We have a lot to share from an important summer for classroom technology at Rutgers-New Brunswick. Here is the latest from DCS.
Four Brand-New Active Learning Spaces
We are very excited to introduce New Brunswick's first four general-purpose Active Learning Spaces. Designed for collaboration, engagement, and other dynamic teaching methods - these classrooms will help further advance the impact of active learning at Rutgers. With wrap-around white boards, round tables, moveable chairs with under-seat storage, and student monitors - Tillett 204 and Rutgers Academic Building 4400 & 4450 facilitate group work and interaction. The central instructor station - or Hub - gives faculty access to distribute presentations to the rooms' many displays or share student content. In addition to these three Active Learning Classrooms, Rutgers Academic Building 4225 is our first Interactive Lecture Hall, a large space with swivel seats and wireless display sharing that enables students to work collaboratively and share their work on in-room projectors, while maintaining the tiered seating and sightlines necessary for large lectures. For more information on these exciting room, visit the Active Learning Spaces page.
Seventeen Rutgers Academic Building Classrooms
Rutgers Academic Building, a brand-new flagship for the New Brunswick campus, includes seventeen general-purpose classrooms. In addition to the new Active Learning Spaces, AB has eight seminar rooms, providing intimate rooms for small classes and recitations. These room are equipped with Digital Classroom Flip-Tops that provide easy technology access while seated with students. The Building's seven lecture halls, equipped with Digital Classroom Podiums, provide modern, state-of-the-art settings for large classes. Learn more about all classrooms of Rutgers Academic Building in our Spotlight article.
Forty-two Technology Upgrades
In addition to outfitting brand-new rooms with DCS equipment, we also continued our multi-year effort to update existing technology to our new standard. This summer, 42 classrooms in Frelinghuysen Hall, Science & Engineering Resource Center, Hickman Hall, Food Science, Loree, Beck Hall, and Lucy Stone Hall were all updated with a version of the Digital Classroom Podium. View the full list in our Spotlight article.
Seventy-Seven Percent Standardized
All this adds up to DCS being more than three quarters of the way to providing consistent, state-of-the-art technology in all of our classrooms. Entering the fall semester, 211 of the 275 rooms DCS supports are now equipped with a Digital Classroom Podium, Digital Classroom Flip-Top, or Collaborative Instructor Hub. As we enter the project's sixth year, we are nearing our goal of outfitting all DCS rooms with our new standard so that instructors can expect the same level of technology and ease of use, regardless of where their class is scheduled.
Tuesday October 11, 10-11:30am, Rutgers Academic Building 4400
Monthly ALC workshops are an opportunity for faculty and staff engaged in active learning to meet, discuss their experiences, and learn about news in active learning. While these meetings are meant to be an informal gathering, a topic for each workshop will help focus the discussion. In this first community workshop, the group will discuss the various types of active learning activities - from think-pair-share to role playing - including specific exercises and things to consider when implementing them. Attendees are invited to share activities they use in class or workshop ideas they are considering using.
Friday October 21, 1-2pm in Tillett 118
Kaltura is a web-based tool that can be used to record presentations, including a video image of the presenter and PowerPoint slides or other presentation material. In this workshop DCS will discuss how Kaltura can be used to enhance your course and walk you through the steps of making your own video.
Wednesday November 9, 9-10:30am, Cook/Douglass Lecture Hall Room 103
In this second community workshop, we will look at how to form groups when using active learning methods. How students are organized into groups can have an enormous impact on the way students work collaboratively. A balanced group is more likely to be productive and inclusive. We will discuss the merits of different approaches to forming groups and encourage attendees to share their own experiences creating groups in class.
Thursday December 8, 2-3:30pm, Tillett Hall 204
In the final workshop of the fall semester, the group will discuss common challenges that arise when using active learning. While active learning can be very rewarding, it is not without its hurdles. Whether it is the reluctance of students to alter the way they learn, resistance to working with other students, or the difficulty of teaching without a clear front to the room - teaching with active learning methods requires that you overcome many unfamiliar obstacles. We will use this workshop to discuss typical challenges experienced at Rutgers and potential solutions.
Friday January 13, 9:30-10:30am in Tillett 118
To enable faculty to prepare for upcoming classes, DCS holds training sessions around the start of the semester where instructors can learn about the technology in their classroom, get instruction on using it, and test out the equipment.
Friday January 13, 11am-12pm in Tillett 118
This workshop is tailored towards instructors using the Digital Classroom Podium and anyone who would like an introduction to using a Mac computer. DCS will show you to the basics of navigating Mac's operating system, how to use popular applications, and useful tips and shortcuts.