Proactive preventative maintenance in shared learning spaces

  1. Standard software is updated where appropriate during semesters and unlicensed software and old files are removed at the end of semester. Anti-virus software is enabled for all installed computers in shared learning spaces.
  2. If an installed computer fails and cannot be quickly fixed, Learning Space Support (LSS) will replace it with a machine loaded with our standard software, within 4 hours, where practicable, to minimise disruption to teaching. Please note that the configuration of the replacement machine may not necessarily be exactly the same as the withdrawn faulty machine.
  3. Installed computers are replaced when their warranty expires, generally prior to the commencement of a semester (where possible).
  4. LSS use the AMX Resource Management Suite (RMS) to monitor installed equipment (for example touch panels) in shared learning spaces. RMS allows us to proacively maintain installed equipment via real-time monitoring and automatic fault notification.
  5. During the undergraduate teaching periods, LSS staff complete scheduled pro-active maintenance checks on a three weekly cycle for multimedia equipment in all lecture theatres. All other shared learning spaces are checked on a monthly cycle.
  6. During winter and summer intensives, LSS staff complete scheduled pro-active maintenance checks on an as required basis for all multimedia equipment in lecture theatres, learning suites, eLearning studios, and e-seminar rooms.
  7. Special checks are completed prior to semester commencement for all lecture theatres, learning suites, eLearning studios, and e-seminar rooms (subject to availability of spaces).
  8. From time to time, multimedia equipment and interfaces will fail, necessitating reactive maintenance. We strive to complete all reactive maintenance as a high priority (i.e. within 4 hours of receiving notification of the fault, subject to availability of equipment "hot spares", consumables, and sufficient time to complete technical repairs in the time between scheduled classes). Reactive maintenance includes replacement of blown bulbs in data projectors and replacement of minor equipment items that have failed, where possible, with a substitute "hot spare". We strive to maintain a stock of "hot spares" for most of the major equipment types, subject to budget provision.
  9. In some circumstances, particularly in shared learning spaces with ageing infrastructure, we will encounter instances of total equipment failure where repair and restoration is neither feasible nor cost-effective. In such circumstances, we strive to substitute a "work-around" technical solution, within 8 hours, where possible.
  10. In general, we would be unable to complete reactive maintenance within the 4 or 8 hour targets if:
  • The required repairs were outside our in-house expertise
  • Spare parts had to be ordered from an external supplier
  • Suitable equipment "hot spares" were unavailable in-house
  • Sufficient access to the space was impossible due to scheduled classes
  • There were OHS issues that required referral to another department or agency (for instance, damage to electrical and other cabling as a result of flooding in a theatre).

In such circumstances, we strive to substitute a "work-around" technical solution, within 8 hours, where possible, to minimise disruption to teaching and learning.

  1. An emergency protocol is in place with the Timetabling Office, which is activated approximately once each semester, in extreme circumstances. LSS will advise the Timetabling Office immediately by telephone if there is a major loss of functionality within a learning space that cannot be restored within an acceptable time-frame. LSS will strive to implement a "work-around" technical solution, where possible, and where necessary the Timetabling Office will advise affected academic departments and strive to re-locate classes, if suitable alternative venues are available.
  2. Major maintenance and upgrade of multimedia equipment that requires lengthy scheduled outages are generally scheduled during the undergraduate non-teaching periods. Sometimes, in response to technical failure, major maintenance interventions are required during teaching periods, to restore functionality. In such circumstances, in-house and/or contracted external expertise will work through the night or during the weekend. The Timetabling Office is pre-advised if there is some risk that functionality cannot be restored in time.

Infrastructure Services staff perform some daily maintenance checks in all shared learning spaces, and replace blown bulbs in OHPs and the batteries in portable equipment.

Client services staff are responsible for completing daily cleans of white-boards and chalk-boards, generally early in the morning before most classes commence. Client services staff also re-stock the white-board pens, chalk, and erasers. A special "wet-clean" of the chalk-board surface is undertaken on a twice-weekly basis (every Monday and Wednesday) by client services staff. The purpose of this wet clean is to minimise the presence of chalk particles in the learning space, which can potentially damage sensitive components in multimedia equipment and may sometimes aggravate pre-existing respiratory ailments in academics and students.

Maintenance of building fabric (such as theatre seating) and plant (such as heating and air conditioning) is the responsibility of Infrastructure Services.

Tips for maintenance of whiteboards and blackboards

It is recommended you use only good quality, dry erase marker pens on whiteboards. Dry erase pen ink is best removed with a clean whiteboard eraser. Dirty erasers deposit ink back on the whiteboard surface, causing a build up of ink stain. Over time you will notice the board becoming more stained or grey in appearance. This staining makes it increasingly difficult to clean the board using the standard eraser.

Depending on the amount of use your whiteboard receives, the surface will require periodic cleaning with a recommended whiteboard cleaning fluid to eliminate pen stain. All residue of the cleaning fluid should then be cleaned from the surface using a clean dry cloth.

Removing permanent marker from whiteboards

If permanent marker is accidentally used on the whiteboard, wait until it dries and then write over the permanent marker ink with a whiteboard pen.

Maintenance of blackboard surfaces (with steel base)

Our preferred supplier recommends that you use only good quality chalk. They advise:

"Chalk is easily removed with a standard felt type eraser, which should be regularly cleaned. The chalkboard surface can be regularly washed down with warm water using a cloth or sponge. Soapy water is also suitable. If soapy water is used, please ensure it is rinsed off with fresh warm water. Abrasive cleaning sponges (jex pads) and scouring powders should be avoided. Difficult to remove marks or stains can be cleaned off with a ‘Windex’ type of liquid cleaner. Please do not use thinners or methylated spirits on this surface as they can bleed into it and remove the chalkboard surface from its steel base".