A day in the life of a Teaching Pod

Its been an interesting journey for the Pod.

It all started way back in 2006 when a Classroom Experience initiative brought in over £1.4M to purchase over 80 Pods for the Northampton Square campus!

Over the years, these pods became problematic and a number of issues were being reported through the Classroom Experience Steering Group.  The group at that time, consisted of a range of mainly IT staff and so a re-haul of the group was put into action. In addition, a Pod Evaluation was undertaken in 2011. The aim of the evaluation was to demonstrate what our staff use and their experiences. The evaluation was also connected to the Strategic Learning Environment(SLE)  & has been used to help inform the design of learning environment at City in the future.

Meanwhile the Classroom Experience Steering group had been renamed to Learning Spaces group which now consists of academic staff from all schools, students, Student Union, IT senior members for eg IS and AV Support. The Pod Evaluation ran between Feb. – Mar. 2011. and included a mixed method approach. This consisted of a survey followed by semi-structured Interviews with a number of staff.

The areas identified as problematic within the Pod Evaluation were speed of the Pods, poorly maintained equipment or insufficient knowledge.  The recommendations that followed were:

  1. to establish the reasons behind the slow speed of Pods and to assess whether it’s down to old equipment or configuration problems.
  2. to put in place a strategy to ensure all Pods remain up to date with software versions and working hardware.
  3. to develop a strategy for raising awareness on what the Pod can do through the school liaison model.  The support available needs to be joined up between schools, the Learning Development Centre and the AV Support.

The evaluation was raised at all the formal committees including Strategy & Governance and wheels were set into motion for ensuring we develop the recommendations via the Learning Spaces group. The Learning Spaces Group (LSG) have since then developed & tested the Pod to make it faster, more intuitive and help staff get to grips with the changes.  The Teaching Pod has two guides:

  1. Pod1Pager
  2. PodGuide

Oh my Pod sessions have been run across the Northampton Square site in Sep. & Oct 2011 to ensure staff are being trained on the pods.  This evaluation has led to a business case to review the current offering for not only teaching equipment but also to think more widely about our learning spaces within the campus to ensure a consistent teaching and learning experience for all staff and students.

If you’d like to know more about this project, please contact the ldc.

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