Are you still listening? How audio-conferencing is supporting student experience

Jon Knight, managing director at Ascentae, says universities must adapt to new ways of communicating

Over the past few years, universities have evolved their infrastructure to suit the needs of the modern student. Demand has grown for group collaboration rooms, alongside more traditional lecture theatres to nurture student-led learning.

Now the landscape of higher education has changed again as a result of COVID-19 and there is even more pressure on Higher Education institutions to provide the right technology to overcome these new challenges.

This new ‘normal’ will be successfully navigated by those who can most readily adapt to new ways of communicating and can equip these learning environments with effective technology that supports the collaborative efforts of the students who use them.

The importance of being heard

The ability to hear an instructor is critical to students’ success. Current UK government guidelines are clear, HE institutions now have to consider how to support social distancing in the classroom.

To ensure all students, have space to be heard, flexibility will be a key requirement, in terms of the layout and the technology adopted in the room. One element that is commonly overlooked is the acoustics. Many learning spaces may look state of the art, yet if the audio is poor the result is a worthless venue for collaboration and capturing group discussions.

Universities also need to support the learning experience of remote students. So, getting the audio right is critical, both for people present in the classroom and for remote participants joining from their homes.

The scaleable, plug and play solution

Patented Microphone Mist™ technology is the power behind Nureva audio conferencing solutions. For remote learners, Microphone Mist technology delivers a natural and fulfilling listening experience, making it easier for them to remain engaged. For professors and lecturers – plus IT and AV support staff – it means freedom from the constraints and potential complications of conventional audio-conferencing solutions.

Nureva systems adapt to whatever space you are using, continuously auto calibrating to suit the configuration and circumstances.

Built for social distancing

Working together, while staying apart. The full-room coverage provided by Microphone Mist technology means every word gets heard. Lecturers can make full use of their space and offer a natural, comfortable experience that will be heard clearly by remote students. Full-room coverage makes it possible for students and participants in the room to remain physically distant yet still be socially connected. From the front of the class to the corners of the room, everyone can take part and stay fully engaged – while respecting the need for space and comfort.

Covid-19 has had a dramatic and lasting effect on industry and the education industry is no exception.  It is widely recognised that real immersion and involvement increases the capacity of students to learn.  Over the last couple of years, more and more collaborative technology has been developed to enable universities to engage student and improve the learning environment.

But although education facilities were already evolving to take advantage of the benefits afforded by new technology, recent events have accelerated plans to deploy far more flexible and innovative solutions.

Organisations that don’t quickly adapt to the new business-as-usual will find themselves unable to deliver the same quality of experience as competitors when courses start again later this year. Establishing audio systems that provide the opportunity for every student to hear wherever they are, is a critical component.

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