Collaborative Teaching Cluster
Wean Hall 5202
Computing Services in collaboration with faculty, students and the Eberly Center of Teaching Excellence, announced its latest innovative effort to enhance the teaching and learning experience of our faculty and students at the onset of the fall 2011 semester.
Over the last few years, Clusters Services worked to understand user needs through various activities: student and faculty outreach, surveys and observations, data analysis, and even benchmarking of other academic institutions. These activities focused on teaching and learning needs, areas for improvement and gaps in existing services and spaces.
As a result of this work, the CTC project undertook the following goals:
- Foster a naturally collaborative environment.
- Accommodate faculty and student interaction and engagement.
- Support multi-mode pedagogical needs and classroom activities.
Design and Layout
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This new technology-rich space is located in the 5202 Wean Hall cluster area. The CTC fosters faculty and student interaction while supporting multiple instructional activities in one computer lab. The CTC was designed to promote a collaborative atmosphere through the elimination of long rows of tables, enabling faculty members to effectively teach from any location in the space. The room layout improves visibility lines for all class participants and allows instructors to move easily throughout the space, facilitating consultation with students at computers.
The CTC increases the number of available seats to 45. Thirty of the new seats consist of a resident desktop computer, desk space and a chair. The remaining 15 seats are tailored to laptop users and include desk space, a chair and access to power and data. In addition, Virtual Andrew, currently a pilot service, enables students to work from a consistent Windows-platform software configuration from their very own laptops.
Desk space has been enhanced with propeller-shaped tables to provide the ideal setup for class work done in small groups or individually. CPUs mounted below the tables and monitors on extendable arms maximize the amount of available desk space.
In keeping with other classroom spaces, the CTC features a fully-equipped lectern, complete with document camera. Additionally, students and faculty can use the large, mobile table to expand their working surface or to break out into an additional group or panel.
Projection is provided to a series of six wall-mounted LCD screens throughout the room. Each screen can display a different digital image from an individual resident computer or laptop, or one computer can project to all six screens simultaneously.
- Digital LCD panels allow for split-screen display, enabling side-by-side electronic work critiques.
- Ability to swivel monitors enables faculty members to teach to students and not to the tops of their heads. This also allows students seated across from one another the ability to move monitor screen out of the way to allow for discussion.
- Mobile whiteboards complete with a paper posting side allow for ease of use at tables or at the lectern.
- Special whiteboard film placed over the windows allows for ample whiteboard surfaces.
- Students who prefer to work on personal laptops – Macs included – will now have dedicated desk space at each table on which to work.
The CTC is available to all university affiliates and reservations can be requested. When the CTC is not reserved it is open to the campus community. Questions and assistance can be found on site at the Cluster Consultant Office or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments & Feedback
Clusters Services welcomes all feedback at email@example.com.
Last Updated: 12/16/11