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Chris Wood Case Study

Enabling Engaging Learning Experiences

How Warwick’s technical experts create engaging hybrid teaching spaces

Warwick’s long-term commitment to state-of-the-art teaching spaces needed to step up a gear in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, so that the student body could benefit from innovative hybrid learning approaches.

What improvements is Warwick making?

The AV Team maintains and upgrades the university’s centralised teaching spaces and collaborates with individual departments to ensure their spaces hit a similar standard. They focus on both lecture capture and hybrid learning technologies that can transform the student learning experience.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for spaces that could work for both in-person and online teaching. A modular approach, tailored to the specific purpose of the teaching room, ensures that upgrades are flexible and can be further tailored to student need.

“In a minimum lecture capture experience, you would be able to hear the audio and potentially see the lecturer’s workstation,” Chris explains.

“An upgraded version would offer the opportunity to see the lecturer and the PowerPoint.

“The minimum hybrid experience we offer is hearing the lecturer through Microsoft Teams. At its most enriched you can see and hear both the lecturer and the audience in the room for an engaging experience. Colleagues can monitor chat to encourage full participation.”

Stepping it up a gear

To ensure their efforts are focused where they are needed most, the AV Team developed a ‘red, amber, green’ process.

“We seek to identify the weakest rooms as the red list, the better rooms as amber and the most well-equipped as green,” says Chris.

“Targeted funding is then put in once a year to modernise and renovate those facilities.”

There has been a major increase in funding post-COVID. Despite some challenging supply chain issues over the past two years, the team have overseen upgrades across the university, with a significant impact on students’ experience of learning at Warwick.

And that isn't all...

Whilst optimising Warwick’s teaching spaces occupies a sizeable portion of time, the team also facilitates other innovative projects across the university.

Working with colleagues in the Flexible and Online Learning Division (FOLD), Chris and the AV Team have opened three Rapidmooc studios. The studios enable users to create professional quality video content with a green screen background, to provide state-of-the-art remote learning materials for Warwick students.

“It is an innovation for sure. Previously academics were often using their laptop with their headsets at home on the kitchen table, trying to put together a lecture with PowerPoint presentations or similar. Rapidmooc can provide a greater degree of professionalism in that regard,” Chris explains.