What is it?
At the University of Bath, many General Teaching Area (GTA) rooms are designed for the effective use of Audio Visual (AV). Teaching sessions, presentations, and video conferencing are all situations in which AV can be deployed. The AV unit manages the set up of these rooms, working to explore how technology can engage the audience.
How might I use it?
AV has the potential to create an interactive, engaging and accessible teaching space. The use of AV allows teaching staff to transmit information to the audience quickly and effectively. It enables the presenter to explain facts, ideas and processes more clearly and illustratively as well as present information systemically.
Common AV practices in GTA rooms include:
- Lecture capture.
- Presentations (for example, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Sway).
- Playing of audio and video.
- Screen sharing from other devices such as an iPad or tablet.
- The use of other hardware such as laptops and visualisers.
- Displaying information on screens.
- Video conferencing.
How do staff and students use it effectively?
Below are some quick tips to enhance the learning and teaching experience in lecture rooms.
- Pause your lecture recording. This is useful when taking breaks, during noisy discussions or when you are presenting content not intended for public viewing. This saves time editing the recording afterwards.
- Microphones should be worn. They should be docked afterwards to charge. Microphones feed hearing supports and provide better audio both in the room and for lecture capture recordings. 'Hockey puck' style microphones do not need to be worn.
- When asking and answering questions it is good practise to make use of two microphones - 1 for the lecturer and one for the student. If this is not possible, the lecturer should repeat back the question.
- In rooms which have two screens, it is possible to extend the screen by using the touchscreen. Note that left and right are from the audience's perspective.
- In large rooms with twin visualisers you are able to write across two screen widths.
- Use the touchscreen monitor. Scribe over it with a stylus and move it into a position that suits you.
- Use Vivi to mirror your device wireless to the screen, enabling the lecturer to facilitate learning from anywhere in the room (Note: not all rooms are enabled for this).
- Using lighting effectively. Blank your PowerPoint if you are writing on a whiteboard over it. Use room lighting to illuminate specific areas. Turn the light on over the lecturer to illuminate them.
- When you are being recorded, think about where you can be seen by the camera.
- If you notice a quirk or fault, report it to AV.
What are the pros & cons?
- Effective use of AV can make your teaching spaces more inclusive for all learners.
- If AV is used effectively it can engage learners in the teaching room as students often prefer a mix of audio-visual aids.
- Presentation and media software can be used as a stimulus to guide discussion and spark ideas. Examples include PowerPoint presentations, polling software, and audio and video.
- Recording lectures can provide additional benefits outside of the teaching space, for example during revision periods.
- It is important to become familiar with the different aspects of AV. Although many rooms share the same characteristics, the setup can differ across campus.
- Audiences may become disengaged if some types of media are used too often, for example, PowerPoint slides (commonly known as 'death by PowerPoint').
- Poorly thought-out AV can be a distraction.
- Technical issues can occur, such Wi-Fi dropout and batteries dying.
Maths lectures with iPads: Pros and cons (Dr Kit Yates - Department of Mathematical Sciences)
Many of the practices mentioned above such as wearing a microphone will make teaching spaces more inclusive for all learners. Some learners will have Disability Action Plans (DAPs) which will require specific adjustments to be made.
Bera, Tushar & P, Mukherjee & S, Yadav & Sah, Surendra & SK, Kar.,2015. Audio- visual aids in teaching- learning process of health sciences students and professional. Journal of Universal College of Medical Sciences. 2015; 3. 50-53.