Sony Virtuoso – Wins following an evaluation of language lab vendors

In July 2010 the University of Portsmouth School of Languages and Area Studies (SLAS) commissioned an internal audit to assess the benefits of all the major language lab solutions. Here is SLAS’s verbatim assessment of the chosen vendor, SONY Virtuoso.

The report consisted of both a full installation of the software vendors on the universities’ network where all areas of functionality, deployment and support were fully tested and evaluated. The University also sought references from individual client sites and visited those sites to interrogate how each individual language lab solution was working in practice.

Positives
‘Listening and intercom were excellent (using schools own USB Headsets). Sending of files was reliable. Teacher could view exactly what the students were watching. It was easy monitor student progress. Easy for students to record themselves. Windows file browsing. Uncluttered interface. Can use windows media for playing files.Easy to blank screens and hide other applications . Easy to maintain control.’

Easy and Reliable
‘Students can be made to follow the teachers web browsing. Pairing and grouping is easy and reliable. Drill – force students to record from headsets. Simple subtitles. ASL recordings‐ Students can view their voice recordings as a dual track
alongside the video master and the volume levels can be adjusted.On screen timer and alarm clock for exams. Easy to control and view student progress.’

Negatives
‘No real negatives identified.’

Client site visit
‘The school has been using Sony Virtuoso for 3 years and they appear to have an excellent relationship with Connected. The staff and students were very enthusiastic about teaching and learning with Virtuoso and Soloist. We joined a class of 22 students studying French language. We were asked to repeat some sentences in French and these were recorded and played back to us. We were then asked to type out the sentences to the best of our ability. A selection of student work was modelled to the presentation screen and the work was discussed and corrected. We were shown all of the features and I was impressed with the reliability, responsiveness and dynamism of the software.’

The University of Portsmouth has now successfully installed and is using SONY Virtuoso. Read the full case study here:
University of Portsmouth Case Study.