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1 Introduction
2 The lecture series

3 Statements on IT provision
3.1 University Management
3.2 The Department
3.3 The Students

4 Observations
5 Appendices

Case Studies

"Digital Futures": A Case Study in a Faculty of Art & Design

3 Statements on Lecture Theatre I.T. provision

3.2 Faculty of Art & Design: Department of Visual and Performing Arts


3.2.1 Joint Statement by Professor Simon Lewis (Head of Department of Visual and Performing Arts) and Mr David Hughes (Coordinator of Department of Visual & Performing Arts Electives)
No separate statement was forthcoming from 3 Faculty sources invited to contribute - Dean's Office, Faculty Administrator's Office, Faculty IT Committee. The joint statement by the Head of Department and Electives Coordinator outlines the Departmental structure and the particular concerns and demands of administrating and coordinating the demands of courses with an over-riding concern for and with 'the image'. It also details technical developments which have occurred and draws comparisons with 'a model lecture theatre'. Note that Mr Hughes was not in post during the period of this Case Study and his appointment from February 1998 was partly in response to some of the organisational and logistical difficulties recorded by Electives in Semester 1; he is Module Leader for Contemporary Studies (a lecture based theory module).

Report on IT Provision in Lecture Theatres
With Specific Reference to the Needs of Visual and Performing Arts and the Bonington Lecture Theatre, Nottingham Trent University.
The Department of Visual and Performing Arts is made up of a number of named degree courses: Fine Art, Photography, Photography in Europe, Contemporary Arts (including performance, dance, visual arts and music),Theatre Design and Television Production Design. The IT needs of lecturers within the department are quite particular. Essentially, the accumulated subjects of scrutiny, intellectual and formal interests of the named degrees demands that there is a very wide range of media available to assist in the delivery of lectures. It is the case that almost all the lectures conducted in the Bonington Lecture Theatre, the department's main lecture venue, require more than one item of audio visual equipment.
It is not possible, however, to extract IT straightforwardly from this range of multi-media audio visual teaching aids as though it were a special case. Currently it stands alongside other more traditional media as a carrier of images and information. However, it will become increasingly important and dominant as it becomes the primary medium for image, information and event. In future, the digital medium will, most likely, carry all the information currently carried in analogue, print or photo-chemical media. The connections to the Internet, the bookless library (library without walls), on-line 'dialogues' and research facilities make computers an essential element within this suite of resources to support the delivery of lectures and workshops within modules.
The main element dealt with across the department is the visual image, whether moving or static. This ranges from video documentation of one-off site specific work all the way over to a projection of a 35mm slide of an existing piece of 2-dimensional painting. However, it is frequently the case that in core, degree programme lectures or in departmental electives, it is necessary to move between the visual image, the video image, recorded sound and, increasingly, a Web site or CD-ROM. Any lecture concerned with interdisciplinary will usually make reference to sound, video, performance and static visual art or installation work. Consequently, a flexible system for moving between these sources is necessary.
Increasingly, as all this information moves towards the digital medium, all of these images and documents will be held within and generated from within computers.
When Dr Smith's Digital Futures elective module ran earlier this academic year, most of the resources needed had to be brought in and plugged through the video projector temporarily. We are now in a position in the Bonington Lecture Theatre to provide all the requirements of that module and other lectures demanding multi media support, through a suite of permanently installed items. This suite comprises computer with zip and CD-ROM, video players, monitors and projector, 35mm slide projectors, two 16mm film projectors and cassette and reel to reel audio. DAT and CD players are still brought in on a temporary basis.
In the Lady Djanogly Lecture Theatre in the new Boots Library, there is a model lecture theatre which suggests what the current state of affairs should be within our main departmental lecture theatre. The entire system is operated by the speaker from a touchscreen console which co-ordinates tape, DAT, Minidisks and CDs in a sound stack, two slide projectors which operate singly, in tandem or in phase through the agency of a slide dissolve unit, a Wolf Visualiser which operates as both epidiascope and OHP, a video projector through which all the digital sources can be routed and an Internet connected Pentium 200 computer which can run Powerpoint and interactive CD-ROMS.
The main difference at the moment between these two lecture theatres is the ability of the speaker to control the whole suite of technical resources from the lectern through a touchscreen and items of hardware such as DAT's which are not permanently installed in Bonington. Caught between being funded by the Faculty and Academic Accommodation, funding for developments in the lecture theatre are slow, but they do progress and in terms of IT, the Bonington Lecture Theatre can now function very well.
Prof Simon Lewis, Head of Department of Visual and Performing Arts & Mr David Hughes, Coordinator Departmental Electives


3.2.2 Statement by Mr Gerry Young, Principal Technician Department of Visual & Performing Arts with Faculty responsibility for the Bonington Lecture Theatre
Mr Young's statement is primarily concerned with the quality of presentation (for students and staff). He briefly relates the development of IT equipment in Bonington, its upgrades both recent and projected.
From: Gerry Young :Ext 2377
To: Barry Smith :Ref
Date: 30 April 1998

IT Provision in Lecture Theatres.
I feel that there are two aspects to this, the first is the matter of the presentation of lectures. Current software (such as Powerpoint) enables a lecturer to present information in a very professional way and in a form that has much greater consistency than hand-written work on chalk or whiteboards. Preparation of the ?slides? for these shows is relatively easy and quick, certainly much more so than the traditional 35mm slides, and in most cases requires no external professional input, it can be done by the lecturer concerned.
Equally important in an Art & Design environment is the presentation of students work. With the increasing importance of digitally derived or manipulated imagery within our students work it is vital that facilities are available within our Lecture Theatres ( and in general teaching and seminar rooms where possible) to display this work as part of a teaching programme. This aspect requires that we have an IT facility which is at least as powerful as the machines used for the generation of the work in the first place.
The Bonington Lecture Theatre was equipped with a Barco data projector about four years ago, this was the best model available at the time, capable of the highest resolutions and scan rates available, and remains up to date in its capabilities. Efforts to compromise the specification at the time of purchase were resisted. A computer has been installed recently which should cope with the work that is being produced at the present time and should be good enough for the foreseeable future. The computer is a PC compatible, but most application software in use in the Faculty is available for both PC and MAC formats, with file format commonality, so there should be no problem with work generated on a MAC. The facility is available to plug in a MAC relatively simply when required.
Care needs to be taken in the future to keep the facility up to date and foresee as far as possible any improvements needed, perhaps this could be a regular agenda item for the Faculty IT group. At the moment we have only one portable projector in the department capable of limited data projection for use in other teaching areas although a second is under consideration. The price\performance ratio is still coming down for this equipment and we need to keep an eye on the possibilities of extending this provision.

3.2.3 Statement by Mr Des Gearing, Bonington Lecture Theatre Technician.
Mr Gearing outlines the developments which have taken place in the Bonington Lecture Theatre, the provision during the 'Digital Futures' series and anticipated future developments. The statement concludes with a List of Bonington Lecture Theatre equipment (as of February 1998) prepared by Mr Gearing.


The Digital Futures' series of lectures were delivered in the Bonington Lecture Theatre which is one of sixteen lecture theatres at the City site of Nottingham Trent University. The projection room of the theatre still contains analogue audio sound and older systems of visual projection which are still used on a regular basis. The challenge has been to incorporate the latest digital technology into a user-friendly multi-media facility to accommodate the diverse nature of the faculty of art and design.
Bonington Theatre has been transformed in the provision of information technology digitalsupport for lectures. It now has, as its centre piece, a Barco 800 graphics video projection system which is capable of receiving analogue video and digital information from a variety of different sources such as U-matic and SVHS video cassette recorders and P.C. or Apple Macintosh format computers.
The Barco projection system is permanently installed and displays its presentations on a motorised screen approximately 5 x 4 metres in size, which is installed at the front of the lecture theatre.
The provision of such equipment was vital to the delivery of the Digital Futures series of lectures as it provided both innovative and informative I.T. digital information by linking via an interface to a laptop P.C. situated at the lectern to the Barco projector system and linking the laptop P.C. to the University network system which, in turn, incorporates access to the internet. With the variety of software available from the P.C. and linking to the internet, this gave the widest possible access to digital information technology and displayed it on the large screen giving maximum visual impact to the audience.
The theatre also incorporates a four-speaker stereo sound system which, when linked to the P.C. at the lectern, facilitates the use of compact discs played via the computer to compliment the visual aspects of the lectures, as was the case in this series of lectures.
The Bonington Theatre continues to evolve and it is envisaged that by Easter 1998 a new lectern will be installed which will have a permanently installed P.C. with CD and zip drive and a video cassette recorder. This will alleviate the need to temporarily connect computers at the lectern and will complete the range of IT support available in Bonington Theatre.
Technical Specifications for the Bonington Lecture Theatre: April 1998


Hi grade Axion PV fitted with a P200 200 MHZ micro processor and composite video output was provided via a PVZTV graphics card port utilising RS232 protocol (bytes are sent with 8 bits, no priority, stop bit, at 4800 baudrate).


The interface between computer and projector was provided via an "inline" 2080 computer composite video interface for PS2 computers and has an operating frequency of 65KHZ to 90KHZ which is fed to the barco projection system in RGB and sync format.

Projection System

The barco 800 projector used a remote controlled video and data source selector (RCVDS 800) which makes it possible to select any of 10 sources connected to the projector, communication cables used were RSZ32/422 which communicates between projector and the RCVDS 800.
Projector specifications were set and used as follows:
scan frequency horizontal 15-90KHZ autolock
vertical 45-120 KHZ autolock
Retrace time horizontal 2-5 seconds
vertical 200 seconds
RGB Bandwidth 6MHZ phase lock looped
Optical Resolution 10 1p/mm
Light Output 825 Lumen at 10% peak white
575 Lumen at 20 peak white
CRTS High definition liquid cooled 8" CRTS
Lenses High definition full colour corrected F1-06 hybrid lenses.

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