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Providing Multimedia Lecture Room Services

Support and Training

The Dearing Report summed up the need for increased staff development saying
We recommend that all institutions should, over the medium term, review the changing role of staff as a result of Communications and Information Technology, and ensure that staff and students receive appropriate training and support to enable them to realise its [sic] full potential.

Support and training for multimedia presentations covers a wide variety of topics and affects a range of people. Lecturers will require training to create and then deliver courses, support staff must be available at all times to provide backup and they will need training as new equipment becomes available.

Where equipment is available, it may not be used if lecturers do not feel comfortable with it. Staff development programmes should be available at all levels, providing sufficient training that the users feel competent to prepare multimedia material and deliver it. Training in the use of multimedia projectors, for example, should leave the user familiar with the interface and able to set up and attach a computer and deal with the most common problems. Although the aim should be for 'self-drive' of equipment, users should also feel that backup is available if they require it, and details of how to contact support technicians should be displayed in each room.

Some aspects of creating and delivering multimedia presentations can be supported at a wider level, through cross-departmental support for specific facilities such as videoconferencing suites, and more generally through national services. National services can provide a wide range of support, particularly in the preparation of material, for example the National Video Facility at the University of Manchester.

Central services within an institution can be very effective in supporting staff. Sites need to set standards of service - what is supported as a minimum and what can be provided beyond that - through Service Level Agreements (SLAs).


Sites should put in place staff development programmes at a range of levels to make staff comfortable with the technology available.

Support lecturers by:

  • individual support initially - staff tend to be at institutions for some years and thus one-to-one may be effective
  • have a strategy towards self-drive of equipment

Sites should be encouraged to set up cross- departmental support for facilities, such as video conferencing.

National facilities should be promoted within sites. These can provide support and expertise for lecturers creating their own presentations and departments requiring advice on equipment and training.

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