Video conferencing - not just for meetings

Kristofer Harte 
Education Technology

This presentation focuses on the development of video conference within the University of Limerick (UL) and on the advancements made in the service by the Education Technology team in ITD. Since its inception the Education Technology team has been tasked with support of the polycom units and all video conferencing needs in UL.

Taking on the support our team has endeavored to promote and improve the service throughout the campus. We have done this by focusing on a number of areas which help to improve teaching and research across the campus.

Online classes:
Video Conferencing has been used in UL to stream live lectures with other institutes such as NUIG. Using our studio and newly refurbished rooms the Ed Tech team in UL have supported and facilitated numerous classes. This has allowed for joint programs between institutes which do not rely on heavy travel for staff or students, or on pre-recorded lectures. Video conferencing the classes allows for
immediate feedback from lecture to student to address questions and comments which arise from material in class.

Hardware and Upgrades:
The Education Technology team has also been involved in an ongoing project to upgrade the polycom systems throughout the campus. Concurrent to this we have also been working towards refurbishing teaching spaces to better facilitate online classes and blended learning.

Research and PhD Viva-Vitae Presentations:
Academics and research are, of course, the main areas of focus in UL. So it is only understandable that Video Conferencing be used to facilitate these endeavours. Video Conferencing is now used in research presentations and PhD viva-vitae presentations to allow for participants from a global audience. Over
the last year we have facilitated students from as far as China presenting their PhD’s to examiner’s here in UL, while examiners from as far as Brazil have challenged UL students here in Limerick to defend their work.

Professional Development:
The Education Technology team has also developed a new workshop for our staff to up-skill our video conferencing users. To date we have completed several sessions with staff, that was identified to have a high stake in video conferencing and beginning this Autumn ITD in conjunction with HR will now be
offering regular workshops in video conferencing to our staff for professional development.

Introduction of Vidyo:
The introduction of Vidyo, software based video conferencing, provided by the HEAnet has allowed us in UL to bridge the gap between our polycom units and the PC. This has given rise to a greater number of staff and students using our video conferencing service. Our customers can now interact through polycom with colleagues around the world without the need for a polycom unit or similar on the other end. The software has also allowed for recording and webcasting seminars and meetings, including national forum seminars, take-1-step workshops and webinars and UL graduation ceremonies.

All talks:

If you require information about any aspect of the conference please contact: Fi Coyle: / +353 1 6609040