We’re Going Global: GPC Classrooms are Getting New Locks

Academic Support and Facilities Resources (ASFR) is always looking for ways to improve the learning environment for not only students, but also the teaching staff at Texas Tech University. The new Global Locks which are being installed on GPC doors are part of this process. The purpose behind these locks allow for greater customization for the instructor as well as to increase classroom security.

Instructors using classrooms with Global Locks will be able to decide whether or not they want to leave their classrooms locked or unlocked during their lecture. 1 swipe of their proximity card will unlock the door for a short amount of time for the instructor to gain access to the room. This can enforce attendance policies if the instructor chooses this selection. 2 swipes of their proximity card will leave the door unlocked for the duration of the class period. This feature is especially useful during exams. Instead of having to keep the door propped open for students who come in late, instructors can simply leave the door unlocked. This minimizes the level of distraction to the students  in the middle of the exam. Not only are they not distracted by noise from the hallway, but they are also not distracted by late arrivals knocking on the door.

Another improved feature of the Global Locks is that they can be controlled remotely. ASFR can lock or unlock a door from their computer. This saves time and resources. Instructors will not have to wait on someone from ASFR to physically come to their room to unlock it. Since these locks can be programmed and controlled remotely, they can serve as a back-up incase of an emergency.

To access a locked door, an instructor holds up their access card to the card reader to unlock the door or they can use the card swipe on the side. When the lock turns green, the door is open. The handles on doors with Global Locks do not turn when unlocked. Instead of trying to turn the handle after unlocking the door, just give the door a push or a pull. There will be reminders posted about how to access these rooms printed above the Global Lock. If the door lock is red, this means the door is locked. If you swipe or use the proximity chip in your raider card and are unable to access the room, please contact ASFR. Our office’s contact information is also located under the door number of the room.

The GPC rooms which currently have Global Locks are Holden 127, 128, 130, 152, 255, Science 112, Human Science 273, and Math 12, 108. The GPCs in Media and Communications are in the process of transitioning from proximity locks with keypads to Global Locks. Until the Global Locks are up and running, proximity locks will still be in use. For this reason, we encourage all instructors to get proximity cards to use with the Global locks. Constant use of the card slider can wear out your card. However, proximity cards can just be held up to the lock’s sensor. This ensures that the card lasts much longer.

Classroom Technology Services has also created an excellent informative video that demonstrates the Global Lock’s usage. The video can be viewed by clicking here.

Please subscribe and learn more about GPC classrooms!

Back-to-School with Holden Hall

Summer renovations are over!

 For the past several months three of Holden Hall’s classrooms have been under renovation, becoming two larger classrooms. Interior, technology, and furniture have all been changed to better suit the needs of faculty and students alike. Many of these changes will improve both the teaching and learning experiences of faculty and students. Great effort has gone into reshaping these rooms into an improved learning space. Months of planning, construction, repainting, carpeting, and installing new lighting and technology and furniture have finally paid off. The renovations are now ready for the new semester.

 This Fall semester, Holden 128 and 130 are now ready to house new and returning students. No matter the subject matter of the course these two rooms now have the resources to accommodate them. Faculty can utilize the updated technology in their lectures. Group work will also be much easier to accomplish with the new gliding chairs. These newly renovated rooms will help create a positive educational environment for new and returning students.

 Please subscribe and learn more about GPC classrooms!

HH 126 Before: Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

HH 126 Before: Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

HH 128 Before: Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

HH 128 Before: Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

HH 130 Before: Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

HH 130 Before: Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

HH 128 After: Photo taken by Amie Faal

HH 128 After: Photo taken by Amie Faal

HH 130 After: Photo taken by Amie Faal

HH 130 After: Photo taken by Amie Faal

Flip This Room: Holden Hall Gets a Facelift!

Holden 126, 128, and 130 are receiving a makeover to better meet the needs of faculty and students. Holden Hall classrooms such as these have housed courses from a variety of disciplines. Everything from History and Math to Music Appreciation and Political Science have been taught in Holden 126, 128, and 130. Such a wide variety of courses need access to a learning environment to suit their needs. The new improvements will not only update these rooms, but also improve the teaching and learning experience of faculty and students.

Construction began in June with tearing down the walls between each room. The new wall now divides the middle of what used to be Room 128. These three smaller rooms will become two larger rooms to seat approximately 60 students. The construction on the two rooms is projected to be completed before the Fall semester starts. After this facelift, Holden 128 and 130 are going to be given a fresh coat of paint and equipped with more updated technology and furniture.

Holden 128 and 130 are going to be part of the Platinum series consisting of a blue, grey, and black color scheme. The chalkboards and wooden lecterns will be replaced with white boards, CPUs with touch screens, and projectors. There will also be ports provided to connect laptops. Faculty will be able to run DVD and Blu Ray discs as well. The older multi-colored stationary desks with wire frame baskets under the chairs will be replaced with new rolling desks. These new desks will match unlike the older multi-colored desks. The desks will be on gliders for improved collaboration among students. The new desks will also be more ambidextrous. Finding a left-handed desk or a right-handed desk will no longer be an issue for students. Two ADA desks will also be designated for each room. As for the flooring in the new rooms, the linoleum will be replaced with carpet. New technology and furniture will further aid the learning process of Texas Tech students.

Summer renovations will flip these older rooms into a newer educational environment.

Renovations are still underway. Please subscribe or check back for updates and more information about these changes.

Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

 Holden 126 Before – Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

Holden 128 - Before Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

Holden 128 – Before Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

Holden 130 Before Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

Holden 130 Before Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

Holden 128 In progress - Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

Holden 128 In progress – Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

Holden 128 In progress - Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

Holden 128 In progress – Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

HH 130 In progress - Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

HH 130 In progress – Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

HH 130 In progress - Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

HH 130 In progress – Photo taken by Marissa Virgadamo

New “Global” Locks

We got new locks! Some of our classrooms have new “global” locks that allow our staff to unlock the doors from our desks.

The rooms with these locks are: Holden 127, 152, & 255, Science 112, Math 012 & 108, and Human Sciences 273.

Our new locks are located next to the door instead of on the actual door. When the light is green (shown in the pictures below) the door is unlocked and when the light is red the door is locked. The big difference between the new locks versus our old lock is that the door handle does not actually turn. Instead, with these locks you would just push the door open. This can get a little confusing, because most people are use to turning the handle to open the door. So, don’t be fooled when the handle doesn’t move. Also, if the door is locked you can simply put your access card up to the reader or swipe your card in the designated area and the door will unlock. Currently our office is working on creating signs to put above the reader to cut back on any door handle confusion.

Our office plans to install the new locks in Media and Communication this summer. Please subscribe or check back for updates and more information.

Global Lock UnlockedGlobal Lock Locked

Classroom Technology Services

Our office has been very fortunate to be partnered with Classroom Technology Services as support for our General Purpose Classrooms. They have happily supported the GPC’s with installation and maintenance of the technology in the classrooms. There staff consists greatly of student assistants who walk through the room twice a week as preventative maintenance and troubleshooting. Beyond preventative maintenance, they respond to calls from 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM as well as offer training throughout the year. They have also determined standards for GPC Technology. Below are general standards installed in every General Purpose Classroom:

Controls:

  • Extron Touchlink Touch Panel
  • Extron Switcher/Scaler
  • Extron Control Processor

Video:

  • Hitachi LCD 4000 Lumen Projector
  • Motorized Projector Screen
  • Additional Flat Panel TVs for larger classrooms (as needed)

Audio:

  • Extron Flat Field Ceiling Speakers
  • Podium & Wireless Microphone for sound reinforcement & ADA Assisted Listening
  •  ADA – Listen Technologies for assisted listening

Podium Computer & Laptop Accessories:

  • Dell Computer with BluRay Player
  • Interactive Display
  • Wireless keyboard/mouse
  • Laptop Connections: HDMI & VGA + 1/8″ Audio

The above list is the general standard. Some of our rooms vary based on size and pedagogy. If there is ever a question about technology in a specific room please visit our website http://www.depts.ttu.edu/asfr/gpc/. Or you may contact Classroom Technology Services through phone (806.742.5381) or email (ctsstaff.ithelpcentral@ttu.edu) and they will be happy to answer any questions.

 

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.