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University of Bath engages students with interactive lectures

Connecting with students and inspiring them to learn is a priority for all educational institutions. Students today are accustomed to interactive

Connecting with students and inspiring them to learn is a priority for all educational institutions. Students today are accustomed to interactive, visual experiences and in order to resonate with this evolving demographic, university lecturing needs to adopt similar practices.

At the University of Bath, which is one of the UK’s top ten universities, the teaching body recognised that by bringing the most advanced technology into the lecture theatre, it would be able capture students’ attention and deliver a genuinely engaging educational programme.

Enhancing learning

The university’s single campus is home to more than 15,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students, with alumni representing more than 150 countries. It has committed to upgrading its teaching rooms over the next ten years to enhance the learning experience for its students and aid their educational development.

As part of that commitment, it has already capitalised on a broad range of innovative technologies and multimedia communications tools that bring a fresh dimension and enrich the learning experience. Previously, the university installed six Sony VPL-FH500L projectors and a hefty 51 Sony VPL-FH31 projectors to create an immersive, informative learning environment to bring lectures to life.

In 2015 the university decided to take that technology one step further and expanded a rolling refurbishment programme across the whole campus, to ensure more students could benefit from interactive learning.

Efficient projection

A key priority for the university was finding an efficient projection solution that was simple to maintain. Aging lamp-based projectors, which take a lot of time and energy to run smoothly, did not suit the needs and pressures of a modern day educational institution, the university decided. Instead, it required a solution that would deliver hours of maintenance-free use.

The university needed a solution that would allow it to standardise and improve its technology platform across its teaching spaces. It recognised that laser is one of the most important developments the audiovisual (AV) industry has seen, and wanted to be at the cutting edge of bringing that to its students. Sony’s technology and experience in projectors suited the university’s requirements; the technology company understands AV solutions, and also understands how to create an engaging environment through rich multimedia platforms.

Sony’s projectors were chosen by AV integrator Reflex, thanks to the resolution and brightness delivered by 3LCD laser technology, which is up to 10,000 lumens in the biggest lecture rooms where multiples models are used. The Sony solution was the top pick for the university due to its 20,000 hours of virtually maintenance-free operation.

In conjunction with the university of Bath’s AV team and Reflex, Sony designed and implemented a solution that featured six VPL-FHZ55 and four VPL-FHZ700L 3LCD laser projectors with a colour brightness of 4,000 and 7,000 lumens respectively.

Both laser models selected are designed to fit seamlessly into any environment, offering 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.

Immersive environment

The team succeeded in creating an immersive, informative education environment that brings presentations up to date for both lecturers and students. Feedback on the installation has been very positive from students, academics and staff, resulting in the university feeling that it can positively strive towards educational excellence with teaching solutions that provide access to the creative and interactive advantages that laser projection can offer.

With the projectors running up to ten hours a day during the academic week, the university has been impressed with the power consumption and efficiency. It has enjoyed the reliability and low total cost of ownership that laser technology offers, safe in the knowledge that the image quality will remain throughout the projector’s lifespan.
The University of Bath’s AV manager, Rob Hyde, commented on the solution selection: “It was important for the university to find a solution that maintained a high performance, excellent image quality and compatibility with our existing technologies. Reflex recommended Sony’s projectors and they have delivered what we needed. With the success of the initial laser projectors and this latest installation, we’re looking forward to continuing to develop in the years to come.”

The University of Bath continues to work to upgrade its projection technology across the campus.