Warwick's Student Admissions and Recruitment Office recently teamed up with the Chemistry department to use ITS's Video Conferencing Services to teach and entertain students from 4 schools around the UK as part of the "Virtually University" project. The aim of Virtually University is to reach out to sixth form students all over Britain, helping them to understand the world of Higher Education, and inspiring them to become part of it after taking their A-levels.
ITS set up a free standing Sony HD camera to capture Chemistry Teaching Fellow Nick Barker as he took the students through a series of interesting experiments, panning and zooming so they could see the finer details of the session.
Nick also took advantage of the two-way nature of video conferencing, asking each of the schools questions in turn to keep them involved in the session as though they were actually in the room with him. ITS set up a split-screen display so that Nick could see all 4 of his audiences at once, and the 4 schools could see Nick most prominently, with small images of the other 3 schools beneath.
Feedback from those involved
"All the pupils thoroughly enjoyed the session and they would be keen to take advantage of any other future VC sessions."
- David Hughes, Anglesey
"Just wanted to let you know that from what we got from the kids they really enjoyed it."
- Chadwell Academy, Essex
"A group of Year 10 Triple science students were involved. Students were able to meet a research chemist who was very enthusiastic about his subject. There were lots of demonstrations and excellent interaction with students through use of question and answer. We couldn't find any disadvantages with the session being conveyed over video and there were no connectivity issues. The presenter was excellent and the session was very worthwhile – shows the importance of the subject in a wider context – all students were interested and many positive comments afterwards. Would definitely want to continue such sessions in the future – with all year groups as appropriate."
- William Brookes , Shropshire