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The aim of this document is to support those who wish to use videoconferencing in higher education.

Throughout the report, videoconferencing is taken as referring to “any activity which requires communication involving live video images being transmitted from one location to another”. In almost all applications, this also includes the transmission of audio and sometimes includes the transmission of data.

The authors recognise that this definition of videoconferencing is a very broad one, including activities that elsewhere may not be referred to as videoconferencing; e.g. videotelephony, TV-type broadcasting and surveillance. They have been included here because, in higher education, there seems to be an acceptance that all these diverse activities have a similar base and are usually referred to under the same umbrella heading of videoconferencing.


This document is divided into 3 main chapters and has 5 appendices, a glos sary and bibliography.

Chapter 1 gives a general guide to using videoconferencing. It is intended to be of use to those thinking of using videoconferencing as well as those who are wanting to improve the facilities they already use. It will also be helpful for people who offer a service to others.

Chapter 2 reviews the services (including networks and equipment) that are currently available and points to sources of further information.

Chapter 3 reports the results of a survey carried out specifically for this docu ment and describes the ways in which videoconferencing is currently being used in higher education, ways in which it is being funded, possible future uses and advice that existing users give to those who may be just starting out.

The Appendices form a very valuable reference resource and include:

The aim has been to cover as many potential problem situations as possible and the authors are aware that some areas have been covered in more detail than others as is not surprising in such a small project. The areas that have not been given so much attention are probably those of satellite transmission (as opposed to detailed descriptions of some of the network possibilities) and large scale broadcasting generally. The authors suggest that those with spe cific queries in this area contact Ray Winders at The University of Plymouth (See Appendix 4) who offers services and advice.

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