Ravensbourne University London is a digital media and design university for pre-degree, undergraduate, and postgraduate students as well as professionals seeking further education.
Every year, Ravensbourne University London hosts a 15-credit class called the Ravensbourne Unit. The class takes place during a 1-week period, and it’s required for all second-year undergraduate students.
In prior years, Ravensbourne held this class on its London campus. In 2020, however, it needed to move the class online due to Covid-19 and space limitations. Ravensbourne's building is an open space without individual classrooms. While this open area provides the university with flexibility, it’s not an ideal event location—acoustically or for social distancing.
That’s why Emelie Helsen, the Mindsets and Skillsets Coordinator at Ravensbourne, began searching for a virtual event platform to host the class.
“Zoom was way out of the question,” Helsen says. She explains that hosting a Zoom event with different virtual areas requires multiple links to rooms and separate virtual areas that make student navigation overwhelming.
“We also have a lot of students with neurodivergent needs, and I wanted to make this event as smooth and accessible for them as possible,” she says.
Helsen was searching for an all-in-one, interactive event platform, and that’s why she chose Hopin. “I attended a conference on Hopin, and I thought it looked great,” Helsen adds.
The Ravensbourne Unit’s classes took place over five days. First, students attended a three-day conference hosted on Hopin. Then, during the final two days, students had the option to meet with instructors during open studio hours to ask questions.
After finishing the five days of classes, students were required to complete a brief where they chose a sound that made them think of an issue in the world, and then designed a plan, pitch, and reflection explaining how they would solve the issue.
The conference on Hopin gave students educational sessions, videos, and networking to help them brainstorm ideas for their brief and find a solution to their brief issue. Over three days, students could choose from 60+ educational sessions—all hosted on Hopin.
Hopin features used:
More than 700 students, staff, and external contributors attended the three-day virtual conference. The Hopin platform provided a virtual, educational experience with 60+ sessions and 100+ educational booths.
“Anywhere you learn, you can use Hopin,” says Helsen. “Because it’s so versatile, you can adapt it to what your needs are.”
On top of that, Ravensbourne was able to cut costs by hosting the event virtually. “Ordinarily, I would have to pay fees for speakers to come to the university and travel expenses,” says Helsen. “I had none of that.”
Top benefits of Hopin for Ravensbourne University London:
The virtual event was such a success that Helsen plans to never go back to an entirely in-person class. “I honestly think the Ravensbourne Unit will be hybrid. Because what we delivered on Hopin—there is no way I can deliver that in our building.”