At this year’s BVE media and entertainment technology show in London, staff representatives and students from a number of universities were in attendance to see the latest kit on display. As well as sharing their views on what they needed equipment-wise, they also highlighted to us the important role of systems for equipment lending and inventory management.
With over 100 participants in our BVE connect2 higher education technology survey, here’s a quick rundown of the top-scoring benefits that these systems provide.
Top Benefits For Students
1) Better availability of items (notably the most popular answer overall!)
2) Improved awareness and access to equipment
3) Ability to see exactly what equipment is available and when
Top Benefits For Staff
1) Instant tracking of who’s got what equipment and when
2) Self-service booking of items by students leading to staff time savings
3) More time and support for maintenance and repairs of equipment
In addition, students appreciate that staff have more time and notice for preparing equipment for their use, particularly when they book ahead to collect it.
Higher education technology survey results, BVE Show 2018
The fact that improved item availability was the most important outcome overall demonstrates the critical role that booking facilities play in ensuring students can get their hands on the resources they need. It’s also indicative of the pressure institutions are under to continue investing in more media resources, to ensure students have adequate time with the equipment. Many are increasing their budgets, especially as increasing student intake and new courses put current stocks under further pressure.
These increases in investment may need to be better publicised though. Our survey revealed that students on the same courses were just as likely to believe the budget was increasing as decreasing, and with many simply not knowing. Overall, only a third of students thought the investment was increasing, while two-thirds of staff believed the same. Since staff are much more likely to know the reality of budget changes, this difference of opinion could mean there’s an opportunity to improve communication in this respect.
We should point out that students using connect2 are more than twice as likely to believe budgets are increasing, than for those using an alternative system. In fact, the importance of booking systems in raising awareness of the range of equipment available can’t be overemphasised. It’s long been an important strength of connect2 to showcase equipment in its online self-service booking facility.
Thanks to everyone who visited the Lorensbergs stand at BVE – we hope you find these on-stand research results of interest.
NEXT POST: we report on higher education staffs’ and students’ opinions on what media equipment provided by their institution is most highly valued and why. Plus what they hope will be invested in next…watch this space!!