Project-based learning lab opens on Tempe campus

By

Roxane Barwick

ASU’s School of International Letters and Cultures’ Learning Support Services (LSS) has recently completed construction of its new “project-based learning lab” – the SILC LSS Collaboratory. This innovative, flexibly designed space is intended to support collaborative, small-group, technology-intensive and online work within the space or between collaborators anywhere in the world.

The Collaboratory is a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) space in which groups of up to 16 students, TAs, and/or faculty members can work together, or in small groups, on projects involving technology and web-based communication.

The space is divided into four “pods” which connect to a SmartBoard-based teaching wall for demonstrations and presentations. Each pod allows students to connect their laptops wirelessly to large LCD monitors, and to share files and other data with their group simply by dragging and dropping.

Students engage in brainstorming, group work, the collaborative editing of documents, and videoconferencing from their pod. Anything created in the group can be shared with the rest of the class by dragging it to the teaching wall workstation.

The furniture and whiteboards in the room are all moveable, so that the area may be rearranged easily for different types of collaboration and instruction. The LSS Collaboratory is an ideal setting for online classes, videoconferencing and more, with fast network connections and unique-to-ASU technologies, making it a model for other high-tech spaces to be built around ASU.

The construction of the space was made possible by a $25,000 Student Success grant from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, matched by Learning Support Services, plus an additional $17,000 from the School of International Letters and Cultures. Learning Support Services’ new Collaboratory space is located on ASU’s Tempe campus in G. Homer Durham Language and Literature building, Room 68 (LL68), right next door to the LSS circulation and information desk. 

Those interested in scheduling use of the room can find a request form in the LSS section of the SILC webpage: http://silc.asu.edu/lab/forfaculty/spacesavailable.