Nottingham Trent University Clinical Studies Centre Upgrade

Nottingham Trent University is a thriving modern institution named by the Guardian as the 2019 University of the Year. The Clinical Studies Centre is a facility operated by staff from the department of social work and health and is used to provide post-registration professional development for healthcare professionals.

As part of a broader ongoing program of investment at Nottingham Trent University, Pure Audio Visual Ltd was engaged to upgrade the audiovisual facilities in the Centre and provide a solution to support specialist clinical skills teaching and assessment using audiovisual capture, viewing and recording.

Within the field of healthcare training, there is a significant focus on practical, scenario-based teaching. The upgrade to the facilities had to encourage interactive, two-way engagement between lecturer and students, and facilitate the live demonstration and observation of clinical techniques.

The spaces within the Centre include a small meeting room, two teaching rooms, and specialised teaching areas, including a simulated patient room and a mock hospital ward with two ward beds. The previous clinical skills area had standard cameras and sessions would be recorded and then reviewed by teachers and peers after the event.

The new system is designed to use video and networked audio to enable real-time observation and live audio communication between the specialised and standard teaching areas. Teachers and peers can view a live video feed from the simulated teaching spaces and using the networked audio system pose questions or ask for clarification in real-time from within the standard teaching rooms, or even a remote location. The sessions are also recorded to enable a further and more detailed review post-exercise.

Unhindered observation, real-time feedback and Peer review

The system is designed to allow the different learning spaces to be used in isolation or linked together to facilitate the observation of activity within the specialised teaching areas.

One of the largest non-specialised teaching areas is the new Scale-up room, designed to offer better facilities for in-room interactive teaching and demonstration. There are five individual meeting desks each with Panasonic displays that can be used independently with local connection via dedicated PC, or with student devices wirelessly connected.

Alternatively, the master desk can take full control and broadcast content to all tables; a feature particularly appreciated by teaching staff when demonstrating to large groups of students, as Andrew Kirke, principal lecturer paramedic, urgent & emergency care highlights.

“Using a camera attached to the master screen, I can do synchronous skills demonstrations for the 5 groups to emulate. We no longer have problems with students being able to see the demonstration and it avoids the need for the repetitive illustration of the same skill.
The ability to record and release the content to individual tables for replay as required is really powerful as it allows groups to work at their own pace, it has additionally led to the creation of reusable learning objects, which is a benefit that we hadn’t anticipated”.

The Scale-up room also connects to the central AV node room allowing a live video link and two-way audio communication with the specialised teaching areas. As a result, lecturers or groups of students working in the specialised clinical skills areas can be observed and communicated with from within the Scale-up room.

The separation of the observer from the active learning space, helping to create a more realistic experience for those in the simulation area. And, in the case of skills demonstrations, means that students can use the two-way audio communication to ask for clarification on the techniques demonstrated during the activity rather than wait for a retrospective explanation.

Flexible teaching configurations

The node room provides the home for the central audiovisual core, which connects each of the different teaching areas. It is built around Extron DXP technology for the management of video and control signals and utilises networked audio delivery via BIAMP Tesira forte DSP using AVB. This provides flexible connectivity between the different rooms and ensures high-quality audio distribution to support the two-way communication between the spaces.

Crystal-clear audio

“The audio is crystal-clear; I’ve experienced things in the past with audio and video links between classrooms and generally the audio has been poor. With this set-up the video is good, and we have no problems with sound quality and levels. We also have additional headsets for any students with hearing problems”.

Stuart Loughran, Audio Visual Systems Team Leader, Nottingham Trent University

Opening Access to Experts and Stakeholders

Providing access to experts and specialists in clinical practice is an important part of the education provision for students. The time given by these individuals is highly valued but also limited by the pressures of their other responsibilities. Using the new facilities within the clinical studies centre, the University can maximise the reach of those visits by streaming to multiple rooms, using webcasts or recording via lecture capture for future use.

The ability for students to revisit essential teaching or the work of visiting specialists has been significantly improved, as the new cameras and audio system provide high-quality video and audio feeds for broadcast, webcast and lecture capture.

Improved video conferencing facilities

Holding close relationships with key stakeholders is important for any university and particularly in healthcare where regular liaison with hospital trusts and ambulance services is essential to keep the programs current and in touch with new innovations in clinical skills. The inclusion of video conferencing in the new meeting room is helping to support those relationships and reduce the burden on partners and experts whose time is so very valuable.

Sharing Best Practice on an international stage

Staff within the department of social work and health are working on internationally recognised processes for e-portfolio development and video-based assessment. The work involves the use of video in practical skills assessment and has seen the team present their processes to academics as far afield as America and Australia. The video conferencing facilities within the small meeting room are a vital tool that supports collaboration with other professionals on both a national and international scale.

An inspirational setting

The new clinical studies centre is making a significant impact on the teaching of post-registration healthcare training at Nottingham Trent University. It has encouraged teaching practitioners to form discussion groups to share best practice and explore new ways to adapt their content delivery to exploit the full potential of the new facilities.

“From an Academic’s perspective the mark of a good AV installation is that it allows you to fully deliver the pedagogical curricula as you have designed it. However, a truly excellent installation inspires the academics to conceive new, exciting and engaging ways to deliver the same curricula content. I can attest to the fact that the installation in the Clinical Studies Centre is both Excellent and inspirational.”

Andrew Kirke, Principal Lecturer Paramedic, Urgent & Emergency care, Nottingham Trent University

The new system addresses previous difficulties experienced in large group demonstration by ensuring every participant has a clear view of the activity underway, and through the networked audio system, can interact, clarify and engage more effectively with the course content.

“The new training facilities have created very exciting opportunities for my programme. They are making a big impact on our teaching, but most importantly on the student experience, maximising their learning by making it more engaging and productive.”

Andrew Kirke, Principal Lecturer Paramedic, Urgent & Emergency care, Nottingham Trent University

The system is simple for teaching staff to manage and control, helping to encourage full adoption and ensure that all academics at the centre can make use of the tools available to them.

“I would personally like to record my thanks to all of those involved as they have listened and worked with us to produce an AV system that is truly user-friendly, has exceeded our expectations and is fit for purpose.”

Stuart Loughran, Audio Visual Systems Team Leader, Nottingham Trent University,

362 Leach Place, Walton Summit, Preston, PR5 8AS

0845 602 2861


Created By
Pure AV Di Gaetano