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Inspiring students to learn through tech

The University of Bath is making higher education even more engaging for its students thanks to technology from Sony

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | February 21, 2014 | Technology

Lecture courses retain an irreplaceable role right across the higher education curriculum. Ask any academic what they want to achieve through their lectures, and you will learn there is one common aim – to develop and inspire through engaging, educating and empowering students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills.The University of Bath worked with Sony to help generate greater educational returns, by maximising lesson delivery whilst enabling educators to expand boundaries through creative use of multimedia content.

The connection challenge

Connecting with students and inspiring them to learn has always been a key challenge. Today’s generation are used to a multimedia visual experience and can be uninterested and disengaged with the traditional style of textbook learning. Recognising that it’s critical for academics to engage students with dynamic and powerful learning resources that are not only familiar to students, but can be accessed in a format they know best, the University of Bath set about creating an education environment with dynamic technology at its core.

The University has already capitalised on a broad range of innovative technologies and multimedia communications tools that bring a fresh dimension and enrich the learning experience. The institution had three requirements for the installation: the guarantee of image quality, high brightness levels and low total cost of ownership (TCO).

A seamless solution

The University of Bath needed a solution that would allow it to standardise and improve its technology platform across its estate and all teaching spaces. As the University is committed to installing projection units rather than large format displays (LFD) in all its teaching space, the Sony products were a clear winner as they provided the best blend of technology to meet those needs. Both the VPL-FH500L and VPL-FH31 are designed to fit seamlessly into any environment and offer exceptional brightness, zoom and throw range, coupled with wide lens shift range, meaning they can perform where other projectors would struggle – even in high ambient light.

The University of Bath’s AV manager, Rob Hyde, said: “It was important for the University to find a solution that not only reduced the TCO but also maintained a high performance, excellent image quality and compatibility with our existing technologies - and Sony’s product fits our needs best.” 

Sony designed and implemented a bespoke system for the University across all teaching spaces that featured 6 VPL-FH500L and 51 VPL-FH31 projectors. The team succeeded in creating an immersive, informative university environment that brings a lecture to life.

The installation was managed by Reflex – a specialist in design and media AV instalments. “As a specialist AV integrator in the university market, it was great to have the opportunity to fulfil The University of Bath’s AV requirements and desires.

“When we design a complete AV system, we have to have the confidence in both the technology and the manufacturer products that we install as it is Reflex that will have to resolve any issues should they occur. In this instance, Sony met the brief perfectly for both the client and Reflex, and everyone is happy with the final solution,” said Roland Dreesden, managing director of Reflex. 

Positive prospects

The project was completed at the end of 2013 and, to date, feedback has been very positive from both students, academics and staff. The University has been able to drive towards educational excellence via teaching solutions that enable the students to have access to the creative and interactive advantages new technologies offer.  

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