University invests £640,000 on latest teaching equipment

12 August 2013

Nigel Thomas, the University’s Learning Spaces Design and Development Manager, in Lecture Theatre A14 at Hugh Owen
Nigel Thomas, the University’s Learning Spaces Design and Development Manager, in Lecture Theatre A14 at Hugh Owen

Aberystwyth University has started a rolling programme of investment in its teaching rooms starting with the refurbishment and redecoration of 13 teaching rooms in the Hugh Owen Building on Penglais Campus which will be ready in time for the new wave of students attending this September. 

The investment, worth £640,000, will see each room fitted with an improved teaching technology system, an energy efficient lighting system, new writing and projection surfaces, hearing induction loops, wireless coverage, furniture, flooring and window coverings. 

The new technology being installed consists of a height adjustable lectern housing a new solid state drive PC providing faster performance, an interactive PC monitor, Blu-Ray player, document camera, web camera, microphones, ceiling mounted loud speakers and a Extron touch panel control unit. 

Nigel Thomas, Aberystwyth University’s Learning Spaces Design and Development Manager explains, “These rooms were built back in the 70s and were simply not suitable for the changes in teaching and learning that have developed of the last four decades. 

“As well as new technology, we’ve also changed the furniture and layout in some rooms to offer a choice of teaching styles including collaborative learning. There has also been the introduction of colour into the rooms to add some vibrancy. 

“Each room has also been fitted with hearing induction loops which comply with the Equality Act as well as an advanced lighting system that has four pre-set modes with manual override which will enable staff and students to adjust the lighting to their needs and can be controlled from the lectern as well as by the door.” 

All the academic departments at Aberystwyth University will be able to take advantage of the new facilities from September onwards. 

The University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Student and Staff Services, Rebecca Davies, said, "This development has been in the planning stages for a few years now and we’re delighted that the vision will soon become a reality. 

“We are delighted to deliver these improvements to the student experience at Aberystwyth.  These new rooms will be of huge benefit to our students and staff because they house cutting edge technology and will I’m sure be a pleasure to work in. 

“The teaching rooms in Llanbadarn Campus are also being equipped to a similar specification as the Hugh Owen Building and will be ready by September 2013.” 

Megan Williams, a Teaching Fellow at the University, explains,  “One of the features of the new software is Panopto lecture capture. My lectures are recorded and this enables the students to review and re-visit the material as many times as they wish, therefore promoting their understanding and giving them the opportunity to review their lecture notes in the context of the lecture. 

“Additional bonuses to the teaching rooms are new document cameras – instead of writing on a traditional board I can write and annotate onto a piece of paper, making my writing neater and easier to understand.  This enables me to face and talk to my students rather than they look at the back of my head!” 

Llanbadarn Campus houses the School of Management and Business, the Department of Law and Criminology and Information Studies. 

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Contacts

Nigel Thomas,Aberystwyth University, 01970 622480 / Nigel.Thomas@aber.ac.uk