Author: Kevan Williams, TELT

During the week of the 15th to the 19th July 2019, the University of Central Lancashire hosted a total of 19 graduation ceremonies, held on the Preston campus for the first time in 39 years. The uncertainty around the future of the Preston Guild Hall required a different approach and a team of professional service staff from across the organisation were brought together with the task of planning, coordinating and delivering a successful on-campus graduation celebration. 

One of the key components of the graduation activities for the TELT Video Production Team, is the live broadcasting of all the ceremonies. UCLan boasts a particularly diverse user community, with an ever-increasing population of international students and the provision of an online broadcast of the graduation ceremonies for friends and family overseas is essential. 

Each year the team have enhanced the quality of the live broadcast, by utilising additional cameras throughout the event and improving the overall visual aspect of the event with professional titles and graphics. The University’s ambition to create a fully inclusive and accessible student experience also extends to the graduation ceremonies and this year saw the culmination of several years efforts to achieve this. 

Partnering with 121Captions, an external live captioning team, the ceremonies each offered realtime transcriptions both in the hall and online. The captions were displayed across two 20 metre projector screens and sent to a dedicated web address to be viewed on a users own mobile device. Additional devices were also available for loan with a larger screen size to support enhanced fonts and optional colour combinations.  

British Sign Language interpreters were also supporting the event on stage and were able to be viewed online as part of the live broadcast. 

The event was a fantastic success and has set the standard for how live broadcasting of events should be supported and managed. The TELT team will continue to make a significant contribution to the University’s learning and teaching agenda, ensuring technology is piloted, evaluated and appropriately implemented to achieve a successful and fully inclusive experience for everyone involved. 


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