Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Utilisation of Space Across Campus through the Use of ICT Workshop.

Last week’s Utilisation of Space Across Campus was one of the most interesting and popular SUSTE-TECH workshops. The event was attended by over 50 delegates from various estates, ICT and e-learning departments whose roles within the FHE sector requires knowledge of all that is pedagogic, technical and sustainable. Overall feedback from the workshop was very positive, scoring 8.6 on the overall delegate evaluation grading scale with delegates requesting additional information on each of the topics covered and notification of similar future workshops.
The usual mix of ICT, energy and sustainable managers were in attendance, but this workshop attracted the attention of architects, space planners, heads of e learning departments and engineers. This mix of professionals is indicative of the ever expanding skills-set that’s required to ensure the efficient operation of an FHE estate in 2011 and into the future.
After delegates were briefed on the SUSTE-TECH project and JISC’s other estates led projects, Toni Kelly and Matt Sherlock from the University of Birmingham’s Learning Space Division, presented on how by integrating timetabling and space management across campus they anticipate a reduction in the number of over-bookings thus saving time and money for their institution.
For more information on the University of Birmingham check out the presentations on: http://www.slideshare.net/Suste-Tech/2matt-sherlock-2
Graeme Horner from FG Technology presented on the benefits of using their remote control device for PC’s.  These devices can be placed in (or under) a desk or work surface where they duplicate the key controls of the PC. This allows the main computer to be stored elsewhere (up to 20m away). Because PC’s are concealed, they reduce clutter, improve the asthetic appearance and free up classroom space. It also means that computers are is less likely to be stolen or vandalised. FG’s remote control devices are silent so noise is reduced and as PC’s are stored elsewhere, they not add to classroom heat. This keeps the running costs of classrooms and lab spaces to a minimum.
For more information check out Graeme’s slides on : http://www.slideshare.net/Suste-Tech/4graeme-horne-fg-technology-eauc-powerpoint
John Pryzbilla from Mosaic Space presented part one of Optimising the Sustainable Performance of Classroom Space. John’s presentation included a formulae for calculating the utilisation of classroom space; Room Frequency x Seat Occupancy = Utilisation. This formula should prove useful for timetabling staff and space planners when trying to maximise the use of lecture halls, labs and classrooms at the beginning of each academic semester. While many delegates may already be aware that “the greenest building is the one that has not yet been built”, John also informed delegates that “every pound (£) wasted on empty space means that less money is available for research, teaching and learning. Poorly used space makes everyone work harder to pay for it”.
John slides are available on; (coming soon)
 Finally, Cathy Stewart and Mel Starrs, both from PRP Architects, presented on part two of Optimising the Sustainable Performance of Classroom Space. Cathy covered the importance of providing learning spaces that have adequate fresh air and oxygen, have comfortable surroundings and provide sufficient visual stimulation with minimal distraction. It is hoped that by providing these pedagogic conditions, students will be able to learn more efficiently and retain as much information as possible. In the traditional learning method of lecturing, where students sit quietly and try to absorb and retain (and hopefully understand) what being covered, only 5% of what’s being taught is retained by students. However when “learning by doing”, in the case of practical experiments and work experience, 75% of what’s being taught is retained. The difficulty however is balancing pedagogy with limited space while still factoring in the three learning environments; “teacher centred” (classroom), “student centred” (open labs and studying space) and the “third space” (informal common areas such as the outdoors, cafeteria, etc). PRP Architects also covered the importance of building staff and student’s confidence in the use of technology as well as the need for on-going training to keep pace with advancements in  the latest technology. They also covered the topic of understanding all that technology had to offer to enhance the pedagogic experience, save time and lessen the impact on the environment.  Their presentation is available on http://www.slideshare.net/Suste-Tech/6-cathy-stewart-prp
Unfortunately, Paul Ritchie from Leeds Metropolitan was unable to present so delegates missed out on hearing about how their JISC funded Light and Heat by Timetabling project was progressing. The SUSTE-TECH project may run another workshop on the topic of timetabling and space planning at some point (most likely in 2012). Delegates attend event may have the opportunity to hear Paul Ritchie and Sue Holms present then. http://www.slideshare.net/Suste-Tech/3paul-ritchie-heat-light-by-timetable-effective-measures
Slides from each of the presentations are also available on the EAUC’s SUSTE-TECH workshop webpage ; http://www.eauc.org.uk/workshops

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