*other colours available.
In mid November I delivered a presentation to the IT Space Managers Group conference at Dundee University on our current work with MoCOWs. I’ve blogged about these before so if you want the background you can read more in earlier posts.
The presentation focused on the development of a teaching space equipped with MoCOW units which followed discussions within the University Learning Resources Management Group (sub-group of Education Committee), where it was agreed to create a pilot innovative flexible learning space as part of refurbishment during Summer 2015.
The pilot was outlined as best suited to a 20 capacity flat floor seminar room with flexible furniture and AV equipment. Following internal discussion we identified the School of Education as an ideal partner for adoption and a way forwards was agreed with Head of Department.
Durham University is long-established provider of initial teacher education and has been training teachers since the 1830s. It provides three full-time programmes leading to qualified teacher status (QTS):
- Three year BA (Hons) degree in primary education with QTS
- One-year primary PGCE
- One-year secondary PGCE
It’s also a department with a good track record of research in the use of technology to support learning. Research interests include:
- Effective use of information and communications technology (ICT).
- Digital technologies for learning in schools.
- Understanding how children’s thinking and reasoning develops.
- How teachers can be supported in developing the quality of teaching and learning in their classrooms.
The design phase for the work led to a decision to create a default room position configured for group work and following a primary education theme to tie in a colour scheme based on Red, Green, Blue, Yellow colours with coordinated furniture and finishing. In the end we opted for TopTec Plectrum Tables and Ikon Chairs. The room was ready for the start of teaching in October 2015.
The end result is a teaching space where as one of the academics using it said “nothing has been taken away and [we] have added value” and capability to enhance student teaching and learning. The true extent of the possibilities are something that the academic department are coming to terms with and we are excited to see how they develop this potential in the coming months and use the technology and innovative software including Xest which we think is another UK first.
In addition to the five MoCOWs in the pilot seminar room we introduced a further five units in black finish across campus to support a variety of small learning and meeting spaces and the feedback has all been extremely positive, particularly noted was the mobility and collaborative functionality of the devices which has transformed the use of some spaces. Three of the MoCOWs are available as resources in Microsoft Exchange and can be reserved for use to support staff users in their events.
Work is now underway to consider how we might further expand our herd of 12 MoCOWs to further support the ambitions and requirements in the next academic year.