Cloud-based SaaS solution weConnect enables collaborative learning at the University of Northampton

The university worked closely with Barco to implement the weConnect and Overture systems to support their 21st century teaching

The University of Northampton, one of the oldest universities in the UK, is leading the way in adding value to society. Staff is dedicated to share knowledge, support creativity and help students to make changes that will transform their lives. It recently invested in Waterside, a brand new campus, fully designed to adapt to 21st century teaching with a full range of integrated and also smaller learning environments. A perfect match with the solutions from Barco Education designed specifically for the educational market to enhance teaching and learning experiences within and beyond the classroom.

“Barco’s weConnect helps us create an environment that is not conducive to the delivery of content, but that facilitates the discussion and elaboration of ideas. Making the students part of those is key,” said Professor Alejandro Armellini, Dean of Learning & Teaching at University of Northampton.

The University of Northampton focuses strongly on student participation in their teaching methods. Barco Education partnered up with the University of Northampton to create a campus-wide solution that enables more collaborative teaching and learning, the cloud-based SaaS solution weConnect. weConnect is easy to maintain and manage at the same time with Overture, a campus-wide A/V all-in-one monitoring and control solution. Creating value for both teaching staff and IT department, the combination of both weConnect and Overture solutions proved to be the perfect fit and installs were realized in no less than 168 classrooms, 24 huddle spaces, 81 interactive classrooms, 35 connected classrooms, 23 collaboration rooms and 5 lecture halls.

Barco’s weConnect helps us create an environment that is not conducive to the delivery of content, but that facilitates the discussion and elaboration of ideas. Making the students part of those is key.
– Professor Alejandro Armellini, University of Northampton

Moving away from traditional teaching

On a teaching focused campus like University of Northampton the staff’s attention is mainly on making students part of discussions and involving them highly in the teaching and learning process. With Barco’s weConnect collaborative solution, student engagement in classrooms and lecture halls is higher and graduates can be prepared for the future jobs by helping them obtain skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, emotional intelligence… Professor  Alejandro Armellini comments: “We want to innovate in the way we run our teaching, in the experience of students in and outside the classroom. We want good teaching to translate into the best opportunities possible for our students when they graduate.”

Easy-to-use, straightforward tech enables professors to move out of the traditional practise to the role of university tutors. Interactivity features like polling, quizzes, silent questions enable blended learning and revolve around making students content creators and knowledge sharers. Dr. Holger Siemons, Associate Professor adds: “weConnect helps me to renovate my teaching approaches, to be more curious about new topics and it gives me immediate feedback from students. You can really build a culture of participation.”

weConnect and Overture: the perfect match for our campus

“Millennials expect a different type of learning experience. We’re looking for technologies that allow us to serve up our teaching on demand, be scalable and flexible. weConnect gives us the collaborative classroom experience and the wireless screen sharing experience. Overture underpins all of that as a third party control system that is highly customizable.” Digital Integration Lead, Andrew Taylor is convinced of the combination of both solutions for their campus. Easy-to-manage and maintain solutions deliver a uniform user experience for all rooms on campus. “It takes away some of the cognitive load of our lecturers, there are no more control panels and we can automate equipment. In addition to more interactive teaching with weConnect, Overture helps us deliver a full, complete solution.”

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