Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Using microphones in lectures

7. All teaching staff shall ensure that microphones are worn and used in all lectures, where available, regardless of the perceived need to wear them.

I have a loud enough voice, I don’t need to wear a microphone

We cannot assume that all students can hear well enough or that they would wish to disclose their hearing impairment in a teaching situation, in front of a lot of people. The acoustics in the room, external noise and individual factors will all have an impact.

I need the flexibility to walk around during lectures, what should I do?

Wearing a ‘radio microphone’ is the best solution. These are already provided in many of the larger teaching spaces where PA systems are installed. In our largest teaching spaces there should always be two radio microphones to ensure there is always one available for use.

To check whether a microphone is provided in a room you intend to use, search the web room booking system for ‘PA’ under ‘suitabilities’. (The web room booking system is found in the timetabling section of MyEd).

If a PA system is not installed in the room you intend to use, you may need to consider moving to another room.

Temporary PA systems are available from Learning Spaces Technology (LTS) for one-off special events in unequipped large locations.

LTSTS website

I am recording my lectures, what should I do?

 It is essential all teaching staff using lecture recording use a microphone so that audio can be recorded.  Teaching spaces which have been equipped with Media Hopper Replay also have either radio microphones or hand held microphones.   In larger teaching spaces, there is also a 'catchbox' or throwable microphone which can be used for recording students.

To find out more, have a look at An Instructors' guide to making the most of lecture recording (PDF).

Visit the Media Hopper Replay web pages for more information about the service.

How will this benefit students?

It helps to reduce the amount of effort that students have to spend concentrating to hear. It is very important for students with hearing impairments and for those whose first language is not English.

It reduces the risk of loss of information or mishearing information. Also, it removes the need for students to ask teaching staff to wear a microphone.

How will this benefit staff?

It puts less strain on teaching staff to keep voice levels raised. It contributes to increased concentration in class among students and possibly greater participation.