Page 32 - Campus Technology, May/June 2019
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FEATURE Learning Spaces
faculty and students about learning spaces, so we have done two surveys to ask faculty for suggestions of things they would like to see upgraded. From those surveys and the LSRS scores, we looked at which classrooms we could have the most impact on within our budget and began there.”
Fox meets regularly with a team that includes individuals from the provost’s office, facilities, the registrar, and campus scheduling and spe- cial events. They have looked at the LSRS together and determined what each criterion means to the Geneseo campus. Understanding campus policies on class sizes, types of furni- ture, etc. has proven valuable for their planning, Fox said. “When someone talks to me about a room, I can pull up the data sheet right away and tell you which areas need improvement.”
Testing Out Experimental Spaces
A few years before the 2018 opening of the University of California, Irvine’s Anteater Learning Pavilion, a new active learning build- ing, the classroom technology team had a chance to experiment with an unusual space on campus: a three-story octagon that was serving as an underutilized computer lab. “It was built a long time ago for a faculty member who left campus soon after,” explained Eric Rupp, plan- ning and outreach manager for classroom tech- nologies. “It was a weird space and not very useful. We got some capital improvement money to build it out as an experimental class- room. We knew this was a good opportunity to run a small-scale test for what the Anteater Learning Pavilion could become.”
“We had gone through a five-year process of making all of our general-purpose classrooms smart,” added Judi Franz, a member of the plan- ning and faculty outreach, classroom technolo- gy support team. “We were trying to figure out what the next generation of classroom is going to look like. This was our opportunity to throw everything at a space and figure that out.”
UCI has made great progress in bringing con-
sistency to the technology available to instruc- tors in general assignment classrooms, but the IT funding stream could not be used for furni- ture. “We were doing tech renovations and refreshes but leaving the same old chairs from 1970,” said Rupp. Bringing those funding streams together on projects is the key to bet- ter redesign, he believes. “On campuses that have really nifty new learning spaces, they are putting those funds together to do an entire renovation. We are starting to get there. We have a classroom enhancement committee that is getting funded to the tune of $5 million to put those things together.”
In the octagon space, Franz stood on a balco- ny observing how people moved in the room, how often the instructor shared his or her con- tent, and how often students shared their con- tent. Were students using laptops, phones or tablets? She also surveyed students and faculty members about their experience in the space. “I was taking those lessons and feeding them to Eric for the design of the new building,” she said.
As the new building was getting ready to open, UCI decided to offer an eight-week certi- fication in active learning for faculty who want- ed to teach there. “Before the building was fin- ished, we wanted to make sure the people who got to teach in this space were going to use it effectively,” said Mathew Williams, principal analyst, learning environments and technolo- gies. “We also saw it as an opportunity to start talking about active learning and get more peo- ple interested.” The registrar was asked to give people with the certification priority in assign- ing classrooms in the new building.
With the new building now in use, Williams and his team are doing classroom observations using the Classroom Observation Protocol for Under- graduate STEM (COPUS), a standardized obser- vation protocol. They also do student and faculty surveys. “We are looking at classroom scheduling data and we have IRB approval to look at course outcomes and institutional data,” Williams said. Their goal is to assess how much active learning

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