And Then There Were Five: Two More FlexTech Classrooms Available on Campus

Two more FlexTech classrooms have been added to campus over the summer, bringing the total to five technology-rich spaces for active, collaborative learning.

With the completion of FlexTech classrooms in Room 310 Canevin Hall and Room 600 Fisher Hall, the media services staff has become seasoned at developing these spaces.

“We provide a functionality, just in a slightly different way to accomplish what faculty are used to accomplishing,” said Lauren Turin, manager of media services. “We’ve tried to repurpose as much as we can, keeping the projects green and the cost down.”

Room 600 Fisher has capacity for 36 students and offers a projector, while Room 310 Canevin can seat up to 30 students and has a 65-inch touch-screen monitor.

In each of the FlexTech classrooms—including Room 308 Rockwell Hall, Room 551 College Hall and Room 442 Fisher Hall—the learning environment is geared toward collaboration. Four to six students sit in pods around write-on glass-top tables. A computer with a wall-mounted, flat panel monitor is capable of connecting two additional devices, such as tablets or laptops. The pods also have USB charging stations and the ability to share digital content throughout the room.

Response from faculty and students has been enthusiastic, according to Turin.

“When they see all the capabilities, it’s a new approach, something more exciting,” Turin said. “It’s interesting to see them come to life with ideas of what they can do in their classes.”

One of these faculty members, Dr. Deborah Scigliano, assistant professor in the School of Education’s Department of Foundations and Leadership, is thrilled with the focus on small group engagement. “Now, students can research a topic online, create a group PowerPoint or collaborate with other groups in the class online and then instantly share out their results, findings and created work with one click of a button,” she said. “There is no waiting to download work from an email or wait to find the work in a flash drive.

“As a professor in the School of Education, I am so happy to be able to teach our students in an environment in which they will be teaching someday,” Scigliano said. “Duquesne has already received requests from school districts to tour our FlexTech classrooms because they want to have these classrooms in their schools.”

These FlexTech classrooms are scheduled for classes, but gaps in scheduling make them available to other faculty members through 25Live.

Training is available through media services and faculty learning groups meet informally each month to share teaching and learning ideas for these classrooms. The next faculty group session will be Thursday, Sept. 17, at 1:40 p.m. in Room 442 Fisher Hall.