London Metropolitan University

Natalie Harris-Briggs  November 2, 2017

London Metropolitan University is a vibrant, socially diverse higher education establishment based in Central London. Established in 2002, the renowned Times Higher Education Supplement announced London Met as the highest ranking millennial university in 2017.

The challenge

The University is currently undertaking a multi-million-pound refresh to create a single and unified university campus in Islington, London. Their One Campus, One Community (OCOC) initiative includes the complete refurbishment of the current campus based in Islington as well as the creation of new buildings and a significant investment in technology and resources.

The project aims to increase the ability to teach and also to position the University at the heart of the local community. The fundamental objective of the venture is to enhance the student experience and enable collaboration across the University.

Oliver Holmes, Deputy Director of Technology and Operations at the University, is involved with the project to transform the way teaching is delivered across London Met and using technology to make learning more interactive and collaborative.

“We have a student community here at London Met who is making significant financial investments in their higher education. We live in an interactive world and our students told us that they want to be active participants in their learning” explains Holmes. “As a central provider of IT and AV to the University, we understand technology and how to deploy solutions that can help deliver collaborative environments, whilst our teaching faculty are experts in their own subject field. Our challenge is to choose the right type of technology that can be easily adopted by our staff to create a learning environment which facilitates collaboration and communication.”

There is also a strong desire to create a learning environment that mirrors practice in K-12 education and to use technology to create and deliver interactive, inspiring lessons. In 2016, the One Campus, One Community Programme commissioned a small number of pilot classrooms on the main University campus in Islington with the primary objective of creating spaces that enabled lecturers to move seamlessly from lesson delivery to small group participation.

“The use of technology and furniture was a key factor in our pilot classrooms,” says Holmes “we needed to ensure that lecturers had access to display technology which was interactive yet simple to use alongside wireless connectivity, enabling students to contribute to lessons from their own devices.”

The solution

“We knew we were looking for some sort of interactive display technology; some of our classrooms did have projector and whiteboard technology installed but we wanted to look at the very latest advances in technology within this space. We visited the BETT show in 2015 and saw the solution from Avocor. The overall look and feel of the display were exactly what we were looking for whilst the 4K screen delivered outstanding visuals and clarity.”

Holmes initially purchased an 84” display for the University’s Guildhall School of Business and Law ‘Business Incubator’ based in Moorgate, London. The Incubator is an initiative run by the University that provides advice and support to start-up companies, helping them grow and flourish.

“As soon as we installed the Avocor 84” display, connected one user’s Macbook and saw his desktop in true 4K resolution, we all instantly had a ‘wow’ moment,” says Holmes “there are a number of reasons why we have made the decision to standardise on Avocor here at London Met, we are extremely impressed with the overall aesthetics of the solution and the writing experience of the Avocor Intelligent Touch is outstanding. London Met is a widening participation university with a lot of mature students, we need to invest in technology which is simple to grasp and in doing so, help to close the gap between the digital native and those who are less astute with interactive technology, Avocor helps us to do this.”

The University is working to install the Avocor solution in all classrooms and teaching spaces across the campus over the next few years. With a variety of sizes available, as well as pre-installed educational software, London Met can enjoy a uniform solution across the University, ensuring that teachers and students have consistency, regardless of the teaching area they are using.

“Another great feature of the Avocor solution is the Qwizdom OKTOPUS interactive teaching software which is available with the display. Our staff love the simplicity of the software and enjoy the fact that they can create and save lesson as well as sharing content to students efficiently.”

The future

“We have seen a great response to the Avocor interactive displays from the teaching staff with a number of lecturers requesting to be timetabled in classrooms that have the displays already installed increasing weekly. Overall we are delighted with the Avocor solution and how it is helping us transform our teaching here at London Met.”

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