Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

Upgrading classrooms and classroom support

Teaching and learning has changed in the past 30 years; it makes sense that classrooms do, too. Returning to campus this fall, faculty will notice upgrades to some classrooms across the university. These updates follow a classroom user survey initiated by the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) last spring. The survey, in conjunction with the strategic plan and other data collected on classroom use in the recent past, helped to identify the highest priorities for classroom renewal.

Keeping Queen’s at the forefront of innovation

Learning classroom updates shown in Duncan McArthur Hall.

“The goal of the project is to enhance the teaching and learning experience, created through updating learning spaces and making sure we are technologically current,” says Peter Wolf, Associate Vice-Provost and Director for the CTL.

It’s more than just giving classrooms a facelift; it’s integrating technology to fuse seamlessly with classroom features such as moveable chairs so students can collaborate more freely or video conferencing equipment to make courses more interactive with a guest instructor in a remote location. This summer, several classrooms have been updated, with a focus on major renovation in Duncan MacArthur Auditorium.

In tandem with classroom renovations, a new Teaching and Learning Spaces website specifically designated to classrooms and classroom services has been created. It includes information for booking rooms, specifications on each room available, equipment that can be rented for each class, and who to contact if a classroom is in need of assistance. The website is a collaborative effort between the CTL, Information Technology Services (ITS) and Physical Plant Services (PPS), and will be available for the start of the fall 2016 semester.

Note the process for booking classrooms has not changed since last spring.

“We know that new technology, software and mobile devices are making learning experiences more interactive for students. Investing in upgrading classrooms means we can provide not only a more engaging atmosphere with new furniture, but we can also incorporate that technology to make the teaching and learning experience more interactive,” says Bo Wandschneider, Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice-Principal (ITS).

This fall marks the conclusion of the first phase of the project, which spans over three years at this point. Each year, $1 million has been allocated for classroom renovations and rejuvenation.

Classroom assistance made simple

Starting in the fall, all classroom assistance requests, regardless of their nature, will be handled by the IT Support Centre. Staff and faculty can call extension 36744 for their classroom support needs. This information will be available on plaques outside of the classrooms (in production) and on the new website from the CTL.

Need equipment not found in your classroom or learning space?

The ITSC will be developing a pilot project lending library of equipment not typically found in classrooms. These non-traditional items (e.g., overhead projectors, handheld microphones, clickers and desktop document cameras) that go beyond standard equipment will be available on loan starting in fall 2016. Simply contact the ITSC by phone at extension 36666 or by using the Online Help Form with your classroom equipment needs and we will help find the right solution for you! Equipment can be picked up with 24 hours’ notice from the Classroom Support Unit in Mackintosh-Corry Hall or can be delivered and setup in the requested classroom with one weeks’ notice.


Additional Information:

For more information about the classroom renovations or new support procedure, please contact Peter Wolf, Associate Vice-Provost and Director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning.