Putting engaging learning on the record at Huddersfield

The West Yorkshire university selects Roche AV to install Panasonic remote cameras and laser projectors as part of a major campus-wide AV refresh

 Lecture capture systems have grown in popularity in the past few years, as universities look to give students the opportunity to learn in their own time, seek out different ways of learning and revising before exams, or let them go back and rewatch certain parts of a lecture they might have missed. 

Panasonic’s AW-HE2 remote camera has been at the heart of a brand-new upgrade at Huddersfield University. The compact camera has been installed as part of a wider AV refresh, with the installation of Panasonic PT-RZ370 3,000 lumen projectors as well as a new Extron control system that removes the need for remotes.

Roche AV’s involvement throughout the duration of the project, from the initial idea phase right up to the implementation and continuous monitoring stages, was crucial to the overall success of the installation. 

It’s a large project that has seen 112 AW-HE2 cameras installed across the University, alongside 37 PT-RZ370 projectors.

The University was prompted to invest in lecture capture following a visit to another university by the Pro-Vice Chancellor, who saw that students there were already benefiting from being able to retrieve and play back recordings of previous lectures and seminars. So, with a number of new developments in recent years, including the Oastler building on the edge of campus, the time was right for a technology upgrade.

Panasonic technology has made the biggest impact in the Business School, where every room across the four floors of the £17m building has undergone an AV upgrade.

The new equipment will help to reduce the maintenance costs for the University, as the resilient SOLID SHINE laser technology within the PT-RZ370 gives 20,000 hours of maintenance-free operation, with a level of colour and brightness far surpassing conventional lamp-based projectors. 

The projector’s daylight view function also keeps images clear even in the brightly lit environment of a classroom or lecture theatre. The built-in sensor measures the ambient light and then automatically adjusts the halftone colour and brightness levels to ensure there is no need to turn surrounding lights off. At the same time instant on/off enables sessions to get started straight away.

Administrators at the University decided on an opt-out format, with the capture system linking into the timetable. In the rooms where the AW-HE2 is installed it means the system automatically starts recording at the time the room is being used, and if the lecturer does not want to record they have to physically stop it.

As well as the primary function to record lectures and sessions, the system has also provided an unexpected benefit to technical support at the University, as technicians can provide support to academic staff with instructions over the phone and help get problems solved more quickly.

The system gives staff the ability to make any edits necessary to the footage, using the Panopto lecture capture software. It is then uploaded onto an online portal, accessible by students and arranged by module.

“It goes onto the VLE per module, so the recording is loaded to the module that the class is scheduled for – it all ties into the timetabling system,” explains Julie Berry, one of the University’s IT Support Officers. 

“That is automatically uploaded and then the staff member has two days to edit anything. They edit through Panopto, which is a really quick and effective editing tool.”

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