Dominik Lukeš

By Dominik Lukeš

ALT Conference Preview: Expanding digital affordances

I will be presenting a session next month at the ALT Conference on Lessons from the Oxford HIVE and digital affordances. I wanted to run a preview of the session using the Oxford HIVE itself.

It will run Wed, August 22, 2018, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM UK Time

You can register here.

This is also an opportunity test a new feature we’ve just rolled out, called digital overflow. This will allow us to get even more people into a virtual sessions than can fit on the HIVE video wall


Virtual synchronous video sessions (webinars) have become integral parts of the online educational landscape. However, their use is still often seen as inferior to the attending a ‘real’ classroom.

While webinars can be just as successful pedagogically as a face-to-face sessions, there are still some affordances of the physical space that have been hard to replicate with virtual sessions. One of those is the barrier a webinar interface presents to a virtual participant but an even more important one is the lack of audience connection reported by webinar presenters.

The Oxford HIVE is a new virtual education space implemented at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School using technology developed by SyncRTC. This room is designed to give the lecturer a similar experience to that of the physical classroom. The stand in front of a video wall on which up to 84 videos from participants are shown. They can ask questions as they would in a real classroom. The initial reactions from faculty and external presenters have been very positive.

This presentation will showcase the Oxford HIVE and describe the experiences of its first year of operation. It will then discuss how the HIVE helps to bridge the affordance gap and where more work is still needed. Lessons learned that are applicable to traditional webinars will also be shared.

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