The majority of users in the survey indicated that they first started using the videoconferencing system in 1992. The rate at which new users have then joined subsequently appears to have dropped away, although use overall is still increasing. There is no clear explanation for this although at some sites booking possibilities may have reached an optimum given existing resources.
Regular users are also very active - booking the system from once per term to once per week in some cases. Totals available from the booking statistics are provided (Table 2) for the six months February 1994 to July 1994 and indicate a high overall network usage. Academic departmental hours however do not disaggregate direct teaching use from meeting and committee use.
College No of No of Academic Dept Sessions Hours Hours
Aberystwyth 114 217 106 Bangor 119 227 91 Cardiff 141 256 128 Lampeter 46 87 28 Medicine 13 37 - Registry 39 85 - Swansea 118 212 104 Totals 590 1121 457
This survey has addressed separately both the issue of committee & meeting use - including research - and teaching and learning use - involving course delivery and student activity. The survey however did not include sampling of student experience. Table 3 indicates the comparison of overall committee and direct teaching activity derived from the samples collected.
College Committee Teaching Totals Use Use
Aberystwyth 9 5 14 Bangor 13 4 17 Cardiff 20 4 24 Swansea 17 5 22 Lampeter 11 3 14 Medicine 2 - 2 Totals 72 (77%) 21 (23%) 93
It would appear that whilst teaching and learning use has grown steadily with many different departments using the system over a period of time, meeting use has grown quickly and substantially. Committee and meeting use has now established itself as a regular pattern of video- communication for many users. As one user indicated, video- conferencing is now part of their vital "tools of the trade". Direct teaching is, however, also to be seen as a significant component in network use and involving a wide range of subject areas.
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