Use of Audio-Visual Aids

The most popular piece of teaching equipment supplied by the University is the overhead projector. This result is not surprising given the ubiquity of projectors in teaching rooms, combined with their simplicity of use. The dependence of the University on these projectors was clearly identified in the 1992 Report of the Teaching Aids Facility Review Committee, who recommended that overhead projectors and screens should be supplied as a standard in all teaching rooms and theatres. The graph below clearly indicates the heavy use, with nearly 80% of academic staff using the overhead projectors either every time or often when they lecture.

It is also interesting to compare the graph of overhead projector use with that of other equipment such as slide projectors (graph also shown below). Other audio visual equipment such as audio tapes and CDs showed a pattern of use similar to slide projectors, while VCR use was rather more frequent, although not as much as overhead projector use. A similar pattern was observed at VUW in 1995 although it appears that usage of all audio visual equipment has increased significantly in the last three years with more staff reporting usage or equipment such as slide projectors and VCRs.

[Q10] When lecturing I use the overhead projector

[Q15] When lecturing I use the slide projector

Overhead projector usage has benefited from a combination of simplicity of use and ubiquity. The need for ubiquity was clearly recognised by the 1992 review of Teaching Aids which recommended that the following equipment be installed as standard in all lecture theatres at VUW:

While the need for a film projector has lessoned considerably with the dominance of video tapes, the need still exists for the rest of the equipment and the recommendations have not been forgotten by the staff:

"Great pity that it is taking so long to upgrade all lecture theatres to the standards set out in the report of the University’s A.V. services of 1992"

Academic Comment

Staff were asked to suggest additional equipment that should be supplied. As well as requests for sub-machine guns, water jugs and blackboards, 51% of the suggestions were for computer and presentation equipment to be supplied in all large lecture theatres, with many staff requesting all theatres be equipped. A number of staff also commented on their inability to be scheduled into rooms equipped with equipment. Ubiquity of equipment, with reliable access to information technology and projection facilities would encourage staff to develop teaching material in the security of knowledge that they would be able to use it from year to year in their teaching.

Other A.V. equipment that was requested was a teaching cinema facility with comfortable chairs and a large projection screen, a computer laboratory for general use by students, and a multichoice exam answer reader device to assist with the marking of structured multiple choice exams.