Thursday, March 23, 2017

ANU Physics Studio

Greetings from the Physics Studio at the Australian National University (ANU). I am one of the tutors for ANU Techlauncher and the studio is being used by the teams of students to give their first project pitch. While I have heard mention of this room from colleagues, I had not seen it before today. This is an existing space refurbished as a TEAL type room for "Cabaret" style teaching. The room accommodates about 180 students on two rows of ten round tables, each seating nine students. The room is a little more elongated that is ideal (squarer is better). There are two projection screens on one wall and mains power sockets on the ceiling (with plugboards having long leads available).

There is no electronics built into the desks, providing plenty of space for the usual accumulation of laptops and paper. There is WFi and the students were encouraged to provide feedback using their own laptops, tablets or smart-phones using the Moodle survey module (Tutors also used the same system for feedback). A paper form was also provided to take notes and complete the on-line survey later.

Intriguingly, some desks have small white-boards placed flat on them, presumably for small group work. It would be interesting to consider replacing these with large touch flat screens (essentially giant tablet computers). In addition, it would be interesting to use the same webinar software as used for remote presentations. This would allow students in the room to follow a presentation on their own device and doing polls and quizzes, and give presentations, without any extra software being needed. Remote students could join in as well.

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