change - the audio and video are both transmitted over the network, rather than requiring dedicated AV cabling. We’re grateful to our friends in IT services for their help and expertise in setting this up.
New Projectors

New boards and lectern

Lecture Theatres ATB/056 & 057

Over the past few years, these rooms have been used as one large space. For the next academic year, these rooms will be split into two separate rooms. Again, we’re fitting new dual projection to each room, along with new lecterns, sound system, and a permanent visualiser in response to frequent requests in this space.
Lecture Theatre Layout

Seminar Room C/A/122

This room has been upgraded and now has our standard set of equipment with a new projector, lectern, supported PC, and lecture capture.

Seminar Room W/N/202

After years of being used for other purposes, this room is being brought back as a teaching room. It will have the standard set of equipment with a new projector, lectern, supported PC, and lecture capture, along with a new carpet, a hearing loop and some decoration.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Learning Spaces update for Spring term 2017

We've had a busy term where we completed a number of installs and have been planned for the next phase.

Over Christmas we addressed decor, lighting, furniture, hearing loops and AV provision in James College rooms G/001, 002, 010, 013, 020 and 045a and three rooms in Biology: B/M/023, 049 and 052. The layouts largely remain as original but with desk-height lecterns that integrate with the provided rows or horse-shoes:

We are in the process of collating the Post Occupancy Evaluation survey so that we can measure the change in performance of the rooms and how they contribute to the learning experience. Expect a follow up post on this subject soon.

The Learning Spaces Group has received an outline list of 40 spaces to refurbish/renew over the next 18 months, headed up by our Project Manager Sarah. We'll share that list shortly and it will be split in to deliverable parts that will continue on a rolling basis through to December 2018. For this Easter the focus is on a number of rooms in Psychology that are in need of technology and furnishing renewal.

Chair, Learning Spaces Working Group

Monday, 9 January 2017

Our Christmas list

Over the Christmas vacation the AV team have been busy making several changes to the equipment in teaching rooms.

Windows 10

Following the upgrade of a few rooms as a trial earlier in the year, all teaching rooms have now been upgraded to Windows 10. This will resolve a conflict between the In-Class Polling Tool (Turning Point Responseware), and PowerPoint when using Replay (the Lecture Capture system).

All software is available as before, but there are a few differences to be aware of:

Logging on

When you approach the computer it will show this screen:

Click the mouse, or press any key to get to the username and password screen:

Once you’ve entered your username and password you’ll be taken to the desktop:

Your first login may take slightly longer on a first log in as a new profile is generated. Any desktop icons will still be present, but shared drives may need to be remapped.

Web browser

The default browser is now Chrome. Although its profile doesn't roam between PCs you can sign into Chrome to sync your settings.

HDCP, bit depth and display power saving

We’ve made three changes to the video switchers that are present in about half of our rooms:
  1. We’ve disabled HDCP (High Definition Copy Protection) on the Laptop HDMI input cable, as it was causing problems with Replay (The Lecture Capture system). This means that content presented from Mac laptops should now record reliably, but connecting a copy protected source (ie a Blu-ray player) to the laptop input will fail. We have a workaround that we can implement for this if playback from a Blu-ray is required (please email us on if you'd like us to arrange this).
  2. We’ve changed a setting that relates to how the image from the PC is recognised. This should stop the frequent grey screens that have been a problem since an update was rolled out over summer.
  3. We’ve enabled a power saving setting, so that two minutes after all input signals are removed, the monitor will turn off. Waking the PC up again, or connecting a laptop will bring the monitor back on.

Replay: more rooms and new guidance

We’re also in the process of equipping D/L/047, D/L/116, D/N/104, C/A/107, C/A/130, C/A/140, K/111, PS/B/202, V/C/123 with the equipment required to use the Replay service, in addition to the rooms that will get Replay as part of the Christmas refurbishments. The software that runs the recording indicator lights has been updated to a more reliable version, and there's a new reminder label by each of the lights explaining what it means.

As ever, please get in touch on if you have any comments or questions.

Philip Stewart
Audio-Visual Manager