Planning Collaborative Facilities

Creating New Opportunities and Spaces. The key points from this seminar are:

  • Our facilities need to support the instruction, research and learning needs of students and faculty.
  • We need to have a comprehensive plan for facility renovation for both the faculty and library portions of the law building, rather than ad hoc renovations as we find money to improve the building.
  • Facilites need to foster community & have space for small groups (more group study rooms properly equiped), as well as open space for educational interaction of students.
  • Will your Information Commons be a glorified computing lab, or a collaborative learning space? It should be a place to access, use and create information, and have a set of services transparent to users (rather than fiefdoms presenting their services in a common location: it, reference…).
  • THINK CLEARLY ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH! You’re going to spend a lot of $ so make sure that you have a clear vision of what you want so you’re moving towards your goals.


Planning Collaborative Spaces:
– Preliminary Planning: need/rationale, project scope, project sponsor, key admin’s, partners for implementation, partners for operation.
– Project kick off: method (team, committee, departments), required team skills, resources for planning, assign roles, team formed.
– Identity requirements: programmatic, physical, technical, strategic; new construction or remodelling?; Identify potential sites; recommend sites to champions.
– Research & Assessment: conduct focus groups, interviews; refine mission & goals; consider ongoing evaluation /assessment plan.
– Personnel: determine personnel needed; identify from partners; new personnel; training needs for current new staff; some of the best staff are the students.
– Budget: one time costs, refresh cost (equipment and training). Named facilities are more and more common. Set aside a percentage to development $ for refreshing hardward, software and furniture.
– Collaboration / Partnership agreements: identify the need for agreements; develop agreements – memo of understanding (MOU); get sign-off from appropriate partners.
– Service Considerations: hours of operations; staffing requirements; integration strategies with adjacent units & partners; accompanying virtual services.
– Marketing: we need to make sure students know about services offered.
– Launch: invites staff first; role of early adopters; demos.
– Communications: ongoing; ongoing assessment; good new dissemination.
– Policies on how the facilities will be used. Acceptable use Policies; IP; instruction student ethics; copyright…

– Learning is an active process.
– Learning is encouraged when it is: active, contextual, engaging, locally owned, & social.
– Our facilities need to enable the interaction of students (in and out of the classroom).
– Students need access to appropriate tools while doing presentations in classrooms and seminar rooms.
– Facilites need to foster community & have space for small groups, as well as space for educational interaction of different cohorts.
– The lecture hall: adequate and funcaitonal work space. No back of the room. No hiding places. Maximize instructor circulation paths.
– Seminar Room: should be a place where many technoligies can used effectively. 360 degree space (not just board at the front). Distributed presentation control.
– Studios: ability to support brainstorming, doodling and play (glass walls with markers?).
– Instructional classrooms (computers at every seat). Ability for both students and faculty to display.
– We need to design flexability into buildings, because they are built to last 50 or 100 years, and needs will change over time. We want to be able to make changes without huge renovations.

– What are we trying to do?
– Institutions are designing technology- enable classrooms, technology rich social spaces, information commons, multimedia studios and experimental spaces.
– We are doing this to promote “deeper” learning. (active , contextual, engaging, locally owned & social).
– We are trying to meet the need of net gen students ( always connected, groups, producers and consumers).
– Large-Scale Integrated projects: University of Arizona (classrooms, discussion rooms, information commons, media resource centre & Courtyard.
– University of Indiana Library – opened an info commons, it was a great success with groups of students working together. Includes: Lib Reference, IT support, checkout lpatops and video equipment, multimedia production lab, writing services, Career reference centre, coffee shop, group study rooms.
– Students want academic social spaces (ie coffee shop).
– Workstations should be designed to groups of students can gather round them.
– Planning for these spaces should involve groups from all over campus (IT, AV, Instruction Technologists, Librarians).
– Group rooms are very important.
– Will your facility be a glorified computing lab, or a collaborative learning space? It should be a place to access, use and create information, and have a set of services transparent to users (rather than fiefdoms presenting their services in a common location).
– Multimedia services (PPT, video conferencing).
– Some classrooms need to be flexible (all furniture on wheels with video, and digital white board at the front.
– What’s new for classrooms? Wireless – info everywhere; collaboration (video conferencing); students working in informal ad-hoc spaces.
– THINK CLEARLY ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH! You’re going to spend a lot of $ so make sure that you have a clear vision of what you want so you’re moving towards your goals.

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