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One of the single most important elements of a VLT class is the physical arrangement of the room. This will be determined by the types of learning activities you want to use, as well as by limitations of the technology (cameras, displays) and by the size of the classes you're teaching. You will find that students will arrange themselves where they feel most comfortable within the confines of the initial setup of the room, so getting this right before the class is important. Make use of VLT training and drop-in sessions to test out and refine room setups. Keep track of your layouts with the VLT Planner.
Note that the tables in VLT rooms are wheeled and can be folded and stored in an adjacent room, so there is nothing stopping you from removing tables entirely and only using chairs or even the floor. Four general types of class style have been identified and the following diagrams relate to presets that have been developed to accommodate these broad teaching approaches. They can be used as is, be adapted or completely redesigned. More information on VLT presets is available in the Technical Guide: VLT presets section.
Small clusters of tables designed to seat 4-8 students. This layout is particularly useful for classes of up to 30-40 where you may want students to work in small groups or pairs. This layout is suited to a wide range of learning activities and offers lots of potential for interaction and focused tasks.
A straight (or U-shaped) table length with all participants sat directly facing a camera along one table edge. A useful setup for smaller classes that encourages cross-location interaction. Participants can easily see their colleagues in other locations and identify the person speaking. Great for panel discussions, roleplay, debates etc.
Ideal for larger classes where space is at a premium. A more formal layout that is most useful for traditional lectures or guest presentations, where presenter input is the focus with interaction taking a back seat. Consider using one camera for the ‘audience’ and one camera to focus on the presenter or lectern.
A layout more usually used for meetings or ‘round table’ discussion. Excellent for interacting with people in the same physical location, but more difficult to integrate remote rooms. Take care with table and camera positioning. You may need to leave the table edge closest to the camera free of participants or use multiple cameras.
Page authorised by Director National Centre for Teaching and Learning
Last updated on Tuesday 16 August 2016