The FLEX Lab: Facilitating Innovative Teaching and Learning – Marta Bailey

What is the FLEX Lab? The Flexible Learning EXperience Lab is a unique learning space whose primary mission is to support innovation in teaching and learning. Located on the third floor of the Dana Porter Library, the FLEX Lab comes equipped with twenty wireless Tablet PC computers, two wireless data projectors (one on each end of the room), a document camera, a state-of-the-art podium computer, as well as easily movable and configurable furniture. All of these allow the instructors and students who use the room the ease of creating a space that optimizes effective teaching and learning.

Within the last year, the FLEX lab has undergone a renovation – the walls are now a lovely shade of spring each and every day of the year. The green colour allows for the white boards that surround the flex lab to “pop” and provides a calm environment. The walls are not the only renovation – also new are the tablet pcs, new podium computer and the document camera. The document camera is a brand new feature of the FLEX lab, allowing the user to display any document placed on the camera on the wireless projector. To be in line with the green room colour, we are also being environmentally green. The original half-moon shaped tables from the FLEX lab will be used by the Office of Persons with Disabilities. In their place are new trapezoid tables, which allow instructors to create a number of working environments, from one big horseshoe shape to individual tables where 2-4 students can work in groups.

Another new feature of the FLEX Lab is the new booking system. We are now using the University of Waterloo’s Bookit calendaring system. This allows the user to have more control of his/her own bookings.

Overall, the FLEX Lab is changing with the green times, and aims to please. If you have any suggestions of ideas that would support the FLEX Lab mission, please contact Marta Bailey.

Published by

Mark Morton

As Senior Instructional Developer, Mark Morton helps instructors implement new educational technologies such as clickers, wikis, concept mapping tools, question facilitation tools, screencasting, and more. Prior to joining the Centre for Teaching Excellence, Mark taught for twelve years in the English Department at the University of Winnipeg. He received his PhD in 1992 from the University of Toronto, and is the author of four books: Cupboard Love; The End; The Lover's Tongue; and Cooking with Shakespeare.

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