Space jam: learning in a Super Lab

by | 16 May, 2018 | 0 comments

Have you seen the UTS Super Lab? Take a tour with Rob Hardy from AVS and find out what makes it so super...

In this video, Rob Hardy (Senior Project Manager from AVS) and Bill Booth (Laboratory Operations Manager – Teaching) take you through the combination of technology and architecture that create this unique space. 

Type of classroom: SuperLab

Location: The Science and Graduate School of Health Building (CBO7)

Opened: in 2015

What is a Super Lab?

The Super Lab at UTS is the first of its kind in Australia and was modelled on the SuperLab at London Metropolitan University. Its design was adapted to meet the specific requirements of the Faculty of Science. The SuperLab concept is a relatively new one, but it has established itself as an indispensable new category of teaching room. A Super Lab allows for several classes to run in the same space simultaneously, and can be instantly reconfigured to allow an instructor to address a class that could range from handful of students to as many as 200.

How does it differ to a traditional learning space?

The lab consists of 25 standardised workbenches, each accommodating eight students. Each student has a monitor in front of them that shows a combination of information from the demonstrator station and the student’s own data input from their bench computer. There’s also around 60 breakout spaces, some equipped with smart boards, for group discussions and student presentations.
The neon blue ‘traffic lights’ on the workstation alert students to don their headphones and tune in to the lecturer. If students want to ask a question, they can hit a button to turn their light amber; or a red light that indicates that they require assistance.

How does this room support collaborative learning?

The design of the SuperLab aims to facilitate the buzz and vibrant atmosphere of a multidisciplinary environment, while ensuring students feel part of an engaged and collaborative class group. They are able to watch detailed demonstrations on screen, then perform the experiments themselves and work toward solutions, which makes for an active, problem-based learning experience. Having several classes running in the lab at once encourages students to think collaboratively and get an insight into other subjects they might want to take in the future.

Other spaces to explore in Building 7

This building also houses other fascinating spaces like a bold, green auditorium with beakers as lightbulbs and an adaptable lab space for simulating crime scenes to recreate practical real-life experiences.

Feature image by Anna Zhu, video by Matthew Vella.

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