Lecture capture for resource sharing
Edge Hill University in Ormskirk has invested in new lecture technology from Panasonic and Panopto, creating a flexible space, suitable for both lecture capture and large events such as graduations.
The AV upgrade to the Health and Social Care faculty is part of a £250 million plus investment in to its 160-acre campus, which has seen the University named in the top three for its facilities and campus environment in the Times Higher Education magazine’s 2016 survey.
Three separate lecture theatres have been designed with complete flexibility in mind. It means for larger events such as graduations, partition walls can be moved out to leave a 900-seat auditorium.
Each has a lecture capture system which combines Panasonic AW-UE70 4K remote cameras, alongside PT-RZ670 laser projectors, 65-inch Panasonic repeater panels (TH-65LFE8) and Panopto’s all-in-one video platform.
Lecturers are able to control the lecture capture using an Extron controller, which starts and stops the recording.
“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.”
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 all captured using Panasonic’s 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 they 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, “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.”
You’re speaking my language!
The career of a professional interpreter is a demanding one. After completing specialist training, interpreters need to deal with sensitive issues, unpredictable events and stressful conditions while listening, thinking and speaking in two languages in real time, and of course delivering accurate results. Their training calls for advanced audio technology.
When Queen’s University Belfast issued a competitive tender for a supplier to provide a hi-tech interpreting suite which gave its students a high quality of education and essential ‘real-world’ experience, they aimed to work with the best in the industry.
Cambridge-based, conference technology supplier, Brähler ICS UK, partnering with language teaching software provider, Sanako, were chosen to provide the solution.
Brähler’s world-renown CDSVAN interpretation equipment included laptops, microphones, dual delegate units, interpreter consoles, a tutor/ chairperson’s unit and a double-seated booth. Together, the hardware provides students with hands-on experience of Brähler’s equipment which is already widely used by professional interpreters worldwide.
Complementing Brahler’s technology, Sanako’s Study 1200 software offered innovative features such as ‘blended learning’, enabling students to study and practice either in the interpretation suite or at home. This was another first in the interpreter training market.
Versatility and authenticity
The partnership between Brähler and Sanako has resulted in a versatile solution. For instance, students can practice in the booth while classmates privately practice at their own microphones and laptops positioned around the ‘delegate table’. This flexibility allows the tutor to combine different learning activities, keeping students engaged and motivated.
The system also helps tutors enhance teaching methods and classroom management. For example, they can closely monitor each student by listening in on their practice, recording their audio, and sending the required materials to students’ laptops as they progress. Tutors also have full control of every delegate unit and interpreter control console connected to the system from their own desk.
Lecturer in Translation and Interpreting, Dr Chen-En Ho, uses the suite daily with students who interpret English / Mandarin. He says: “The new suite is a huge improvement on our former resources. It offers great authenticity, so students build knowledge while learning in a setting that reflects the working environment. The software enables me to create customised lesson plans and support students individually.”
The project presented technical challenges for the Brähler-Sanako team, however, their combined expertise helped to overcome obstacles.
“A particularly challenging aspect of integrating the hardware and software was channelling the audio to the correct places within the system, using analogue and digital signals,” explains Duncan. “The audio generated by the ‘delegates’ had to feed into the system to be interpreted, then returned to the software on the delegates’ laptops.
“To achieve this, each delegate microphone had to be paired with each laptop around the delegate table. Brähler and Sanako technicians found a solution which involved developing a customised cable connection to ensure a reliable and professional-quality audio feed.”
The alliance resulted in a suite that not only benefits students’ learning, but it also helps to boost the university’s profile in this area of study – this is crucial, as universities strive to attract new students each year.