Where Do We Go From Here?

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October
2010

CCUMC

Computer Labs and Classrooms:
Where Do We Go From Here?

Dr. Sue Clabaugh

Manager, Instructional Facilities

Office of Information
Technology

October
2010

CCUMC

University of Maryland

Overview

Large public research university


37,000 students


3,996
faculty


3,956
GA’s


5,116
staff


12
Colleges/Schools

264
buildings on 1,250 acres

346
general purpose classrooms (GPC) in 37 buildings

233
GPC’s (
67%
) are technology classrooms in 34
buildings



78
department rooms equipped like tech classrooms

October
2010

CCUMC

Computer Labs & Classrooms


All colleges and many departments have computer
facilities available only to their own students and faculty.


This presentation deals with public computer facilities.


Computer Labs: computers available for individual use by any student


Computer Classrooms: classrooms with computers for every student and
able to be scheduled for a semester by faculty from any department


OIT Instructional Facilities (IF) has supported technology
classrooms from the beginning but responsibility for
computer labs and classrooms wasn’t transferred to IF
until 2008.

October
2010

CCUMC

Computer Labs & Classrooms

Status in 2008

6 computer labs


Geographically dispersed in 5 locations


Total of 263 computers


139 Windows



80 Macs



44 Linux


Some labs open 24/7, others closed overnight & weekends


Lab printers used “home grown” Pay for Print system

October
2010

CCUMC

Computer Labs & Classrooms

4 computer classrooms


Geographically dispersed in 4 locations


Ranged in size from 20 to 36 computers


Mix of platforms


3 Windows classrooms


1 Mac classroom


Primary use


classes scheduled for the entire semester


remaining time available for occasional users


Support model
-

student tech assigned to each
class




October
2010

CCUMC

Quick Survey


public computer labs at your institution


d
on’t have any


n
umber of labs increasing


n
umber of labs staying the same


n
umber of labs decreasing


centrally managed computer classrooms


don’t have any


number of classrooms increasing


number of classrooms staying the same


number of classrooms decreasing


dual purpose labs/classrooms


y
es


no


October
2010

CCUMC

Context


The bad economy and 5 years with no tuition
increases put a strain on the University budget.

RESULT: We had to find ways to operate more efficiently.



The University implemented a Climate Action Plan
that called for major improvements in energy
conservation including LEED certification for all
new buildings.

RESULT: We had to reduce energy use in all our facilities.


October
2010

CCUMC

Do we still need computer labs

and classrooms?

If so, what changes are needed to make them more
responsive to user needs and operate more efficiently?

The organizational change provided the impetus for
taking a fresh look.


We reviewed usage statistics and schedules for the past
several years.


We evaluated the condition and layout of the facilities,
including the quality of the furnishings.


We analyzed energy usage.


We got input from users.


We reviewed budgets to identify potential economies.


We looked at staffing and support models.


October
2010

CCUMC

What We Learned

General


We had a lot of older equipment that was not energy efficient
and needed to be replaced.


Many of our facilities opened 20
-
25 years ago and need a major
facelift.



in a dorm basement:

never renovated, needs everything

in a parking garage: needs new
carpet, paint, & informal seating

October
2010

CCUMC

What We Learned


Students arrive with technology (97% have laptops
& 20% have
smartphones
).


Students have access to high speed networks at
home, at school, etc.


Students use their own technology rather than labs
for basic tasks such as checking email, accessing
the internet, or using basic productivity tools.


Students still rely on labs for printing and
specialized software.


The number of Mac users is increasing and
they need better support.



Computer Labs:

Students’ personal access to computing resources has increased
dramatically since the first labs opened in the mid
-
1980’s.


October
2010

CCUMC

What We Learned

Computer Labs (cont.):


Most of our lab furniture is individual carrels
or tables which don’t accommodate group
study.


Our labs were designed for installed desktop
computers, not laptops.


Students cluster around electrical outlets in labs and
elsewhere because labs don’t have appropriate
furniture and wiring for laptop users.


Labs aren’t set up to provide printing from laptops.


Two smaller labs located in low traffic areas
had extremely low usage.


The use of the Linux machines had declined
significantly.



October
2010

CCUMC

What We Learned

Computer Classrooms


Two of the four computer classrooms were used so heavily by
individual departments that they were in reality “dedicated” to
those two departments.


The sizes of the computer classrooms didn’t match the typical
class sizes at UM.


Two had 20 seats and very few classes were that small.


The largest only has 36 seats so larger classes have no alternatives.


When they first opened, these facilities had specialized
technology not available elsewhere but that’s no longer the case.


Users
a
re comfortable enough with the technology that they no
longer needed a student tech assigned to each class.


The AV presentation capability was outdated and not consistent
with the technology found in regular technology classrooms.

October
2010

CCUMC

What We Are Doing


We developed and implemented an Energy Conservation Plan
that included all the facilities managed by IF (tech classrooms,
computer labs, and computer classrooms).


Replaced all the computers with new ENERGY STAR models.


Replaced all the printers with more efficient ones.


Reduced the number of computers by 20% and printers by 50%.


Upgraded the AV systems in the computer classrooms with newer
equipment that is more energy efficient.


Replaced all CRT monitors with LCD monitors.


Implemented energy management procedures to power off
PC’s

and AV equipment during times of low usage (such as overnight,
weekends, etc.).


October
2010

CCUMC

What We Are Doing


We developed and have begun implementing an Action
P
lan for
Computer Labs, Computer Classrooms, and Technology
Classrooms that is designed to:


Provide facilities that better meet the needs of students and
faculty now and that are flexible enough to change over time.


Integrate the operations of the various facilities more
effectively.


Identify economies of scale and other efficiencies that help
reduce costs and provide better services to faculty and
students.



October
2010

CCUMC

What We Are Doing

In addition to implementation of the Energy Conservation Plan,
specific actions taken in the short term include:


Consolidating computer labs by closing two low
-
use labs.


Eliminating Linux machines from the labs.


Increasing the number of Macs and deploying more dual
-
boot
images.


2008: 30% of lab computers were Macs


2010: 47% of lab computers were Macs


Looking at deployment tools designed for dual boot Macs


Consolidating software licenses across facilities and
implementing a new
keyserver

program.


Will save money by reducing the overall number of licenses.


Will allow us to track usage more closely.



October
2010

CCUMC

What We Are Doing


Setting up collaboration
spaces in the labs that
provide table space,
multiple electrical outlets
for laptops, and a large
shared display.


Laptop carrels with power
and net access.


Reducing the number and size of computer images we create
and manage by starting deployment of virtual applications.


Deploying a new Pay for Print system and expanding the
availability of printing beyond existing labs

including
printing from student laptops to any lab printer.

October
2010

CCUMC

What We Are Doing


Cutting the number of computer
classrooms in half.


Two computer classrooms were turned
over to the two departments that were the
sole users of the facilities.


Operating expenses and staffing costs were
reduced significantly.


More labs are being planned due to
increased demand.


Implementing a more cost
-
effective approach to supporting
computer classrooms.


Support is provided by the existing classroom support office in the same
building.


A permanently assigned student tech is available only upon request.

October
2010

CCUMC

What We Are Doing


We’re working with the Libraries to develop an Information
Commons, what we call the Terrapin Learning Commons (TLC).


Our busiest lab is in the main
McKeldin

library and is not a very
functional or inviting environment.

October
2010

CCUMC

What We Are Doing


The TLC project is allowing us to
move to a much larger renovated
space with:


more functional and attractive
furnishings


expanded space for individual
and group use


access to more specialized
hardware and software


better accommodations for
laptop and mobile device users


more on
-
site assistance for users


October
2010

CCUMC

Where Do We Go From Here?


By adopting more scalable deployment strategies (such as
virtualization) we can provide users with better access to a
broader array of computing resources anywhere anytime.


The TLC is not just a “place” but a virtual learning environment
that will extend beyond lab facilities and libraries.


Computer labs will not go away but will change.


Labs will have fewer machines but provide access to a wider range of
software.


Labs will be reconfigured to provide more flexible spaces for individual and
collaborative use.


Labs will provide better support for students bringing their own computers
and mobile devices into labs.


Computer kiosks and print stations will be installed in high traffic areas
around campus.


Collaboration spaces with large shared displays will be provided throughout
the campus not just in labs.





October
2010

CCUMC

Questions & Answers


October
2010

CCUMC

Computer Labs and Classrooms:
Where Do We Go From Here?

Dr. Sue Clabaugh

Manager, Instructional Facilities

Office of Information
Technology