Bishop Heber College is a nationally acclaimed institution of higher learning located in Trichy, Tamil Nadu.  The College now offers thirteen Under-Graduate, eighteen Post-Graduate and four Post-Graduate Diploma Programmes and three Diploma Programmes of study besides research programmes leading to M. Phil and Ph. D degrees

Importantly, with a vision to provide top-quality education, the college has tied up with a number of educational institutions around the world including, Liverpool Hope University, UK, Kingston University, UK, University of Burgundy, France, Kasetsart University, Thailand, Appalachian State University, USA, Groupe ESC, Rouen, France, Churches Council for Child and Youth Care, Bangalore, e-LIPI of STPI, Government of India, IBM, Bangalore

 Challenges:

With high bandwidth being available to students on their mobile devices, Bishop Heber College wanted to leverage technology to improve the learning experience of the students.  One of the main objectives was to provide digital content in the form of video recordings of lectures which could be accessed by students at any time. 

However, the implementation of such technology posed multiple challenges to the college:

→ The system had to be simple to implement, use and maintain
→ The lecture halls were not acoustically designed and hence recording lectures was not possible from the classrooms
→ The management wanted to build a robust system but within a limited budget
→ Students needed to have access to lectures even from their home
→ Guest lectures needed to be recorded
→ Lectures needed to be made more exciting and interesting for the students

Our Solution:

With our vast experience with various educational institutions like the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, A&T Video Networks designed a solution for Bishop Heber College that would address all the challenges faced by them.  We worked with the college to design a studio that would record lectures, store them for future access and stream them live for students who were not able to attend the lecture.

The Lecture Studio designed by A&T has five major components

The Studio

The college provided a special room in which we set up the lecture studio.  A&T worked with the college to completely soundproof the room and install a Green Screen for the educationalist to give the lecture without worrying about the media and noise.

The presentation recorder – Ncast Hydra

The NCast Hydra is the top performer in its segment in terms of recording, indexing and live streaming multimedia content.  With 7 input interfaces, the NCast Hydra can take virtually any kind of audio, video and data input.

→ The NCast Hydra Presentation Recorder takes inputs from the microphone, the camera and the lecturers' presentation and merges them into one full HD video. 

→ The NCast Hydra allows the operator to easily select the lecturer name, department and topic from drop-down menus making indexing of the lectures easy and quick.

→ With an in-built 1 Tb storage, the NCast Hydra receives the audio, video and data inputs directly from the system and stores it locally, without any pixelation or data loss.

→ The raw recording of 1080p 60-frame/second progressive playback visual material provides for enhanced video clarity and enhances visual effect not possible in lower frame-rate recordings.

→ The NCast Hydra allows the college to stream the lecture live to students or other interested parties through a secure streaming service.

 The audio/ video system

A&T implemented a high-end 4K Camera – the Roomy 12.  Supporting 1080 p, 12x digital zoom and 10x optical zoom, the Roomy camera is the perfect mate for the NCast Hydra.  The camera was mounted on a tripod to make it easy to record lectures.

Then to capture the  lecturer’s audio, a wireless lapel microphone was provided along with an audio mixer.  The input from the mixer is fed directly to the NCast Hydra so there is no loss or echo while doing the recording.

The content gallery - Brickyard

One of the most important factors is the Content Management System which has to be robust, scalable, secure and yet easy to use.

Brickyard is a product of A&T’s two decades of experience in the education space. 

→ The system allows lectures to be stored either on a secure cloud server or on a server within the college premises.  The Bishop Heber College chose cloud storage to eliminate the need for expensive IT hardware, software and servers in the college.

→ Brickyard allows Bishop Heber College to store lectures and provide secure access to them.  Videos are stored by academic year, course, subject and topic. 

→ Videos can be searched by lecturer’s name or other parameters as defined by the college

→ Students get access only to subjects and topics that are relevant to them

→ Students can view the lectures but not download them

→ Access can be from any place, any time and on any device through a simple secure internet connection and a browser

The interactive display

To make the lectures interesting, A&T implemented a 75-inch interactive display in the lecture studio.  Instructors are able to load content, play videos, zoom in or out, flip pages, switch between applications etc. – functions that students are familiar with since it is similar to their mobile devices. 

The Result

The Bishop Heber college has been able to start creating amazing digital content that can be used and re-used by students.  Students are able to understand lectures better since they can watch the lecture again when they are preparing for examinations or assignments.  This has, in a significant way, helped Bishop Heber College take another step towards its vision of providing top-quality education.

The students find the recorded lectures easy to access and more in tune with their daily lives.  Since they can access it at any time from their mobile devices, the way they learn has changed dramatically – for the better.

The lecturers find it much easier to record lectures and make the content available digitally.  They do not need to worry about the recording, streaming, storing and retrieving of the videos since NCast Hydra does all that with simple commands.  Lecturers are finding that the quality of the recording is world-class and hence find it a pleasure to work in the lecture studio.

About A&T Solutions for the Education Domain:

With more than two decades of experience behind us, A&T has designed multiple solutions for education institutions.  Some of them include:

→ Simple lecture recording solution

→ Lecture capture and live streaming solutions

 Smart classrooms that make lectures more interesting and interactive

→ Virtual classroom solutions that allow lecturers to address students across the globe

 Our team of engineering specialists work with our clients to design solutions that suit their specific needs and challenges.