Almost half (46 %) were shown the basic controls as indicated in the BT Quick Reference Guide, but less than 40% were given additional advice on the operation of other AV equipment. (e.g. auxiliary camera, white board/flip chart, video recorder, screen based graphics from a PC)
A summary of the significant views held by users concerning general training needs is provided below in Table 4:-
Training Elements Views Proportion (%)
Admin./Operational Essential 57 Procedures Studio arrangements Essential 50 Background Technology Useful 58 Audio System Useful 56 Personal Interaction Useful 40 Document Camera Useful 49 Clothing advice Not needed 46 Common Problems Useful 51 Regular Support Useful 50
Videoconferencing system are generally susceptible to distortion of the image caused by movement. This distortion is greatly emphasised when individuals are wearing bright jewellery, or heavily patterned clothing. It was therefore surprising that few users felt advice in this area to be necessary.
Little use appears to being made of the additional AV facilities available in the studios (Table 5). Perhaps the time needed to prepare for a meeting, the facilities not being appropriate, or a lack of familiarity may account for this.
Studio AV facilities Used Proportion (%)
Document Camera Never/Occasional 72 OHP's Never 63 Slides Never 82 Additional Monitors Never 71 White Board Never 73
Opinions on actual use are summarised in Table 6. There is an overwhelming view that video-conferencing provides savings in time and travel. The importance of the organisational side of a video meeting is also emphasised. A clear view emerged that carefully rehearsed meetings, strong leadership by the chair, prior introductions, and face-to-face at some stage are necessary. Some users expressed the view (in their comments) that small informal meetings can however be successful.
Views on Use Opinion Proportion (%)
Video conference meetings lack a Agree 57 personal feel Prior introductions are necessary Agree 75 It is important to formally close Agree 83 meeting Face-to-face meetings are also needed Agree 76 It is easy for some studio groups to Uncertain 50 be overlooked Firm chairing & leadership are Agree 84 important Saving in travel appreciated Agree 84 Saving in time appreciated Agree 88 Hospitality (food/drink) provided at a Disagree 52 session
College Departments or Schools Involved in the Survey
Aberystwyth Agricultural Science, International Politics, Physics. Bangor Mathematics, Education, Radiography. Swansea Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics, Classical & Ancient History. Cardiff European Studies, Physics, History & Archaeology Ancient History. Lampeter Theology & Religious Studies, Modern Languages.
For the most part conference users indicated that their sessions were lecture or seminar based with some time devoted to feedback on coursework. A high (78%) proportion indicated that the network made it possible to run a course which would not be otherwise possible. Interestingly none of the respondents indicated use of the network for research supervision purposes (Table 8).
Mode of Delivery No. % (out of 21)
Video lectures 12 57 Workshops 1 Seminars 10 48 Teamwork 1 Research 0 Supervision Workshops 1 One-to-One 1 Tutorials Student Feedback 3 14
50% of the respondents used the document camera and OHP projector on a regular basis, although little use appears to be made of any other complementary media (Table 9).
Media Usage No. % ( out of 21)
Document delivery 10 48 OHPs 7 33 Slides 2 10 Pre-recorded Video 2 10 Graphics 4 20 White Board 5 23 Flip Chart 2 10 Computer Based 1 5 Media
A high proportion of users adopt the view that non-video sessions are important in addition to the video-conference sessions (Table 10).
Running a Session View Proportion (%)
Importance of non-video sessions in Important 82 addition The role of 'ice'-breaking sessions Important 59 Importance of training/warm-up Important 69 sessions Importance of providing an agenda Important 87 Importance site names and Not Important 56 identifiers Importance of having participant Not Important 75 name tags Importance of having pre-written Important 80 questions Importance of evaluation data on a Not Important 50 session
Opinions View Proportion (%)
I use more visual aids when via the Agree 27 network I use better quality materials Disagree 53 Can be better than a face-to-face Disagree 59 session Can promote group cohesiveness Agree 25 Can promote group independence Uncertain 71 Can promote better course management Uncertain 60 Discourages feedback Agree 47 Difficult to balance needs of Disagree 40 local students My teaching objectives were met Agree 87
Graphics Multimedia Virtual Environments Visualisation Contents