Recognizing the importance of small group (4 to 8 people) active collaboration in learning as exemplified, for example, in SE 101, the UCI Libraries and OIT have jointly developed a proposal for changing existing group study spaces into connected small group active learning spaces by adding communications tools for remote collaboration and consultation as well as the types of technologies used in SE 101 to facilitate active, participatory learning within small groups. The communications tools will allow both participation at a distance by additional students as well as instructor availability, when suitably scheduled, for “office hours” or class activities similar to those for which SE 101 is configured.
While a principal initial use of these spaces is an enhanced form of the study/learning activities small groups of students already engage in, the space’s communications capabilities open the possibility of connecting several of them, on a scheduled basis, into a combined classroom. The Libraries will assume responsibility for scheduling and for monitoring and logging use. The Libraries and OIT will jointly conduct surveys and interviews of students using the facilities.
The pilot phase of this project has begun with locations currently active in Gateway Study Center 2108 and 2109, and Education 2008. Additional locations are being planned within Langson Library and the Ayala Science Library, and other options for expansion include the Anteater Learning Pavilion, Student Center, Campuswide Honors Program study spaces, and spaces in residential housing.