This is a further outcome of the discussion in the HELF group around the issue of efficiently managing clickers. The following is from Vicki Simpson at Surrey. I love it, but, wow …. does it scare me … 2500 clickers.

However, the solution could probably transfer to Bath OK, in the sense we can create QR Codes (unique device number), with a web interface. We could include the email reminders etc., (all this is developed from the QR Code Submission Project). I could imagine a similar approach for staff. However, given the few clickers we have (400), I’m not sure where this would add value.

I’ll ask, Vicki about utilisation, and situations where demand > supply.

Overview (for staff and students)
– we have @2500 handsets
– staff member wishing to use handsets completes an online booking form which comes to us
– we check the request against availability and approve/decline
– if approved, staff member instructs students to go to the Library and borrow a handset (loan period of 1 semester)
– handsets are in lockable cases in the Library, which students self-issue
– case can be opened using a decoupler which is in the Library foyer (i.e. once they have passed the security gates)
– student gets Library reminder to return handset (as with a book loan)

System solution
– not off the shelf, we sourced the component parts
– small lockable cases imported from Hong Kong
– foam inserts designed in-house and made by foam specialist
– paper sleeves designed in-house and printed/die-cut
– handsets etched using ‘Selectamark’
– tattle security strip and a bar code in each case, just like a book – uses the existing Library software
– temp staff employed for assembly (approx four people/two weeks)

I can put you in touch with Paul Burt in our team if you would like more information about this.

Observations
– The semester-long loan period is partly for practical reasons (the Library would be stretched if handsets were being returned each week for example) and partly to encourage more regular handset use by staff, but the downside is that if a lecturer only uses the handsets once or twice, the handsets are sitting in a student’s bag when then could be used by some-one else.  However the efficiencies gained in terms of managing, issuing and tracking the handsets are huge and in our opinion offset these scenarios.
– If a staff member only wants to use the handsets once (e.g. some-one trying it for the first time), we have a small set (@100) which they can borrow direct for us for a single session, but they are responsible for handing them out and covering any losses.
– Students don’t always borrow handsets (usually down to forgetfulness/too much effort to walk to Library!) so they need reminding and nudging to do so.  Also affected by good practice – if a lecturer uses EVS well, students will be more motivated to loan a handset.

Hope that helps.  Worth looking at Paul’s presentation as it has some photos of the cases and the Library facilities.
http://www.nesc.ac.uk/talks/1073/Paul.Burt-ESTICT-2010.ppt

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