SPEC Kit 328: Collaborative Teaching and Learning Tools · 13
Unique responses designated as collaborative tools
by respondents included large-scale poster plotters,
GPS, and PA systems. Non-electronic tools offered
included graphing and scientific calculators, project
lockers, media viewing rooms, presentation practice
areas, module and mobile furniture, green screens,
and carts for transporting equipment.
Equipment Location
The locations of learning and teaching tools include
open user areas (such as reference or information
commons areas), classroom or teaching/training labs,
group study rooms, the circulation desk, and other fa-
cilities across the institution, including library confer-
ence rooms, campus computing centers, media centers
or information technology labs for instructional sup-
port services, student unions, and dorm study rooms.
Non-interactive whiteboards are found in many
locations at the 63 responding institutions, including
open areas (32 responses or 57%), classrooms/labs (30
or 54%), and group study rooms/spaces (43 or 77%).
The prevalence of this non-digital collaborative tool
is likely due to its inexpensive and easy-to-maintain
Interactive whiteboards are in open spaces at nine
institutions (25%), though more often they are housed
in classrooms/labs or group study rooms. Nine of the
14 libraries that have interactive learning centers put
them in public spaces in the library one library indi-
cated a touch table is available in an exhibition area
within the special collections library.
Although some tools are available in open spaces,
expensive equipment is typically not found in open,
unregulated areas in the library unless mounted (e.g.,
plasma displays), grounded (e.g., media:scape tables),
or installed to another device (e.g., videoconferencing
devices or scanners).
Videoconferencing systems, interactive white-
boards, and audience response systems are common-
ly found in classroom/lab environments and group
study rooms. In the classrooms they are usually only
for faculty use. Respondents’ additional comments
showed six instances of videoconferencing systems
housed in conference rooms.
Many of the tools available for loan and use on-
site include laptops, video recording devices, audio
recording devices, touchscreen tablet computers, cal-
culators, and e-book readers. Associated peripher-
als such as keyboards, portable scanners, projectors,
power cords, and cables for monitors and webcams
are also loaned by at least one institution. Monitors,
keyboards, and some other tools/devices for media
or video production are sometimes held in the group
study rooms (five institutions) and are, in effect,
checked out at the time of reserving the user space.
The media:scape tables are held in various locations
throughout the libraries institutions varied by mak-
ing them either openly accessible on a first come-first
serve basis or loaned via check out of a group study
Forty-six of the responding institutions (74%) indicate
they use some kind of scheduling process to reserve
collaborative teaching and learning tools. The most
common methods are scheduling equipment in person
(20 responses or 44%) and using a form on the library’s
website (19 or 41%). A few libraries accept reservations
by sending an email, scheduling via the catalog, call-
ing in a request, and using an online calendar such as
Oracle or Outlook. Four institutions use a commercial
booking system (e.g., OnShore Development). The
catalog or homegrown systems are most often used
for advanced booking. One institution indicated that,
“Check out of more advanced/expensive equipment…
sometimes requires faculty sign-off.” One institution
uses touchscreen tablets outside of study rooms for
on-the-fly scheduling.
While respondents are not consistent with the
systems used to schedule and reserve tools, they
reported some consistency with what is scheduled.
Respondents focused either on a specific tool or on
booking user spaces that are equipped with tools not
individually checked out. Fifteen institutions (68%)
reported they book group study rooms or classrooms
that house various tools. Examples of this practice are
booking the media production room to reserve video
equipment and green screens, presentation space to
check out monitor and cables, or a group study room
to reserve the interactive whiteboard or videoconfer-
encing system. Examples of devices that can be re-
served include laptops and e-book readers. These are
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