Wilmington invests in Digital Classroom tech to provide leading-edge virtualised training

As part of the ongoing investment in its digital education services, Wilmington plc, a global provider of information, education and networking services, has officially launched a state-of-the-art Digital Classroom that provides a highly engaging, broadcast-quality remote teaching experience for its thousands of worldwide customers, students and members.
 
With an immersive experience that is comparable to that of a physical classroom, the new online learning environment will benefit Wilmington’s businesses that provide industry-leading training and qualifications to the risk and compliance, healthcare and professional industries from around the world.  
 
The first Wilmington business to utilise the platform is the International Compliance Association (ICA), which delivers expert training and qualifications to financial regulatory and compliance professionals. 
 
The digital classroom, which is located at Wilmington’s prestigious Fort Dunlop offices in Birmingham, is a professional broadcast studio environment that delivers an engaging and effective digital learning experience. It goes far beyond standard online communications or video conferencing platforms and is used by a handful of leading universities and education centres globally.
 
Driven by Barco weConnect virtual classroom technology, the hardware was implemented by technology partner Vanti.  The solution offers a powerful learning environment with a rich learning experience, allowing students to engage in real-time with both their lecturer and other participants in a way that traditional models do not support. 
 
Wilmington Digital Classroom
 
Thomas Mount, Group Chief Technology Officer, Wilmington plc said:
“Each year, Wilmington’s businesses enrol more than 20,000 new students from around the world for training, courses and qualifications.   Our teams have worked tirelessly around the clock to create a digital learning experience that bridges the gap between the classroom and the virtual world, and improves the quality of the experience for both the student and the lecturer.
 
We have integrated the Barco weConnect studio with our learning management system to provide a seamless, single sign-in for ease of use.  The early student feedback we have received is very positive, with praise for the two-way interaction with the teacher and attendees, akin to traditional classrooms.”
 
Tamara Kahn, Wilmington’s Compliance Divisional Director and Executive Director of the International Compliance Association, said:
“This is a key part of Wilmington and ICA’s cutting-edge learning approach.  We are investing heavily into our training programmes to make sure they are engaging, effective and relevant to our learners.  This includes augmenting our capabilities in learning science, design methodologies, multiple blended learning formats and now the launch of new digital classroom and a learning studio.  
 
We realised that to deliver truly impactful experiences online we needed to do something different and we are delighted by the response from our learners and trainers so far.”
 
Jan van Houtte, VP Learning Experience at Barco:
“Coronavirus accelerated the gathering momentum of distance learning but maintaining engagement and delivering its promises requires fully emulating the classroom experience. 
 
With weConnect, every student is visualised in a similar way. Imagine a big video wall where all participants are displayed in real time; it is as close to what you get in the physical world. As a trainer, you have all your students in front of you like in a normal room, you can address them, look around, see who’s paying attention, walk up to the whiteboard to further explain something. In summary, you can teach like you’re used to and this drives real engagement. 
 
We are delighted that Wilmington plc has chosen Barco to be its technology of choice to support its virtual classrooms.” 
 
The Technology
The virtual classroom studio consists of six 62-inch screens, with a camera per screen, a screen for confidence monitoring which the tutor can view to check the live broadcast, multiple cameras within the studio to capture different room views, a touchscreen for an interactive whiteboard/blackboard, ceiling microphones, audio processing technology and speakers, in addition to a control room, where a technician can support the lecturer throughout the session. 
 
The student experience is greatly enhanced with the ability to switch views, access real-time polls and use tools such as a digital whiteboard and blackboard. Interactive break-out sessions can be arranged providing participants with a fully immersive learning experience.  
 
1st June 2021
 


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