The recent upgrade of three lecture theatres within the City Campus is part of a rolling programme of investment designed to optimise the quality, flexibility and functionality of the University’s physical and digital estate. Works within the Marybone, Peter Jost Upper and Cherie Booth lecture theatres included improved lighting, a new seating layout, redecoration and new audiovisual facilities.
The primary challenge within each of the three lecture theatres was to improve the audiovisual environment to create a more comfortable experience for both student and lecturer. An ageing infrastructure meant that there were limitations in the ability of students to see and hear the information presented by the lecturer. The audio was a particular issue; impacting not only the student experience but also the quality of lecture capture recordings. A further concern was the time taken to set-up and change over between lectures as academics struggled with the existing facilities — the need for regular technical support placing a significant demand on the time of the University’s audiovisual technicians.
The horseshoe shape of the Cherie Booth theatre, for example, required back-to-back screens mounted on central ceiling poles, while in the larger, traditional tiered style, Peter Jost Upper theatre, the use of articulated wall mounts enables the positioning of the screens to meet the needs of the users of the space. This facility includes the ability to reposition the displays to improve accessibility for disabled students.
Simple connection & fast changeover
The addition of Extron touchscreen panels throughout has simplified the control of the equipment within the rooms, and combined with the introduction of Barco Clickshare has reduced the time taken by academics to set-up and begin teaching.
Taking the strain out of being heard
One of the most popular changes has been the introduction of Sennheiser Speechline radio mics, the equipment dramatically enhancing the listening experience of students while reducing strain on the voice of the lecturer. The improved audio has also benefited the lecture capture process as audio playback on the lecture recordings is significantly enriched.