Home > Services > Teaching & Learning > UCT Classroom Renewal Project

UCT Classroom Renewal Project

After conducting a survey of teaching venues in mid-2012, UCT embarked on a project to bring centrally-bookable classrooms up to an agreed standard in terms of audio-visual / information technology and the physical environment. The initiative was officially titled the "Classroom Renewal Project" (or "CRP" for short).

Project governance

The Project Implementation Committee (PIC) oversaw and steered the project, while the Project Management Group (PMG) oversaw the execution of the work. The project was carried out under the guidance of the Classroom Facilities Advisory Sub Committee (CFASC) which monitors the state of classrooms at UCT, advises on strategies for classroom refurbishment and sets the design criteria for teaching spaces.

The project consisted of six streams that executed the work:

  1. Physical Renovations
  2. Audio-visual and Information Technology
  3. Lecture Recording
  4. Access Control and venue allocations
  5. Customer Support
  6. Communication and Change Management

Additionally, several other projects were aligned with CRP to enhance classrooms:

  • Preparation of classrooms for biometric equipment
  • Densification of WiFi in classrooms
  • Installation of hearing loops for the hearing-impaired

Project goals

The project aimed to standardise and renew centrally-bookable classrooms to agreed-upon UCT classroom standards. More specifically, this encompassed:

  • Upgrading of physical facilities identified as poor or in need of refurbishment.
  • Installing standardised audio-visual and IT equipment based on the UCT classroom standards.
  • Making basic design modifications to room configurations, including the teaching wall and furniture placement.
  • Designing and implementing a support model with the skills and capacity needed to provide professional reactive and pro-active support.

Project scope and duration

Running from late 2012 until mid-2017, the project renewed centrally-bookable classrooms on four UCT campuses. Major renovations and installations ran during the mid-year and year-end vacations to allow teaching spaces to be used for lectures during term time.

In total, ten phases were completed. In the earliest stages, the foundations for the project were laid - with classroom support improved and streamlined, a database of classroom information set up and classroom equipment instructions documented - among other tasks. UCT classroom standards were also developed and approved by the Classroom Facilities Advisory Sub Committee and the Project Implementation Committee.

After this, major upgrades proceeded in centrally-bookable classrooms on Upper, Middle, Health Sciences and Hiddingh campuses. Physical facilities were improved and new AV/IT equipment was installed.

Final work

The final round of upgrades stretched over the Winter 2017 vacation, running from 15th July until 13th August 2017. Seven classrooms received various levels of upgrade:

Campus Building Classrooms Physical facilities upgrades AV / IT installations
Upper Chris Hani 
(previously NSLT)
Chris Hani LT Limited to electrical needs of AV/IT upgrades.

Upgrade of existing AV/IT to new UCT lectern and equipment.

Leslie Social 1A
1B
1C
1D
1E
New seats, carpets, and acoustic tiling. N/A (Completed Summer 2016/17)
Snape DO2 Motorised blinds on the teaching wall. Electrical upgrades limited to the needs of AV/IT upgrades.

Upgrade of existing AV/IT to new UCT lectern and projectors.

Additional installations:

 

Benefits

Each project phase delivered numerous improvements for staff and students in the upgraded classrooms.

Benefits Area
  • In classrooms receiving the full upgrade, newly-configured teaching walls allow lecturers to simultaneously use a projector screen and a writing surface.
  • At least two projection screens were provided in classrooms receiving the full upgrade, while one projection screen was provided in other classrooms.
  • Teaching wall lighting was improved, with separate switches for the front row, left and right sides of the teaching walls.
  • Light switches, projector screen controls and window blind controls were consolidated into dedicated sections of the teaching walls.
Teaching wall
  • A new, height-adjustable mechanical lectern was provided in classrooms receiving the full upgrade.
  • A fixed computer was provided in each classroom.
  • A document camera was installed in each classroom receiving the full upgrade - as a replacement for overhead projectors.
  • Two projectors were provided in large classrooms receiving the full upgrade - one for the document camera and the other for electronic presentations (via the classroom PC / lecturer's laptop). Lecturers can choose which screen to use for which purpose.
  • New / upgraded audio solutions cater for voice amplification and playback of media.
  • A phone was installed in each classroom, enabling lecturers to request classroom support, contact campus security or contact Health and Safety at the touch of a button.
AV/IT
  • Hearing loops were installed in selected large classrooms to enhance sound levels for students with hearing impairments.
Accessibility 
Physical improvements were made where needed, such as:
  • improved classroom lighting
  • new ceilings
  • new teaching walls (dry wall skin)
  • refurbishment of seats and chairs
  • replacement of carpeting
  • refurbishment of flooring
  • refurbishment of windows
  • painting of walls and ceilings
  • cleaning and replacement of damaged ceiling tiles
Physical facilities
  • Updated user documentation (both on the lectern and online) assists lecturers in using AV/IT equipment.
  • Standardised labelling of switches and controls make it easier to set lighting options and use classroom equipment.
  • Prominent posters give staff and students quick access to important information, such as critical phone numbers and how to report broken equipment.
Communications

 

Which classrooms were upgraded?

View a list of upgraded classrooms, or for a visual representation of the upgrades, see the map below:

Queries

If you have any queries about the project, please contact kira.chernotsky@uct.ac.za.