IT Center

Project Lecture Hall 4.0
Optimal teaching and learning experiences in the lecture halls

August 13th, 2021 | by
Lecture hall with technology

Photo: Martin Braun

The “Lecture Hall 4.0” project began in July 2019. The aim is to create technically modern equipment for lecture halls in a uniform manner, both in terms of equipment and operation. A support and maintenance concept is to be established as well. This will ensure that lecturers can be provided with support when working in the lecture hall.

For the winter semester 2020/2021, lecture halls at RWTH were equipped with new modern lecture hall PCs for media support for classes. The project focuses on optimizing the equipment inventory and the use of media technology.

But what is behind the “Lecture Hall 4.0” project?
And what does the IT Center have to do with it?

 Well, quite a lot. The IT Center, are working on the technical realization in order to further develop the equipment of the lecture halls and to promote the possibilities of digitalization in teaching together with the other participants of the project. Those who are involved include the Center for Teaching and Learning Services, the Central University Administration, Departments 5 and 10, as well as Prof. Feld, who as Rectorate Representative has taken over the strategic planning for lecture halls. Due to the different technical equipment in the various lecture halls, conditions for this are more difficult. Depending on the lecture hall, there are different controls or even devices, which make the conditions for a uniform teaching concept more difficult.

In the future, these technical obstacles are to be reduced, because for optimal teaching and learning experiences, the modernity of the media technology equipment plays a major role. To this end, the large lecture halls H01, H02 and H03 have now been equipped with modern lecture hall PCs, thus supporting teaching with networked information, communication and media technology. In this way, teaching and learning processes are simplified and direct and undisturbed communication between lecturers and students is made possible. Lecturers can authenticate themselves at the lecture hall PCs and are optimally supported in their courses. Authentication takes place via a separate account called “Lecture Hall 4.0”. To do so, lecturers must be assigned the role “Access Lecture Hall 4.0” in SelfService. If you don’t know who is responsible for role management in your own organizational unit, you can easily check the “Roles” section in SelfService.

Connection between lecture halls and Moodle being planned

From preparation to performance to documentation, teaching will become more progressive and, in addition, the learning process of students will be supported before, during and after the lecture. In the future, special authentication for the lecture hall PCs will also enable a connection to the Moodle learning rooms of the lecturers. In this way, materials from the learning rooms can be automatically synchronized into the lecture hall and, conversely, files created in the lecture can be synchronized back into the learning room.

Video recording in H03 now possible

As there was also a lack of a suitable possibility to record lectures, this is now possible in H03 due to new recording hardware installed by the media technology department and us. The recorded course is transmitted to the streaming server, which encodes it to the various quality levels. The recording can then be manually assigned to the corresponding RWTHmoodle learning space. Currently, the IT Center is also working on a recording calendar, through which lecture recordings can be scheduled directly from RWTHmoodle in the future.

These innovations have broadened the perspective of both lecturers and students. The plans of the project are first tested in the C.A.R.L. and already extended to another lecture hall of physics.

We will keep you updated on the progress of the “Lecture Hall 4.0” project. For all those interested, there are further articles on the topic on the project’s own blog.

Responsible for the content of this article are Julia-Elena Runkel, Bernd Decker, Thorsten Kurth and Janin Vreydal.

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