About the General Purpose Classroom Project

The General Purpose Classrooms are designed to serve the entire Texas Tech University campus community by providing a wide range of equipment, technology and resources in order to meet pedagogical requirements of all those that use them. These classrooms are centrally scheduled and maintained by the Office of the Provost under the direction of Academic Support & Facilities Resources. This project would not be possible without vital partnership with IT Help Central Classroom Technology Services to assist with the room technology designs, technology management, and provide technical support to instructors. Our office relies heavily upon the Operations Division offices of Building Maintenance & Construction for construction, renovation and general upkeep of the GPCs and Engineering Services for construction drawings of proposed GPCs. Funding for the project has been provided by the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost.

This initiative began in 2010 and has grown due to its popularity and continued positive feedback from faculty, students and staff. There are a total of 44 GPCs in 6 buildings, spanning the Texas Tech University campus: Agricultural Sciences, Holden Hall, Human Sciences, Mathematics, Media and Communication, and Science. As the General Purpose Classroom initiative continues, we look forward to providing additional standardized teaching and learning environments.

We are currently planning for renovations that will take place over the summer. To help select rooms, a space analysis was completed for all Classrooms and Meeting Rooms on campus. This analysis included condition score, utilization scores, location, and use by the home department. Upon, review, rooms were chosen which were in poor condition but could potentially be utilized by multiple departments on campus. If you would like to see a room become a GPC, please submit information about the classroom and the department currently managing the classroom to ASFR for analysis. I will also be updating our blog once a month during the term. Then weekly during our construction and renovations. Subscribe or check back for updates and more information.

Planning for 2015

As the year comes to an end and resolutions begin, renovations are hot on our minds. This year we are looking into a project involving construction. Our goal is to renovated 3 smaller classrooms into two 60 person classrooms. This will involve demolition of two walls and the construction of a new wall separating the spaces. This will be a new experience for the General Purpose Classroom renovations. We are very excited for the opportunity to engage in construction. We received feedback with interest in a rooms of this size. By increasing the capacity we are hoping to use the rooms for lectures that rely on discussion and group collaboration. We will be using the same standards for furniture and finishes in the past renovations. The room also will be equipped with the standard GPC technology. We can’t wait to hear from instructors and students on how these rooms will effect their teaching/learning experience. We have experienced a wonderful semester and are happy to see our classrooms well utilized.

Introducing…

Our office works closely with Classroom Technology Services for upkeep of the technology in the General Purpose Classrooms. Recently, CTS’s has hired two new full time employee’s. Please, help me to welcome Alina Drigalenko and Tim Honeycutt.

Alina will occupy the position of IT Support Technician in Classroom Technology Services. She is transitioning from a Student Assistant to Full-Time Staff and has a wealth of experience with CTS, General Purpose Classrooms, Digital Signage, and especially wayfinding. As Alina is working full-time, she is also pursuing an undergraduate degree at Texas Tech. She is majoring in industrial engineering and minoring in chemistry and Arabic. Alina enjoys painting, playing guitar and bass, learning new languages, and tweaking anything that has an engine.

Tim will occupy the position of IT Support Technician in Classroom Technology Services. He is joining CTS from the TTU School of Law where he was an Academic Technology Multimedia Coordinator. In this role, he gained experience with AMX, Extron, and Crestron control systems which will greatly benefit the CTS team. Prior to working for the TTU School of Law, Tim has 5 years of experience working for KCBD New Channel 11 as a videographer, associate producer, and web editor. During his time with KCBD, he was able to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Electronic Media and Communications, Visual Communications. He has also been accepted to Wayland Baptist University’s MBA program in Management Information Systems. Tim enjoys spending time with his Siberian Husky names Charlie. The two of them enjoy going on many adventures together. He also enjoys disc golf, mountain biking, fishing, and skydiving.

Tell Us How We’re Doing

We have just completed the sixth week of school with midterms just around the corner. Recently it was released that Texas Tech University had it’s 3rd largest growth in university history this semester. This is a very exciting time in Texas Tech History. With such an influx of students, we are seeing an increase in activity in our General Purpose Classrooms. Our hope is that students who attend class in a General Purpose Classroom will be comfortable and focused. We recently distributed a survey to both students and instructors to get feedback on the General Purpose Classrooms. We rely on the information we get from the survey to determine the direction and function of upcoming renovations. We will be closing the survey on Tuesday, October 7th. If you are a student or instructor in one of the General Purpose Classrooms, please take some time and fill out our survey.

Starting the Semester Strong

We are finishing our second week of school. The rooms have been packed full of students and instructors. This year we are condensing our General Purpose Classroom survey and sending it out once per semester. That will be sent out in the next couple of months. We really do enjoy hearing feedback from our students and faculty. Once piece of information I would like to share with you all is that our phone number is changing. The new number is 806.742.5365!  Please write it down or save it in your phone. We are always happy to help but you guys will need to know how to contact us. Also, Classroom Technology Support’s number has changed. They can answer any of your questions about technology in the General Purpose Classrooms and can set up time for training. CTS’s new number is 806.742.5381! Please write it down or save it to your phone. We can’t wait to hear feedback from our surveys. We definitely would like to know how people are enjoying the new seminar rooms!

Back to School

Summer is winding down but campus is just starting to heat up. The Residents Halls opened this last weekend for all of the new students. We’ve seen students and parents walking around getting acquainted with campus. Classes start on Monday, August 25th. That means this week was dedicated to getting our General Purpose Classrooms ready for the new semester. This entails lock programming, technology training, cleaning and auditing.

 

Lock programming is a long process. We work with the the ID Office to grant access to instructors teaching in the General Purpose Classrooms. The locks read a chip that is housed in a proximity ID card. The chip holds a series of numbers. We program the locks so they unlock when they read the number that is assigned to an instructors. This means our instructors will need a proximity card to gain access to the majority of our General Purpose Classrooms. These ID’s can be obtained from the ID Office in the Student Union Building. If you know an instructor teaching in a General Purpose Classrooms, encourage them to get a proximity ID from the ID Office. We are happy to answer any questions about access or the lock programming process. Feel free to call us at 806.834.5271 or email me at emily.jones@ttu.edu

 

Once this was completed, we focused our sights on helping instructors to get acquainted with the technology in the room. We held a few technology trainings this week so instructors could ask question and see the equipment in the room. We like to hear that our technology and equipment is being utilized. It is becoming an integral piece of how instructors teach their class so we want to be sure we are supporting them fully. If you need any information or instruction about our technology feel free to look at some of the instruction PDF’s. They can be found on our website at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/asfr/gpc/ (They can be found under the FAQ’s Technology tab. Just click on How do I use Technology in GPC’s?). The Classroom Technology Support (CTS) division of IT Help Central is who we rely on to support the technology in the General Purpose Classrooms. If an instructor has any issues with the technology CTS can be reached at 806.834.5252.

 

Lastly, we walked through all of our classrooms to audit. We checked to make sure they were clean. We reorganized the student seating if necessary and left any needed supplies for instructors. Our hope is that student feel comfortable and attentive in our General Purpose Classrooms. Also that our instructors feel that they are supported and can teach their course with minimal issues. We are excited to hear feedback from instructors and students who are attending a course in our General Purpose Classrooms. Below are pictures of various styles of General Purpose Classrooms. Let us know if we accomplished creating comfortable yet functional classrooms.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Furniture, Cabinetry and Technology! Oh my!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This week was very busy with finishing for our Platinum General Purpose Classrooms. At the beginning of the week we had technology being programmed similar to our other classrooms. We want our rooms to be easily used and accessible. We utilize a touch panel for easy control over the technology. The touch panel allows you to change the volume of the speakers, switch between PC use and laptop connections, and control of the televisions.  Then doors and drawers of our cabinetry were installed. Lastly furniture arrived. This room is meant to be used as a movable and flexible classroom. We chose to incorporate nesting tables and chairs on casters for flexibility. The furniture is considered nesting because they fit closely together. Our table tops are attached to the legs through a pivot system. We can flip the table tops up and they fit neatly in a corner. The chairs are similar. The chair seats flip up making them fit closely together.  The table have power ports installed into the top. Since technology is so important to modern day teaching and learning, we expect them to be well utilized by students. Flexibility has also grown in popularity for teaching in the recent years. Professors want to teach their class as a lecture and then incorporate application or discussion through small break out groups. These classrooms can be used for seminars, lectures, group work, and the list could go on. Above are a few floor plans to demonstrate the flexibility of the room. Please enjoy the pictures and tell us your thoughts!