Duquesne University, Pittsburgh USA

As part of the CCUMC 2015 annual conference in Pittsburgh, I was one of the delegates invited to a self guided tour of two of the host institutions in the city, Duquesne and Pittsburgh Universities.

The Consortium of College and University Media Centers is a professional association for North America, CCUMC website similar to SCHOMS in the UK SCHOMS website and AETM in Australasia. AETM website.

These images were taken at Duquesne University, with a clear Catholic presence in many classrooms and across the city centre campus.

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Blackboards in a traditional lecture theatre.IMG_1791

However these student centred learning spaces were more interesting, I was not sure about each table being of a different colour, could be challenging on the eye and for some dyslexic students. There was a smart room signage outside each room. The table tops were a writing surface, see later comment.

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The TEC spaces were slightly different as one was designed for a more didactic style of teaching with raked workstations, whereas this space below felt more engaging.

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The medical teaching room in the Health Sciences building featured an intriguing ‘GoPro’ custom made tool for live view and experiential learning.

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This collaborative space, usually termed an Active Classroom, was typical of many rooms across American universities, note the rectangular tables designed for group work.

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I did question about the colours in terms of inclusivity and accessibility, but also if the tables should have a border to avoid writing being inadvertently erased by students clothes. IMG_1821 IMG_1822

This resource room for trainee teachers was a great space with excellent resources and ideas for inspiration.

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Some spaces were fairly traditional and quite conservative in terms of design and decor. I did not see any examples of curved tables which are ideal for collaboration.

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