5 reasons you'll love our new large collaborative classrooms
Find out what makes our UTS Central large collaborative classrooms unique and, importantly, why you’ll love them.
When it opens in August, UTS Central will offer some of the best study and socialising spaces on campus. It will also be home to a range of high-tech teaching spaces, including three large collaborative classrooms.
With space for up to 350 students at a time, the collaborative classrooms will be some of our biggest on campus. As you’ll soon see, they’re nothing like old-school lecture theatres.
1. They'll help you learn better. Yep, really.
Study after study show that active and collaborative learning gets results. By actively participating in classes and working in groups, you can better learn critical thinking, communication and problem solving in teams – all skills essential to workplace success.
These new collaborative classrooms will enhance the way UTS brings active learning to large classes.
Gone are the rows of lecture seats, replaced instead with dynamic and flexible ‘zones’ for smaller group work within the large class. Each zone will feature moveable tables and presenter points, giving you the tools to work on real-world scenarios within your smaller group or present back to your zone or the full class as needed.
Academics will have a space that helps them run more dynamic classes for big student groups. And you’ll benefit from more innovative teaching and active participation.
No more death-by-Powerpoint or nodding off in the back row.
2. A+ Acoustics
A challenge for large classes is creating a buzz that isn’t deafening.
The new collaborative classrooms have been designed with input from acoustic engineers, and feature sound-absorbing materials and curved walls that help to deaden the sound in the room.
You’ll notice the difference as soon as you walk in.
So you should be able to hear your group without being drowned out. And each classroom also includes an in-built PA with fixed and hand-held mics in each zone, so even in the busiest classes you won’t miss a word of that question from the other side of the room.
3. Power up with power points!!
It's a small thing (literally!) but every year student surveys show us that you want more power points (not Powerpoint) for on-campus study. We get it, you need to charge your devices.
UTS Central might also be known as Power Central when it opens. Charge points with a mix of three-prong power, USBs and firewire are spread over study spaces, beanbag pods, the food court and classrooms.
The collaborative classrooms are fully equipped to support BYOD (that’s bring your own device) with multiple three-prong power points near every group table.
Turn up, plug in and charge up while you learn.
4. Space and light!
OK, that’s two things in one, but we know how much you hate sitting in cramped, dark lecture rooms.
These rooms are the opposite!
They’re designed so you can work at your table or move around to see what others have been doing. Your teachers can move around too, to interact from any point in the room (no hiding in corners!).
And there’s plenty of natural light, with large windows facing Central Park and no columns to get in the way.
5. Fire up your UTS pride – these spaces are unique.
Although the benefits of active and collaborative learning are widely accepted, there are challenges to engaging at-scale with large groups of students.
To tackle this, an intrepid team of architects, designers and UTS academics did a fact-finding mission to learn from world best-practice early in the design process. Unable to find examples of the type of collaborative space they wanted, they designed one themselves.
One that’s uniquely UTS. Go us!
These new classrooms don’t have a podium for academics to present at the front of the room - in fact, there’s no real front of the room. The moveable group tables (in place of tiered seating) and multiple presenter points create a space where academics and students can better collaborate and interact from just about any point in the room.
The UTS Central collaborative classrooms on levels 5, 6 and 7 will be timetabled for classes from Session 1 2020. Get a sneak peek if you drop into the building for UTS Central Open House on Monday 19 August.