Life Sciences Resource Centre undergoes major expansion and modernisation project, with a focus on touch technology, to cater for an increasing number of students. New teaching spaces and expanded existing rooms now all benefit from versatile touchscreen solution.
The University of Plymouth’s Life Sciences Resource Centre (LSRC) is at the heart of the institution’s Peninsula Medical School. Working closely with the NHS, the medical school focuses on delivering outstanding clinical education alongside strong social engagement and world-class research.
As student numbers at the school have grown, so the decision was taken to grow the educational facility at the LSRC with existing rooms expanded and new teaching rooms commissioned. The university wanted touchscreen technology to be at the heart of the new spaces to support in order to maintain a high level of student interaction in teaching sessions.
‘‘We had quite a tight timescale for the delivery of all three of the projects and they’ve all come in on schedule with not that many variations, which is good considering the speed at which we had to deploy the projects. Feedback from users has been positive and we haven’t had any issues with the
technology we’ve put in, and while we’d have liked everything
built offsite, we had absolutely no choice and it was done really well.”
Adam Harvey, Solution Architect, University of Hertfordshire
To provide AV for the additional teaching rooms, the university wanted to procure a resilient AV infrastructure platform, providing high performance at scale, in order to expand the applications/services left on site. This constitutes around 50% of the original AV infrastructure while the rest would be migrated.
The platform needed to provide AV solutions through touchscreen applications, interconnectivity, networking and security for ease of management for teaching purposes. Appropriate support and licensing was also necessary.
The teaching spaces themselves consisted of two identical large rooms with eight Iiyama interactive screens in each. These spaces can be partitioned with the rack sitting in the middle so that content can be pushed out to all the screens.
Students are now able to break off and work in small groups in front of the screens – they have their own control and their own inputs, with the lecturer maintaining overriding control to push out content to the entire group.
In addition to these large rooms, smaller teaching areas with three or four screens were also introduced to offer more flexible spaces. A combination of 75in and 86in screens were installed throughout the rooms complete with Extron control, amplification and switching. All programming was handled by StriveAV.
Logistics was a major challenge during this project and some elements proved particularly time consuming. For example, StriveAV managed all the deliveries on this installation. This included accepting deliveries, taking them to site and moving all the equipment into the relevant spaces on the day of arrival.
An added challenge was that the teaching spaces were on the fifth and sixth floors of the building and there were no proper service lifts, which isn’t ideal when you’re transporting 86in screens that need to be handled carefully. This meant that a team of six people had to spend more than a day unboxing all the 86in screens in order to fit them into the lift, wrapping them to ensure they wouldn’t be damaged and then sliding them into the lift – which could only carry one screen at a time – all without causing any damage. Although a slow process, this was achieved by the team and all screens were transported safely.
Completed in summer 2019, the space is now being fully utilised and has proved popular with staff and students alike. By offering a more versatile teaching space, it is now even easier to deliver on the university’s aims of delivering world-class education alongside social engagement, both of which will help students to thrive when they move into real-life medical settings.
- Iiyama PROLITE TE8603MIS-B1AG 86in interactive screens
- Iiyama PROLITE TE7503MIS-B1AG 75in interactive screens
- Turning Leaf cabinets
- JBL Control 25-1L speakers
- Extron control, amplification & switching gear