National Group to Tour Duquesne FlexTech Classrooms

Media technologists from around the country will visit Duquesne University's FlexTech classrooms during the annual conference of the Consortium of College and University Media Centers Wednesday through Sunday, Oct. 14-18.

The group, which provides an exchange for information and support for quality teaching and learning at colleges, is visiting Duquesne and the University of Pittsburgh, said Lauren Turin, Duquesne media services manager.

Additionally, Turin and Todd Hughes, instructional technology engineer, will share on Friday, Oct. 16, how the media services department accomplished the construction of five FlexTech spaces in the presentation Building an 'Affordable' Active-Learning Classroom. (Some local school districts already have visited Duquesne to learn about these cutting-edge learning environments.)

The following day, members of the group will have opportunity to experience the FlexTech classrooms firsthand, touring the FlexTech classrooms in Room 600, Fisher Hall and Room 310 Canevin Hall, along with other academic locations, Turin said.

"The concept of active learning classrooms has been a hot topic in higher education classroom design and we are very proud of our adaptation of that concept," Turin said. "We continually strive to gather input from faculty to make these rooms efficient and effective teaching spaces so the positive feedback regarding these collaborative learning environments has been very rewarding."

Providing technology that is useful and that advances teaching and learning is very important in contributing to the best possible classroom experience. At the same time, she and her team have balanced amenities such as the ClickShare system that allows monitors around the room to show work from up to four teams, with sustainability. Energy- and eye-friendly lighting has been part of the design, as well as repurposing of items, such as projectors, screens, and classroom tables (covered with new glass tops that serve as desks designed for jotting down ideas).

Working with Duquesne's Center for Teaching Excellence, Turin and her team hold regular sessions to help faculty adapt to working in these collaborative, cutting-edge spaces.

"Advanced technology classrooms that facilitate collaboration engage the students in the subject, help them develop workplace skills highly valued by employers and drive instructors to reinvigorate their teaching methods," said Dr. Jeffrey Miller, associate academic vice president for administration.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

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