He says BSU answered those questions with how it constructed the rooms in the Unified Media Lab.
“There are no walls in this lab,” Pierce says. “There are no partitions, no offices for students; they’re all out in an open space where they can collaborate. With these pods, you sit and you look out so that you can collaborate, and say “hey, I’m working on this story, [can you help]?””
2) Find ways to get people to use the space
Heifetz says colleges can get people, especially students and instructors, to use the space by incorporating classrooms inside of it.
He says class time spent in the lab will get students and instructors adjusted to the setup, and encouraged to use the space for their own projects.
“We have a classroom space in the lab,” Heifetz says. “That was done to get students used to the newsroom right away…With the class in there first, they get comfortable right away and we think it’s more likely they’ll spend some time in there outside of class. This way, it’s good use of the space all day long.”
3) Get students ready for the real world
Underhill says colleges will get the biggest bang for their buck if they use the new space to prepare students for the real world.
He says colleges can do this by designing the space to look like a space used in a real world setting, and by investing in professional-quality technology.
Doing so will set students’ expectations about real-world work, and make them attractive to prospective employers.
“We really wanted it to be something that is used in the professional world,” Underhill says. “These are systems used throughout the world in professional operations. We find it’s important if we really want to train our students to be able to get jobs, they must work on real equipment…Keep in mind that they’re not just doing it for education, or so that they can produce something.”
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