Hybrid Update #11: Successes and Challenges

Having weathered the storm that took out power in Stonehaven, I’m back with another hybrid teaching spaces update. Today, I want to to reflect on how it’s gone in our first two weeks of the semester and get an update on the ongoing work to roll out Dual-Mode to the remaining rooms.

Key info:

  • In the first two weeks of semester, there have been a total 623 bookings in the hybrid teaching rooms.
  • We had a total of 26 tickets raise on Help4u of which 16 were incidents (something went wrong) and 10 were issues of user knowledge.
  • Progress in upgrading our existing Capture & Stream rooms to Dual-Mode has slowed due to the difficulty of finding clear gaps in the timetable. Upgrades will continue, but we are unable to give any further targets or due dates.
  • All Hybrid Rooms remain capable of delivering Hybrid teaching through either the Capture & Stream design or the new Dual-Mode. See the room tracker for details.

So far so good

As you can see from the numbers below, the Hybrid rooms have proven stable and successful in supporting teaching so far this semester. Excluding user education type tickets, this data tells us that 97.5% of teaching in these rooms has gone off without a hitch, which is something the team is immensely proud of:

Total bookings – 623

Total calls logged – 26 (10 User Education and 16 Incidents)

Week 1 – 300

  • Dalhousie – 270
  • Fulton – 8
  • JGL – 11
  • Matthew – 11

Week 2 – 323

  • Dalhousie – 295
  • Fulton – 10
  • JGL – 8
  • Matthew – 10

We’re not going to rest on our laurels however and we have been looking at the issues raised, both for incidents (something did not function as specified) and for user education (the user did not know how to do something).

If you wish to learn more about our Hybrid rooms and how to use them, even if you just want to practice, please book a hands-on session in the Eduzone innovation lab here.

I’ll be able to comment more on the feedback we’re getting from lecturers and students on what it’s like to teach/learn using the new Dual-Mode soon, but the initial anecdotal responses have been overwhelmingly positive. The key feedback is that the design is intuitive and the quality of the hardware is a significant step up for the community. More on this in the next update.

Dual-Mode Roll-Out

An area we’re not making the progress we’d like is upgrading our rooms from Capture & Stream to Dual-Mode. We had previously targeted the end of January for completing the work but the strain on our timetabling and the temporary loss of two rooms in Scrymgeour, due to a significant networking issue, has meant that we have been struggling to make progress.

To upgrade a room, we need 2 days clearance to ensure the work can be completed and checked, ready to go back into the fray. This had originally been possible on a rolling basis, juggling the timetable around to accommodate rolling upgrades. However, the heroic timetabling team, who we need to free up these rooms, has been inundated with work adjusting to our changing social distancing rules and the loss of any rooms due to technical fault beyond the Hybrid kit, as seen in Scrymgeour, completely knocks out the process. Even though the Streamtech teams (our AV partners in this project) have been working weekends and evening, there simply has been the space to make much headway. We cannot start working on a room unless we are certain we can have it done by the time it is needed again.

Hopefully that makes sense and gives you some background to the challenges we’re having to work around. I can’t give any further due dates or targets at this time, but will simply say that we are doing everything we possibly can to keep the upgrades going as and when we can. Please follow the room tracker to stay up to date.

What’s Next?

I just want to give a shout out to some of the people on our small team who have been moving heaven and earth to get rooms commissioned, train staff and respond to support calls. Jonathan Walker, Joshua Preen and Indrani Halder as well as our partners in UoDIT, have done an amazing job to keep this show on the road.

Later this week, requests for feedback are being published to staff and students, so please look out for these opportunities to let us know what works, what doesn’t and what you want to see next. Remember to check out all the information about this project on our web pages and i’ll catch you in our next update.

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