The University of Essex’s Southend Campus is a unique and exciting partnership project that brought a
brand new state-of-the-art library and learning facility to the heart of Southend Town Centre. As a part
of the campus, The Learning Hub at The Forum features innovative new spaces for students to study and
work together plus the latest technology. It also provides a base for the extra services we offer to help
students get the most out of their time at the University of Essex. The project required an environment
for collaborative learning, study, and research at the heart of a new 24/7 access Learning Hub. The space,
building on existing collaborative designs, needed to embrace HD digital technologies, drive interactive
tutorial sessions, open day activities – while remaining intuitive to the end user.
Both spaces build upon the ‘group study pod’ concept which has been widely adopted within the
University, and introduces large expanses of writeable surfaces, interactive projectors and full HD
matrix switching (using DXLink technology). Both allow groups of students to be set a challenge, to
break into smaller groups, develop ideas and feedback to the whole class.
Share Space: Utilising the AMX Enova DGX central controller the University of Essex was able to
connect four group study pods and a dual-projector teaching position, allowing seamless switching
of tutor-led, and peer review activities. Students can now be set a challenge, split into groups to
collaborate using interactive projectors where they can bring their own device, review other students’
work at their own pod, or watch all four displays update side-by-side on a curved writable surface
Innovation Space: Utilising the AMX Enova DGX central controller the University of Essex was able to
connect five group study pods and a teaching position with interactive projector, allowing seamless
switching of tutor-led, and peer review activities. All walls are covered in a TK Team surface giving
maximum writable space within the room. The furniture surrounding the pods is made of isosceles
trapezoids that can be easily rearranged – creating dynamic desk shapes in the room.
"Our School of Health and Human Sciences have utilised these spaces to explore the
views of their students in the presence of leaders in their field of study, giving feedback
in an interactive session and watching as each group created a mind-map of how
patient care might evolve in the future. Our Business School students have embraced
these spaces, using business simulation game software to run competitive businesses
against each other. Academic staff are using these spaces to move students from a
standard teaching room/lecture to interact in a more challenging, engaging way."