FE Case Study: USP College, Essex.

USP College – Vscene connects three geographically dispersed campuses for immersive learning

The Challenge 
Provide cost effective, high quality and consistent teaching to all students.

The Solution
Immersive rooms incorporating video conferencing and smart technologies at each campus.

The Results 
An enhanced learning experience resulting in higher motivation levels and improved outcomes.

The Client
USP College was formed in 2017 following the merger of Seevic College in Benfleet and Palmer’s College in Grays, Essex. The College serves 4,500 students and aims to provide career-focused learning, allowing students to gain professional qualifications and develop the skills desired by businesses.

USP College recognised they, like many other FE institutions, were experiencing testing times, subjects with low student numbers and challenges recruiting high-quality teaching staff. Coupled with variations in teaching and outcomes between the campuses and across subjects, the newly merged college saw an opportunity to change their teaching delivery method.

The Solution 
The solution was to create immersive spaces, with a wow factor to enable peer and collaborative learning. Design of the room was key to ensure a social space was created, rather than replicating the traditional model of online learning.

Innovation in Teaching
USP college uses Vscene to connect geographically dispersed campuses to support collaborative teaching  remotely across multiple ‘immersive’ classrooms. The Ultra HD V-Room classroom system allows lecturers to extend specialist knowledge and expertise across campuses, creating greater consistency for students while the ability to capture sessions adds recorded video content to the suite of revision sources available.

Technology:
-V-Scene: The class scheduling platform.
-V-Room – Classroom system for Ultra HD video calling.
-VsceneCapture: Giving students access to recorded classes.

A Natural, Immersive Experience
Each ‘immersive classroom’ has been designed to deliver an engaging and inspiring experience for the students. The provision of innovative technology across the campuses, such as large, fully interactive screens has allowed real time collaboration across classrooms, regardless of geographical location. The ultrahigh quality video connection powered by the V-Room gives the illusion of ‘invisible walls’ between the campuses.

Enhancing the Learning Experience
USP College have on average 10 virtual classroom sessions scheduled every week through Vscene, joining up multiple immersive rooms across the campuses as well as providing virtual access to remote students from outside the classroom. Each session is recorded using VsceneCapture and can be accessed by the students from the Vscene media library to assist with the continuing the learning journey.

Equity and Enhancement in Curriculum
Since launching, the immersive rooms students have benefitted from improved employability skills, including virtual presentation and communication skills, an increasing requirement within industry. This has resulted in improved learning outcomes, attributed to an increase in student motivation from the experience of the immersive room, combined with removing the geographical barriers of sharing specialist expertise across campuses.

Q&A with USP College Principal, Dan Pearson

What were your main priorities when sourcing a solution? 

Our priorities spanned both a curriculum and technological platform. We wanted to ensure we could provide high quality career focused curriculum so considered how we could utilise and extend the reach of our best subject specialist teachers. A cross campus immersive learning environment seemed both a logical and future focused step in achieving this.

What do you believe are the main tangible benefits so far from using the solution? 

Extending the reach of our best teachers cross campus, improved and progressive teaching and learning environments, and the ability to collaborate with experts both in other educational institutions and in industry have all contributed to improved student outcomes.

Did you have any challenges during deployment and how did you overcome them? 

Yes, initially we chose a different technology platform which was more costly and much less effective. We learnt the hard way. We re-evaluated our brief for a solution that would enhance rather than detract from the learning experience and outcomes of students; Vscene ticked our particular boxes. We went for a bespoke set up to create that true immersive and seamless teaching environment. It took time for us to master a shift in teaching style, student management and engagement and to tweak some technical points in support of this.

What subjects are you currently teaching? 

We teach a range of courses including Science, Physics, Creative Arts and Humanities. We are currently in the process of timetabling a number of Higher Education courses at present.

Author: Sarah Brady

Sarah is our Marketing Manager who, responsible for creating and delivering engaging content and bringing customer journeys to life. Passionate about digital marketing Sarah drives results through innovative ideas.

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