28.1.06

REVEALED PREFERENCES. We're turning students away from classes because the Fire Marshal would object to any further crowding of the rooms. At the same time, there are some state-of-the-art computer stations frequently unused.

The orange and white warning signs on the door state the computer lab is not open to the general student public."It's not a general access lab," said Charles Schumann, manager of lab operations. "It was never intended to be one." Instead, the lab is used for events such as faculty development, one-day seminars and academic programs, according to Elizabeth Leake, associate director of ITS customer support services."

Altgeld 100 is the largest classroom lab on campus. It features 48 computers and was designed to facilitate large groups as a classroom lab," Leake said. "ITS maintains this facility, on behalf of our provost, by reservation for large groups."

The article goes on to note that the maintainers would like to see it used more frequently. I have seen it in use a few times, sometimes for training with the general accounting software and sometimes for Blackboard. (With the accumulating evidence of the power of active learning techniques, the reliance on passive technologies such as Blackboard and Powerpoint troubles me. Spending more and more and producing less?)

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